Defensive Player of the Year finalists: Rudy Gobert, Marcus Smart, Mikal Bridges

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Ira Winderman: Bam Adebayo NOT a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. It’s Rudy Gobert, Marcus Smart, Mikal Bridges.
Source: Twitter @IraHeatBeat

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Jared Weiss @JaredWeissNBA
Ime Udoka says Marcus Smart passing up the last shot shows his maturity as a playmaker and how the team evolved over the year: “We’ve gotten away from the your turn, my turn and we enjoy seeing each other succeed. Get those assist numbers up.” – 6:26 PM

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb
Ime Udoka on Marcus Smart making the game-winning assist over taking the shot: “It shows growth.” – 6:25 PM

Ben Anderson @BensHoops
Rudy Gobert is officially a finalist for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. pic.twitter.com/Fab4N2oZd36:17 PM

Jared Weiss @JaredWeissNBA
Marcus Smart has been named a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year alongside Mikal Bridges and Rudy Gobert, per the NBA. – 6:16 PM

Ryan Miller @millerjryan
Rudy Gobert is a finalist for what would be his 4th defensive player of the year award.
Marcus Smart and Mikal Bridges are the other two finalists. – 6:15 PM

Kevin O’Connor @KevinOConnorNBA
I can’t get over Marcus Smart having the restraint to not shoot with 3.5 left. Patient play to pump fake, drawing two defenders. Jayson Tatum had the spin finish also great awareness to have such an timely cut to give Smart a target. Beautiful basketball. pic.twitter.com/TOufyXjMc76:14 PM

Andy Larsen @andyblarsen
Rudy Gobert will at least be in the top-3 for DPOY. Marcus Smart, Mikal Bridges the other finalists. – 6:14 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
Mikal Bridges, Rudy Gobert and Marcus Smart #NBA Defensive Player of The Year finalist. #Suns pic.twitter.com/8WejAFczZ56:13 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Marcus Smart has been named a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. – 6:13 PM

Michael Pina @MichaelVPina
marcus smart on the game-winning drive and kick pic.twitter.com/HG3vKRHUYs6:12 PM

James Boyd @RomeovilleKid
Man, Marcus Smart made the PLAY OF THE GAME to not chuck that shot and actually shot fake and pass it. Great awareness of the situation and clock!!! – 6:12 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Bam Adebayo not one of the three finalists for Defensive Player of the Year. Bridges, Gobert and Smart are the three DPOY finalists.
Erik Spoelstra is a finalist for Coach of the Year along with Taylor Jenkins and Monty Williams. – 6:11 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Bam Adebayo NOT a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. It’s Rudy Gobert, Marcus Smart, Mikal Bridges. – 6:10 PM

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
Bam not even a finalist for defensive player of year. Mikal Bridges, Gobert and Smart are finalists just announced. – 6:10 PM

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
Mikal Bridges joins Marcus Smart and Rudy Gobert as the 3 finalists for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award – 6:10 PM

Tommy Beer @TommyBeer
Marcus Smart makes winning basketball play – example 7,456 – 6:10 PM

Draymond Green @Money23Green
And there’s the difference in the Celtics team. Last year Marcus Smart would’ve taken that shot. Ime got him to buy in and be the Marcus smart everyone loved out of Ok State. BEAUTIFUL! Looking like a true PG again! That’s what made Him special! – 6:08 PM

Alan Hahn @alanhahn
Incredible poise on that pass by Marcus Smart. He had a tremendous game. Such a ridiculously valuable player. #Celtics6:08 PM

Tas Melas @TasMelas
The fact that Marcus Smart didn’t take that shot and had incredible poise to find a better one. 🤯 – 6:08 PM

Rob Mahoney @RobMahoney
Pretty strong endorsement there for Point Guard Marcus Smart. – 6:07 PM

Meghan Triplett @Meghan_Triplett
I was screaming call a timeout and look at the Celtics! Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum wowww – 6:07 PM

Jeff Goodman @GoodmanHoops
Ime Udoka opts not to call the timeout and the decision pays off.
Great patience by Marcus Smart.
Celtics take Game 1. – 6:07 PM

Quinton Mayo @RealQuintonMayo
Why won’t Marcus Smart check Kyrie?
Ain’t he the DPOY? – 6:02 PM

Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report
I cannot get over this “hockey” assist from Marcus Smart. Absolutely impossible pass leads to the Jaylen Brown triple.
#Nets #Celtics pic.twitter.com/DTEp7BOCu55:58 PM

Dan Favale @danfavale
genuinely unreal pass from marcus smart pic.twitter.com/TyrXB2502e5:56 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
“Kyrie sucks!” chants have intensified here at TD Garden after Irving inadvertently hit Marcus Smart in the face while going up for a shot. Foul is still on Smart, and Irving is at the line shooting two. – 5:14 PM

Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers
Marcus Smart is as high end as role players get. Elite defensively, and solid offensively, with enough talent to go on the occasional heater. AK – 5:11 PM

Adam Himmelsbach @AdamHimmelsbach
Marcus Smart has more 3-pointers than Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined, if you were curious. – 5:11 PM

Jay King @ByJayKing
Just a monster third quarter so far from Marcus Smart. – 5:10 PM

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb
Game-high 18 points for Marcus Smart. Just a monster effort from him this half. – 5:10 PM

Michael C. Wright @mikecwright
Ya probably wanna start guarding Marcus Smart. – 5:10 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Nets just not gonna guard Marcus Smart – 5:10 PM

John Karalis @John_Karalis
Marcus Smart with some huge plays in an 11-2 start to the 3rd quarter. Boston now out to its biggest lead – 5:04 PM

Fred Katz @FredKatz
Marcus Smart never breaks character – 5:04 PM

Steve Popper @StevePopper
Celtics with an 11-2 start to the second half — Marcus Smart doing Marcus Smart things. – 5:04 PM

A. Sherrod Blakely @ASherrodblakely
OK, Marcus Smart! We see you! – 5:03 PM

John Hollinger @johnhollinger
Marcus Smart rim protection against Kevin Durant holy crap, perfect verticality and altered the shot. – 4:36 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
KD just hit a shot over both Marcus Smart and Al Horford. Durant is now 2-of-8 from the field for 7 points. That shot might get him going. – 4:31 PM

Chris Grenham @chrisgrenham
Great pass from Marcus Smart here: pic.twitter.com/tpFWmPY8AE3:45 PM

Steve Popper @StevePopper
Other than catching the opening tip Kyrie doesn’t touch the ball on first Nets possession – partly due to Marcus Smart defense and thankfully for my hearing since they are loud when he touches it. – 3:42 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Celtics starters this afternoon:
Daniel Theis
Al Horford
Jayson Tatum
Jaylen Brown
Marcus Smart
Nets starters:
Andre Drummond
Bruce Brown
Kevin Durant
Seth Curry
Kyrie Irving – 3:02 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Ime Udoka confirms that Daniel Theis will start this afternoon alongside Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. – 1:50 PM

Andy Larsen @andyblarsen
Bogdanovic: “We’ve got to put our ego to the side & trust each other… We really have a great group of guys who aren’t looking for individual stats. Especially Rudy Gobert, having just 1 shot & being the best player on the floor. I don’t know another NBA player who can do that.” – 12:50 PM

JD Shaw @JShawNBA
NBA’s best from April 16:
– T. Maxey: 38 pts, 4 reb, 14-21 fg
– A. Edwards: 36 pts, 6 ast, 2 blk
– J. Morant: 32 pts, 4 reb, 8 ast
– K. Towns: 29 pts, 13 reb, +16
– T. Harris: 26 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast
– J. Harden: 22 pts, 14 ast, 1 to
– R. Gobert: 5 pts, 17 reb, 3 blk – 10:40 AM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
Rudy Gobert yesterday:
✅ 17 REB
✅ 3 BLK
✅ 0-1 FG
The only player in the last 60 NBA postseasons to record more rebounds without making a shot from the field is Ben Wallace on May 28, 2004 (19).
Jarrett Allen also had 17 rebounds without making a field goal on Aug. 21, 2020. pic.twitter.com/LbID71klJY10:31 AM

Steve Popper @StevePopper
Celtics’ Smart aims to make things tough on Kyrie
Marcus Smart is key to Boston’s top-rated defense front-runner for NBA Defensive Player of the Year. newsday.com/sports/basketb…9:59 AM

Stephen Noh @StephNoh
The NBA stats page tracked 49 Donovan Mitchell passes in Game 1. Exactly one went to Rudy Gobert.
https://t.co/nWuacivw3t pic.twitter.com/dNpotDABct9:24 AM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Since the Suns don’t need Mikal Bridges until the second round, can the Nuggets borrow him? – 1:31 AM

Ryan Miller @millerjryan
Rudy Gobert had one shot attempt in Game 1; he was still the reason the Jazz won ksl.com/article/503885…8:23 PM

Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
Is Marcus Smart Defensive Player of the Year?
Marcus Smart tells Brian Scalabrine what it would mean to win the award.
#BleedGreen | #DPOY pic.twitter.com/lEPOXvqRJm7:37 PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
Rudy Gobert today:
✅ 17 REB
✅ 3 BLK
✅ 0-1 FG
The only player in the last 60 NBA postseasons to record more rebounds while attempting one or fewer shots from the field is Dennis Rodman on May 13, 1991 (18 rebounds, one FG attempt). pic.twitter.com/AXVovLMlXw6:35 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
“He’s a terrific on-ball defender and a disruptor, but he’s also a great help defender. He’s a great weakside defender. He can also give you the deflections and the rim protection. He’s a complete defensive player.” Greg Anthony on #Suns wing Mikal Bridges https://t.co/Gzt4vS7VSz pic.twitter.com/8uNcYeRk5t1:54 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
Three finalists for #NBA MVP, Defensive Player of Year, Rookie of Year, 6th Man, Most Improved and Coach of Year will be revealed Sunday starting at 3 p.m. PT on @NBAonTNT
Multiple #Suns to consider:
MVP: Devin Booker
COY: Monty Williams
DPOY: Mikal Bridges
6th man: Cam Johnson pic.twitter.com/0S6p7jn6er11:07 AM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
‘Iron Man’ Mikal Bridges X-factor for Phoenix #Suns in NBA playoffs (w/video) https://t.co/OpLm9YcsJr via @azcentral pic.twitter.com/UpaS1E2BMP10:04 AM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
“That was all DA and C-Payne. Those clowns. They were the ones who made it up. but I love Marvel.”
Mikal Bridges on doing Iron Man during pregame as he led #NBA in total minutes played this season.
I know all the movies.” #Suns pic.twitter.com/YxY6gecM776:36 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
“Creating a little bit more.”
Mikal Bridges when asked in what areas has he improved the most this season. #Suns pic.twitter.com/Blbb003w6W4:51 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
“Cam Payne is a liar. It’s C-Payne bro. Where is he?”
Mikal Bridges in reaction to Cameron Payne saying Bridges has more pregame handshakes than him. pic.twitter.com/G7qPjUKEIY4:44 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
On call with @Greg Anthony @Stan Van Gundy on @NBAonTNT call going into #NBAPlayoffs.
Anthony voted Mikal Bridges for Defensive Player the Year
Van Gundy doesn’t have vote but picked Bridges for award with Robert Williams III close 2nd
Van Gundy also chose All-NBA 3rd team. #Suns – 1:39 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
Cameron Payne has 20-plus handshakes before games and he’s not even the team leader.
It’s Mikal Bridges.
“He’s got 50 handshakes before every game.”
Coming later this today, my story on #Suns pregame ritual that has taken on a life of its own heading into #NBAPlayoffs. pic.twitter.com/OC8usOgg1A10:12 AM

More on this storyline

Gerald Bourguet: Monty Williams joins Taylor Jenkins and Erik Spoelstra as the 3 finalists for the NBA’s Coach of the Year award -via Twitter @GeraldBourguet / April 17, 2022

This award was separated by the thinnest of margins, with Marcus Smart edging Mikal Bridges by three total points, according to the ballots collected by HoopsHype. If Smart wins the award, he’d be the first guard to win this category since Gary Payton in 1996. -via HoopsHype / April 17, 2022

JD Shaw: The NBA will announce its award finalists for the 2021-22 season on Sunday at 6:00pm ET. This includes MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player and Coach of the Year. The announcement will be made on TNT. -via Twitter @JShawNBA / April 15, 2022