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Rajon Rondo Backs 3x DPOY’s Assessment for Rudy Gobert’s Defense on Luka Doncic’s Final Play in Game 2

Shubham Singh

Rajon Rondo Backs 3x DPOY’s Assessment for Rudy Gobert’s Defense on Luka Doncic’s Final Play in Game 2

In Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, the Minnesota Timberwolves made a blunder when they allowed Luka Doncic to work on an ISO play with Rudy Gobert guarding him. The Dallas Mavericks superstar took full advantage of the situation and buried a game-winning step-back triple in Gobert’s face as the 7’1″ center looked helpless on the switch. In that wake, 3x DPOY Dwight Howard assessed what the Wolves Center could have done differently to stop Luka’s game-winner. 

As a 4x Defensive Player of the Year, many expected a better effort from Gobert on the switch. But Doncic put him on the blender and ended up getting to his spot comfortably. Therefore, Howard declared that Gobert shouldn’t have allowed Luka to create separation in the first place.

On his Above The Rim pod, D-12 declared that he would have taken away the three-point attempt from Doncic if he were guarding him. In other words, he would have ensured that Mavs guard is “forced” to drive to the rim, where he could have a better chance of guarding the latter.

I’m not letting him get to the step back, I’m forcing him to drive and finish over me at the rim with his right hand,” Howard expressed on Above The Rim.


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However, then Howard highlighted the perils of guarding the 2024 NBA MVP Finalist and remarked how the guard “plays at his own pace”, which enables him to be unpredictable. The 2020 champion noted that Doncic’s stepback jumper is deadly because it is difficult to work out on which spot he will end up landing to trigger the shooting motion.

Howard’s 2020 championship teammate Rajon Rondo agreed to these observations and commented “Right” underneath a clip of these comments.

Howard’s assessment isn’t off-base, considering that he was more athletic than Gobert in his hey-day and may have had a better chance of closing out on Doncic’s jumper. However, even he may have been left high-and-dry on an iso possession like that.

Doncic’s wizardry has struck a chord with numerous great players of the game. In the 2024 playoffs, he has ascended even further than what his ceiling was touted to be. Doncic even let Rudy Gobert know who he was dealing with after nailing the game-winner.

Luka Doncic humiliated Rudy Gobert

After nailing the game-winner over the 4x DPOY, Doncic had a fierce reaction. As per some lip-readers, an amped-up Doncic exclaimed, “Motherf**ker! You can’t f**cking  guard me!

However, the Slovenian superstar denied uttering such words in the post-game presser. Instead he claimed that he was chirping something in his native Slovenian language. 

Later, on Inside the NBA, the Mavs guard admitted that Gobert was a step or two slower than him. 

He’s long. He can’t move. I can’t move fast, but I can move faster than him,” Doncic told the Inside the NBA crew.

At any rate, Luka has vindicated the voices calling for him to win the 2023-24 league MVP award. NBA’s leading scorer has once again risen to the challenge and proven that he performs the best when the lights are the brightest.

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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