UTAH JAZZ

Rudy Gobert Is King Of Screens

Oct 24, 2019, 5:14 PM
Rudy Gobert - Donovan Mitchell - Screen...
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz dribbles around a screen set by Rudy Gobert #27 against Jimmy Butler #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 16, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, UtahRudy Gobert loves setting picks and that is leading to Utah Jazz victories.

It’s fun to see Gobert swat a shot out of the sky or to see him cram a lob pass, but there is something about the screen that Gobert appreciates. You could almost say it makes him feel like John Stockton and the art of the perfect pass.

For example, the Jazz had a 94-91 lead when Rudy Gobert grabbed a rebound with 38.5 seconds left in the game. The next possession could almost seal a Jazz victory if Utah made a basket. Gobert set a high screen for Donovan Mitchell who then buried a 19-foot jumper with 21.8 seconds left in the game. That’s what the Jazz needed to give them the cushion to win the game.Β Β 

Joe Ingles tweeted after the game that Rudy is the best player to set screens in the league. Gobert said he’s been setting screens for several years and understands the tendencies of each player.

“Joe likes to go left so I’m going to set (the screen) to the left…You know it’s getting connected.Β  To be able to give yourself away for your teammates and like I said I’ve been doing it for many years.”

Head coach Quin Snyder said this has all been a part of Gobert’s evolution as a great player.

“He’s getting to know guys on the team and how he interacts with them…Whether that’s pick-and-roll or screen off the ball is something that will continue to develop.”

Gobert’s screens can be devastating to opponents and for himself. He injured his left knee in the 2017 NBA playoffs setting a screen for Gordon Hayward, but he recovered and has gotten better at thumping opponents each year.

Gobert understands he doesn’t get much credit for the dirty work other than the credit he gets from his teammates. Gobert appreciates it when they score off of his screens.

“I get excited when I set a screen and my teammate is wide open and they knock down the shot. You know, it’s like an assist… I think it brings us together as a team… and makes it fun.”

Many of Gobert’s screens do lead to him rolling to the basket for a lob dunk. The Thunder were keenly aware of Gobert’s jamming abilities and did everything they could to prevent the easy shot. He’s okay with that scenario because that usually means someone else is open.

“If they take away the lob, that means someone is open in the corner… We really need to make an emphasis on making the right play at the right time.”

Gobert could also help himself out by developing more of an offensive game and he said he’s been working on it. It’s not his soul focus.

“You know it’s the next step for me… to show what I can do… (But) the goal is really to get the best shot possible at all at the right time.”

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