UTAH JAZZ

Rudy Gobert “Denver Must Be The Better Team”

Aug 20, 2020, 1:51 PM | Updated: 1:59 pm
Rudy Gobert blocks Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)...
Rudy Gobert blocks Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Rudy Gobert said he’ll trust the experts on who the better team is between the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets. The Jazz center was asked if he thought the Jazz had proven they were the better team after Wednesday’s game two victory.

“Obviously, when you look at the predictions from the experts’ no one has the Jazz winning,” Gobert said. “So Denver must be the better team.”

The Jazz were thorough in their domination of the Nuggets roster in game two. Denver trailed by 13 at halftime, 27 after three quarters, and 31 early in the fourth quarter before Jazz coach Quin Snyder called off the dogs.

“For us, it’s all about out there, competing, playing as a team, and doing it every single possession ever night,” Gobert said. “If we do that, we’ll see what happens.”

Gobert On Game-Changing Block Vs. Nuggets

Gobert has resisted providing Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic with any bulletin board material off the floor. The usually outspoken Gobert has been selective about his words when discussing the matchup. Over the last week, the Jazz center has applauded Jokic’s talent, while saying he’s focused on slowing Denver’s entire roster down, rather than one individual player.

However, one play seemed to break past Gobert’s diplomacy. Nearing the end of the second quarter, with Denver’s shot-clock running low, Gobert perfectly timed a Jokic runner and spiked the shot like a volleyball player high above the net. The block drew boisterous reactions from Gobert’s Jazz teammates and a loud flexing roar from the two time Defensive Player of the Year. The reaction of the Jazz roster wasn’t lost on Gobert.

“I try to bring out the best in my teammates,” Gobert said. “And when you look at the game, when you look at the video and the photos, I really feel like that sparked something in my teammates.”

On the ensuing possession, Gobert rebounded a missed Jordan Clarkson push shot for an emphatic putback dunk capping the Jazz 9-0 running heading into the half.

“As a leader, I try to translate to that to my teammates,” Gobert said of his energy. “It’s been great to see how it fuels them when plays like that happen.”

Gobert is off to a strong start through two games in the Jazz opening-round series. The French center is averaging 18 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, and shooting 71 percent from the field through two games.

The Jazz and Nuggets tip-off Friday at 2 pm MT. The game will be broadcast nationally on TNT and local on AT&T SportsNet.

 

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