Marcus Smart wins the NBA Defensive Player Award for the first time by Boston Celtics

Boston Celticsguard Marcus SmartThe league announced Monday that he has been named NBA Defensive Players of the Year.

Smart is the first primary guard ever to receive the DPOY award. Gary Payton1995-1996 season.

Smart was voted first by the voters with 257 points (37 first place votes). Forward Mikal BridgesThe Phoenix Suns(202 points, 22 votes for first-place) and central Rudy GobertThe Utah Jazz(12 first-place votes, 136 points) and second and third respectively in the voting by a panel made up of 100 broadcasters and sportswriters.

Smart finished the season seventh in NBA steals per-game (1.68), a Celtics team which led the league's defensive rating (106.2) as well as points allowed per-game (104.5).

He was also ranked fifth in all NBA guards, with a defensive rating at 105.2. He was also the first league player to have 1.1 lost balls per game.

Smart joins Kevin Garnett (2007–08) as the second Celtic to win DPOY.

Since its inception, in 1982, big men have dominated this award. Smart and Payton are the only two point guards who have ever won it. It has been won five more times by shooting guards, but none since Michael Jordan's 1988 win. The rest have been won by forwards and centers.

Smart stated last month that guards deserved more respect during voting.

ESPN reported that he said, “I'm taking nothing from the bigs.” Protecting the paint is an essential part of the game. As guards, we do so much more. [our man]Get to the paint. … Contesting the 3 contesting pullups to make sure he doesn’t get to his spots.

This report was based on information from The Associated Press.

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