Rudy Gobert’s display of dominance in his return to action against the reigning MVP and his Denver Nuggets proves his importance for the Jazz team.
The Utah Jazz beat the Denver Nuggets 125-102 on Sunday night. It was their second win against Nikola Jokic and Co in Denver in two weeks. That last victory was their 1st game without Rudy Gobert. They haven’t look like the same team for all of January without their 3-time DPOY.
The Jazz were 28-10 when Gobert went into the Health and Safety protocol’s then four-game losing streak. With him and Rudy Gay returning to the lineup, the Jazz looked more like themselves and won despite a Jokic triple-double of 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 14 assists.
The Joker, even after having a tremendous individual game, didn’t have an answer the Stifle Tower’s dominating presence on the court. Gobert had an immensely efficient game, almost putting up a 20-20 game.
Nikola Jokic on guard? No worries at all for Rudy Gobert 😤
— BasketNews.com (@BasketNews_com) January 17, 2022
Rudy Gobert bullies the entire Nuggets on the post
The Jazz big man had 18-points, 19-rebounds, 2-assists, and 2-blocks in his first game back. The jazz looked much better defensively with him on the floor, as without him in the 5 games, they rank as the 30th defensive team in the league.
Rudy Gobert first game back:
— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 17, 2022
Plus Thirty what? Their Monday night’s opponents in LA would be lucky if their whole squad gets a plus-minus accumulation of + 36 in a game.
Gobert’s dominance is unbeknownst to none, yet when the 3-time DPOY came into MVP conversation this season, he received criticism from most of the NBA fan base and even some players.
He got criticized by Patrick Beverley and Anthony Edwards in the media after blowing away the Timberwolves in December. But he also received some praise from Marcus Morris Sr. for being the sole proprietor of Jazz’s defense.
Fans, experts, and players all have their opinions which they are entitled to. But we all have seen the Jazz team without Rudy Gobert, and they aren’t half as good without their center. With him on the court though, everyone gets better.
Rudy Gobert: “Every single guy on the court was locked in defensively. There were a few plays when Donovan made an amazing play on the ball. Donovan and Jordan got a few big rebounds, and then we were able to run and score in transition. So just a great team effort.”
— Ryan Miller (@millerjryan) January 17, 2022