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SALT LAKE CITY — Rudy Gobert has matched Karl Malone.
Well, at least in one category.
On Wednesday, the NBA announced that Gobert has been selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive First Team. It’s the third straight season Gobert has been named to the best defensive squad — something only one other player in Jazz history has done.
Malone accomplished the feat from 1997-99. Mark Eaton was also named to three all-defensive teams, but not in consecutive seasons.
Gobert, who is a finalist for the league’s defensive player of the year award, posted the best defensive box plus-minus (5.0) in the NBA, ranked second in defensive win shares (5.7) and ranked fourth overall in defensive rating (100.4). Gobert also contested the second most shots per game (16.0).
He anchored a Jazz defense that finished with a defensive rating of 105.2, second best in the NBA.
Oklahoma City’s Paul George, Boston’s Marcus Smart and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe were the other four members of the All-Defensive First Team.