> Marcus Smart named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, first guard to win since 1996 NBA

Marcus Smart named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, first guard to win since 1996

Marcus Smart named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, first guard to win since 1996

  • Celtics
Apr 19
SW Creative
  • SportsWriters

The Boston Celtics Marcus Smart has been awarded the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) for the 2021-22 season.

It was announced on Sunday that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges were the other two finalists.

Smart came out on top in a tight fight, collecting 37 votes, while Bridges had 22, and Gobert had 12.

Smart was the first guard to win the honor since 1996 when Gary Payton won it. Payton was in Boston to tell Smart the news.

“I found something that works for me, that I’m really good at and I’ve tried to master to the best I can,” Smart said. “To be able to win this award, I’m ecstatic, it means a lot. It shows that the hard work I’ve been putting in has finally paid off and the recognition has finally come.”

Smart had the credentials to win the honor. With an average of 1.7 steals per game and an NBA-leading 107.1 defensive rating, he anchored the league’s finest defense.

In addition, for the second year in a row, he was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team.

No other Celtics’ players were included in any of the award categories (DPOY, Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man of the Year, Rookie of the Year, or Coach of the Year).

“I think my defense and my game speak for itself. But I’m really focused on this next game we have on Wednesday,”

- Marcus Smart

  • Boston Celtics

    The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston.

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  • Marcus Smart

    American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association

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  • Gary Payton

    Gary Dwayne Payton Sr. is an American former professional basketball player who played the point guard position. Widely considered one of the greatest point guards of all time,

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  • Brooklyn Nets

    The Brooklyn Nets are an American professional basketball team based in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The Nets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The team plays its home games at Barclays Center.

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