Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been named NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 2021-22 season, the league announced in a statement.
Smart becomes the first guard to win the award since the Seattle SuperSonics’ Gary Payton did so in 1995-96. It is the first such award for Smart — and first for the Celtics since Kevin Garnett did it in 2007-08.
Per the NBA official announcement: “Smart received 257 points (37 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Suns forward Mikal Bridges finished in second place with 202 points (22 first-place votes). Jazz center and three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert finished in third place with 136 points (12 first-place votes). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.”
Smart, 28, started all 71 regular-season games in which he played for the Celtics, who currently hold a 1-0 series lead over the Nets in their first-round playoff series.
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