What Quin Snyder said about Marcus Smart winning Defensive Player of the Year honors over Rudy Gobert
Utah’s three-time winner finished third in the voting behind the Celtics’ guard and Phoenix’s Mikal Bridges.
About 90 minutes before his Utah Jazz took on the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of their NBA playoff series Monday night, coach Quin Snyder was asked about Boston’s Marcus Smart winning the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Snyder was asked to comment because Utah’s Rudy Gobert is a three-time winner of the award and was named one of three finalists for this year’s award on Sunday.
“But congratulations to Marcus (Smart) and everything he’s done. Maybe Rudy (Gobert) will win Defensive Player of the Playoffs.” — Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder.
“Well, first of all, congratulations to Marcus. He’s a terrific defender. I think, not just the things that he does physically on the court, but I think his tenacity and his leadership on the defensive end (is terrific). He’s someone I know our whole team, including Rudy (Gobert) really respects.”
Smart received 37 first-place votes and 257 overall points, while Mikal Bridges of Phoenix garnered 22 first-place votes and 202 points. Gobert got 12 first-place votes — one fewer than fourth-place finisher Bam Adebayo of Miami — and 136 total points.
“Asking me that question is a tough one, obviously, because there is a guy that plays on our team that was a finalist for that award, and certainly has won it before and I think will continue to be that someone who every year will be in contention for that award,” Snyder continued. “But congratulations to Marcus and everything he’s done. Maybe Rudy will win Defensive Player of the Playoffs.”
Gobert’s outstanding defense was on full display in Utah’s 99-93 win over the Mavericks in Game 1 last Saturday. He blocked three shots, altered several others, and grabbed 15 defensive rebounds.
Gobert won the award in 2018, 2019 and 2021. He is one of three players in the league to have won the award at least three times.
Gobert averaged 15.6 points, 14.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots this season.
Smart becomes the first guard to win the award since Gary Payton in the 1995-96 season.