Celtics’ Marcus Smart is NBA Defensive Player of the Year | Radio WGN 720

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NEW YORK (AP) — Boston’s Marcus Smart is the first guard in more than a quarter century to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

NBA officials announced the award on Monday. The last guard to win this honor was Seattle’s Gary Payton in 1995-96.

Smart helped the Celtics lead the NBA in defensive rating and scoring defense (104.6) while holding opponents to a league-lowest field goal percentage (.434) and by 3 points (.339). The 28-year-old ranked seventh in the NBA in steals per game (1.68) and tied for sixth in total steals (119).

Smart received 257 total points and won 37 first-place votes from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges finished second with 202 points and 22 votes for first place.

Utah jazz center Rudy Gobert, who won the award in 2018, 2019 and 2021, finished third with 136 points and 12 votes for first place.

Smart, who started each of the 71 regular season games he played, was tied for fourth in stray balls recovered (75) and tied for 10th in deflections (106) and charges fired (16). ). He had a career-high 3.2 defensive rebounds per game.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named 2020 Defensive Player of the Year.

Players received five points for each first-place vote, three for each second-place vote, and one for each third-place vote.

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