Rudy Gobert is Favorite to Win Defensive Player of the Year

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

We’re getting into the heart of the NBA season and the Minnesota Timberwolves have emerged as a force to be reckoned with, boasting an impressive 13-4 record that leads the Western Conference, taking both fans and analysts by surprise.

Rudy Gobert is so back

There are many factors that play into the Wolves’ hot start, but one of the main contributors is Rudy Gobert’s return defensive player of the year form.

Related: Karl-Anthony Towns Revival Means Everything for Timberwolves Future

The Wolves currently rank 3rd in the NBA in team defense, allowing 106.2 points per game, only behind the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. Three of their players currently rank in the top-5 of all NBA players in defensive win shares. Anthony Edwards is 5th, Karl-Anthony Towns is 3rd and Rudy Gobert is 1st.

When the Minnesota Timberwolves made the move for Gobert, giving up one of the biggest packages in NBA history, they did so expecting to get the best defensive player in the league and the 3x DPOY. In his first year, Gobert failed to live up to the expectations, and even had fans wondering if the team was better without him.

This year, it has been a completely different story, and it’s making all the difference for the best team in the west. Gobert’s impact has been on full display all season. In the Wolves’ most recent contest vs the Oklahoma City Thunder, Rudy put up 17 points and 16 rebounds to go along with 4 blocks.

Rudy Gobert for NBA Defensive Player of the Year?

Late in the game (as seen in the clip above), Gobert locked down the paint and had Chet Holmgren looking completely clueless. Rudy’s playing with a different kind of passion this season and it shows in that clip.

Related: Rudy Gobert is Who Timberwolves Thought He Was

Can Rudy Gobert win Defensive player of the year? The sportsbooks say yes. According to FanDuel.com, Gobert is a pretty heavy favorite to win his 4th career DPOY.

PlayerOdds
Rudy Gobert+400
Anthony Davis+550
Evan Mobley+900
Bam Adebayo+900
Jaren Jackson Jr.+1300
FanDuel.com

If Rudy Gobert continues playing at this level, he gives the Wolves the chance to beat any team in the league… maybe even a real shot at a title.