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2019 PBT Awards: Defensive Player of the Year

Jazz Bucks Basketball

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, right, shoots past Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)


Kurt Helin

1. Rudy Gobert, Jazz

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

3. Joel Embiid, 76ers

It was hard to leave Paul George off the list, there is a very valid case for him to be on it, he was the best perimeter defender in the league for most of the season. However, for me, these were the players who had the biggest impact on the defensive end all season and anchored their teams on that end. The Jazz are not who they are without Gobert.

Dan Feldman

1. Rudy Gobert, Jazz

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

3. Paul George, Thunder

This isn’t a particularly strong year for this award, but Gobert is my runaway winner. He’s an elite interior defender, and he’s solid on the perimeter. The Jazz’s excellent defense is built completely around his ability. Not much separated Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George, Joel Embiid, Draymond Green and Myles Turner.

Dane Delgado

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

2. Rudy Gobert, Jazz

3. Paul George, Thunder

It seemed like George was going to be the clear winner of this award at the start of the season thanks to the impact his defensive play had on the Thunder. But PG has faded a little bit as the season’s drawn to a close, and therein lies the case for Antetokounmpo. It seems like the Greek Freak might win MVP, too, but he’s also the most important defensive player on the best team in basketball. Give it to him.