UTAH JAZZ

Kidd: Unlike Gobert, Whiteside, Suns Centers Can Score

May 2, 2022, 3:46 PM
Rudy Gobert shoots against the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)...
Rudy Gobert shoots against the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Coach Jason Kidd offered a blunt assessment about the Utah Jazz after his Dallas Mavericks eliminated them in the opening round of the playoffs — Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside can’t score.

Kidd discussed the challenges his Mavericks will face when they open their second-round series against the Phoenix Suns, and what Goebert and Whiteside lacked in the opening round.

“This isn’t Gobert and Whiteside,” Kidd said according to the Twitter account TheKobeBeef. “These guys can put the ball in the basket. Our bigs are going to be tested.”

Gobert led the NBA in field goal efficiency this season at 71 percent but saw his numbers take a dip against the Mavericks in the playoffs.

The Jazz center knocked down just 63 percent of his field goal attempts in six games against Dallas, including shooting just 2-6 in the opening two games.

Gobert finished the series averaging 12.0 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks as the Jazz fell to Dallas four games to two.

Suns center DeAndre Ayton is one of the more skilled shooters from the mid-range in the NBA, a departure from the dunk-heavy Jazz.

Ayton shots 63 percent from the field this year but attempted nearly 60 percent of his shots between 3-16 feet.

Gobert on the other hand attempted a mere 25 percent of his field goals outside of three feet.

Ayton was locked in during the Suns first-round series against the New Orleans Pelicans. The young center averaged 20.5 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting an impressive 70 percent from the floor, with 80 percent of his attempts coming from outside of three feet.

Whiteside had a minimal role for the Jazz in the playoffs and averaged just 1.8 points per game on 41 percent shooting in 10 minutes per game.

The veteran center added 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in his six appearances despite his limited offensive impact.

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