Gobert’s Defensive Development Begins To Intimidate Opponents

Nov 22, 2019, 1:57 PM | Updated: 1:58 pm

Rudy Gobert - Utah Jazz - Sacramento Kings...

Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz warms up before a game against the Sacramento Kings at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 26, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Rudy Gobert has been called the Stifle Tower and the French Rejection, but maybe he should be called the Intimidator. After the 2-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year blocked 5 shots in Utah’s 103-95 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves – his menacing play went far beyond swatting shots.

Two nights after Karl Anthony-Towns scored 29 points and made seven 3-pointers against Gobert and the Jazz, Towns was basically shut down and only made 5-10 shots. Gobert has adapted to covering big guys who can bomb it from the outside.

“He’s learned how to defend while he’s out on the perimeter,” said KSL Sport’s Ben Anderson on the most recent Jazz Notes podcast. “He’s figured out how to get out there further and make sure his footwork is better…If he’s going up against traditional stretch (big guys), he’s going to go out there and do a nice job. But he also switches well out on the perimeter and can move his feet and stay in front of people. As long as (Gobert) is…(and) with a little bit of footwork he is going to be able to do that.”

Gobert’s defense went well beyond stopping Towns from downtown.

“Rudy not only cut off (Towns’) 3-point shots, but cut off those passing lanes. There was a possession…where Rudy closes out and jumps over a screen to get back in front of Karl Anthony-Towns. Towns is so frustrated that Rudy is right on him at 35-feet that he basically threw the ball at his teammate. It was like a spike of a bounce pass…That’s great because you’re getting the ball out of his hands and (they’re) having to start the offense over with 12 to 14 seconds left on the shot clock.”

Anderson said Gobert’s timing has been almost been perfect on pick and roll rotations as he is able to cover both his man rolling to the basket and the other defender driving to the basket.

Podcast co-host Cleon Wall said Gobert’s perfect timing was on display against Memphis’ Ja Morant last Friday in a play that almost saved the game for the Jazz.

“Rudy didn’t come off his guy…he stayed…(Morant) had to twist around and then put up a little floater,”  said Wall.  “By that time, Rudy knew Morant was committed and then he was able to move.  And because he was able to read it perfectly and due to (Gobert’s) quick reaction, he was able to block that shot.”

Wall also wondered if Gobert has psyched out so many other players in the NBA now that he can cover so much ground.

More From Bojan

Bojan Bogdanovic’s 30-point performance against Minnesota helped to put the Jazz over the top, but Wall wants more offense from the Croatian sharpshooter.

“I feel like I’m being unfair to Bojan,” said Wall. “You want to take that (scoring) pressure off of Donovan.  And when you think of the next best guy, you think of Bojan.”

Anderson helped to clarify Wall’s desires.

“He’s more likely to be a guy who scores 30-points one night and 10 the next than to give you 20 (points) every night,” Anderson said.  “I think you need to find the difference between those two nights. Can you still win the games when he scores 10?  Because the Jazz aren’t losing games when he’s scoring 30.”

Anderson believed the Jazz will be happy with Bogdanovic’s play over 82 games, but that other guys – like Mike Conley – need to bridge the scoring gap when Bogey struggles from the field.

The guys also talk about Mitchell’s gunning from outside and Utah’s second-quarter scoring problems on the Jazz Notes podcast.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Jazz Notes

Utah Jazz New Orleans Pelicans Jazz Notes Grades...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes Grades: Young Guys Shine As Jazz Win Two Straight

The Utah Jazz have been led by young players over the past few weeks, especially in the absence of Lauri Markkanen.

7 hours ago

Utah Jazz Portland Trailblazers In-Season Tournament...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes Grades: Where Does Utah Fall In Western Conference, NBA?

After a rough start to the season, the Utah Jazz gave fans hope with a starting lineup switch that looked like it could bring success.

14 days ago

Kevin Huerter #9 of the Sacramento Kings defends Jordan Clarkson #00 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Ale...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes: How Can Utah Make It To Vegas For In-Season Tournament?

Despite not having the best start to the 2023-24 season, the Utah Jazz can still make some noise in the In-Season Tournament.

16 days ago

Talen Horton-Tucker #0 of the Utah Jazz dribbles past Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Chicago Bulls...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes: Is A Big Change On Horizon For Utah?

After the Utah Jazz started the season 2-6, are there any changes to be made in an effort to turn the season around?

23 days ago


Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes: Predicting Award Winners For Utah Jazz This Season

SALT LAKE CITY – Every year, the NBA highlights its players with awards like Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. Who would win each award for the Utah Jazz this season? On the Jazz Notes podcast, Ben Anderson and Chandler Holt predict which players could win these awards for the Jazz. Who will […]

1 month ago

Talen Horton-Tucker #5 of the Utah Jazz dribbles against Russell Westbrook #0 of the LA Clippers du...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes: Which Utah Jazz Players Could Surprise, Disappoint Fans?

Although completely dependent on the opinions of fans, we took a dive into which Jazz players could exceed or fall short of expectations.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

Gobert’s Defensive Development Begins To Intimidate Opponents