Rudy Gobert, the French Nightmare (mine), the Gobert Report, the Stifle Tower, has led his Utah Jazz to an 11 game win streak (7th time in franchise history) that only the other elites in the NBA have enjoyed this season. The Utah Jazz are not an unlikable team, in fact, they are indeed the Moonlight film you pull for at the Oscars.
Will they pull the upset in the West? The simple answer is, No. But in a year that saw their golden boy Gordon Heyward head to Boston, who could have imagined the emergence of Rudy?
Typically, French fives have been stereotyped as slow-footed, lethargic big-men, Yes, web-slinger Donovan Mitchell, who is performing in the Dunk Contest over the All-Star Weekend, has been a shot in the arm, the Jazz have kept the melody- Gobert h has been the constant in that rotation.
Gobert’s size certainly factors into his dominance—he can touch the backboard more than 27 inches above the rim—but many 7-foot behemoths walk the earth. It’s that he cares, deeply about defense and often to the point of anger. He views each opponent who slashes into his lane as a personal affront. “Some guys don’t have pride,” he says. “I do. Sometimes too much.”
Though his PPG and RPG have decreased (12.4 PPG from 14.0 and 9.9 to 9.8), he has filled the hole that was created with the Heyward trade. His hustle and play has valuated his team within an alto sax solo of being in of gaining a seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.
He’s one of the best pick and roll big men in the league. His presence opens up passing and shooting lanes because he’s such a threat. He’s a good finisher, and sets some of the best screens in the league. He gets to the line extremely well, which will be terrifying for teams if he can get his FT% to increase.
Gobert isn’t just a one-dimensional player, though. He’s become one of the league’s elite screen setters, creating countless Jazz drives to the hoop with his body.
While not a post player, he’s a threat rolling to the basket who draws perimeter defenders off the defensive three-point shooters. Offensively, he can catch and finish, sliding by with a swim move and a dunk.
He is, in a sense, like a shutdown cornerback, who might get a few interceptions but who is far more disruptive to offenses by rendering off-limits a great swath of the field—or, in Gobert’s case, the paint. Says Rudy, “I think it’s a really good analogy…Players may be going to the rim, but they’re more conscious of making adjustments to his length. That means taking harder shots.”
Celtics’ Jaylen Brown Expects to Come off the Bench
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown may be returning to action later this week after missing three straight games due to a tailbone injury, but he expects to come off the bench when he finally does return to the court.
“I believe in my ability,” Brown said, according to MassLive’s Tom Westerholm. “Coaching staff believes in my ability. If coming off bench makes sense – people make it a bigger deal than it really is. At end of the day it’s basketball. (Gordon) Hayward came off the bench & had 30 points. It’s a mindset. It’s a choice.”
Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Only Wants to Play into Mid-30s in NBA
Irving stated that he only wants to play in the NBA until his early-mid 30s, according to Celtics reported Marc D’Amico.
Kyrie Irving says he only wants to play in the NBA until his early to mid-30s.
— Marc D’Amico (@Marc_DAmico) November 23, 2018
Irving is the franchise cornerstone for Boston and is posting 22.4 points, 6.4 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game this season for the Celtics.
Celtics Pick Up Options on Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Guerschon Yabusele
Brown’s fourth-year option guarantees his $6,534,829 cap charge for next season, while Tatum will be locked in for a $7,830,000 cap hit for the 2019-2020 season, both moves considered to be no brainers given their development.
The decision on Yabusele, who hasn’t shown much of anything over 38 games since joining Boston, is a bit more of a surprise, but the Celtics see something in his to warrant their decision to keep him a part of their team moving forward.
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