In addition to the MVP race, the Defender of the Year race will also be tough this season. Rudy Gobert and Giannis Antetokounmpo are certainly the favorites…though a lesser-known candidate is likely to question their politeness when the votes are counted.
In addition to wanting to go further in the playoffs, Rudy Gobert has another goal in mind: to win his fourth career guard of the year trophy. That would allow him to match the all-time record held by Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace, but it won’t be easy for a Jazz big man facing plenty of competition.First, we find Giannis Antetokounmpo Who has a good chance of winning the MVP-DPOY double in 2021-22.
However, it’s not just stars to consider in this regard, which tends to reward players in the shadows. We’re thinking of Mikal Bridges in particular this season, and especially Robert Williams III, who has been impressive for the Celtics. The best shot-blocker in the league (2.2 blocks per game), and after three seasons off the bench, the pivot finally begins. And his influence is palpable, the proof of this statistic clearly makes him a serious candidate:
Robert Williams III Ambush for DPOY
When Robert Williams is defending, players are shooting 6.4 percent below their normal field goal percentage.
That negative difference is the largest among guards who have defended more than 500 shots this season.
— StatMuse (@statmuse) March 8, 2022
On average, players shot 6.4 percent less than their usual field goal percentage when Robert Williams was defending.
This negative difference is the largest among defensive players who have guarded more than 500 shots this season. Can we talk about a potential DPOY?
Among the top 5 Boston teams in the East (39-27), RWIII thus has a decent card to lurch behind the leading candidates. Another big factor is that the C’s are third in the league in points allowed and have been better in their own half for two months. All of this is also due to a very active inner presence in his racket. Even if he fails to win the title this year, he will be a future-focused client:
Can Robert Williams III create surprises? Why not, the NBA likes to bring something new to its season-ending record. The Celtics’ overall head count is in his favor, and it remains to be seen whether that trend will be confirmed by mid-April.