Marcus Smart Named 2021-2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year

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NEW YORK (AP) — Boston’s Marcus Smart is the first guard in over a quarter-century to win the NBA defensive player of the year award. NBA officials announced the award Tuesday. The last guard to win this honor was Seattle’s Gary Payton in 1995-96. Smart helped the Celtics lead the NBA in defensive rating and scoring defense while holding opponents to a league-low field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage. The 28-year-old ranked seventh in the NBA in steals per game and tied for sixth in total steals with 119. Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges finished second and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert came in third.

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