Holding The Greek Freak to single digits? Check. Holding Kevin Love to 12 points? Check. Holding Marc Gasol to 8 points while dropping 21 of his own on the former defensive player of the year? Checkmate.
Rudy has proven he can stop the star studded big men in the NBA and his offensive repertoire has steadily increased since he was drafted as the 27th pick in the 2013 NBA draft. His jersey number 27 serves as a reminder of where he was drafted. This gives The Stifle Tower the motivation he needs to reject any basketball that is toss within his 7 foot 9 wingspan.
Rudy Gobert is averaging 12.6 rebounds per game, 2.5 blocks per game and .7 steals per game on the defensive gain. He is proving his worth on both ends as he has a plus minus rating of 319 which is good enough for the 9th best in the NBA. Based on this stat Gobert is just as deserving to be an All-Star as teammate Gordon Hayward who has a plus minus of 228 which is good enough for the 23rd best in the NBA.
The Jazz are definitely better when Gobert is on the court than when he is off. That wasn’t always the case. As a rookie, Wreck It Rudy was a wreck as he actually posted a negative plus minus of -50. While he was very raw, the Utah Jazz devlopment staff ripened him into the rare fruit that is a rim protecting center.
Is more evidence required? He held Anthony Davis to 12 points on Wednesday night. This is the starter for the Western Conference All-Star team by the way. On December 10th, 2016 he held Boogie Cousins to an inefficient 7-22 shooting night en route to a 104-84 Jazz win.
While NBA commentators like Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley gush over bigs like Marc Gasol, the chip on the shoulder of Rudy Gobert will keep mounting until he explodes in the playoffs this year.
There aren’t many easy outs in the Western Conference playoffs but Rudy Gobert isn’t an easy out either.