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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Rudy Gobert named finalist for Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player

By Andy Larsen  |  Posted May 19th, 2017 @ 7:16pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — A day after being named an All-NBA player, Rudy Gobert has a chance to add to his award cabinet.

Gobert was named as a finalist for two of the six major NBA awards Friday: the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award and Most Improved Player.

For Defensive Player of the Year, Gobert's competition is San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard, who has won the award in the last two seasons, and Golden State's Draymond Green. Green is the favorite for the award, but thanks to Gobert's rim protection, Utah's center has a chance.

The Most Improved Player trophy is more up in the air. The award will be given to one of Gobert, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Denver's Nikola Jokic. Both Antetokounmpo and Gobert were Second Team All-NBA, while Jokic improved to become one of the league's top five, and most fun to watch, players.

The awards will be announced at the inaugural 2017 NBA Awards on June 26, on a show beginning at 7 p.m. MT. The awards will be broadcast on TNT.

The winners were chosen by a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NBA on a daily basis.

The finalists for the other categories are listed below:

Andy Larsen
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