Utah Jazz center Gobert named to NBA All-Defense First Team — again

Utah's Rudy Gobert blocks Damian Lillard's shot during the first half Tuesday in Salt Lake City. [THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]

(KUTV) — Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was named to the NBA's All-Defensive First team for the second consecutive season.

The "Stifle Tower" as the native Frenchman is sometimes nicknamed, was also named as a top three finalist for the league's Defensive Player of the Year on May 16. New Orleans' Anthony Davis and Philadelphia's Joel Embiid are also in contention.

Voting is done by a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Gobert earned the most ballot points with 192, including 94 first team votes. Davis was next with 163 ballot points and first team votes with 73. Voting may indicate that Gobert is likely to win the Defensive Player of the Year award.

The first team is rounded out by Indiana's Victor Oladipo (136 points), Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (105) and Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (90.)

Gobert missed 15 games in the middle of the Jazz regular season, returning Jan 19. From that date the Jazz posted a 30-8 record and made a successful push to qualify for the playoffs. In that span the team had the best defensive rating in the NBA and the lowest opponent scoring average (97.4) and was tied for the lowest opponent field goal percentage at .431.

The 7 foot 1 inch inside player also blocked the second-most shots in the NBA after the All-Star break with 55.

The winner of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award will be announced June 25.

The NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of 76ers center Joel Embiid (90 points), Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (86), Boston Celtics forward/center Al Horford (85), San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (80) and Minnesota Timberwolves guard/forward Jimmy Butler (79).

Players were awarded two points for each NBA All-Defensive First Team vote and one point for each Second Team vote. Voters selected two guards, two forwards and one center for each team, choosing players at the position they play regularly. Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position where they received the most votes.

The list of 100 voters can be found at PR.NBA.com.

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