Gobert Skewered After Latest Timberwolves Loss
SALT LAKE CITY – Rudy Gobert and the Minnesota Timberwolves are facing significant criticism after the team’s loss to the Miami Heat on Monday night.
Gobert scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the 113-110 loss to Miami, and was a team-worst -14 in 31 minutes on the floor.
Late in the game, Gobert was replaced by third-string center Naz Reid as the Timberwolves looked for answers offensively against the Heat.
Rudy Gobert was pretty much played off the floor by a 6'10" rookie center tonight.
Gobert: 10 points, 8 boards
Robinson: 15 points, 9 boards
Rudy needed to flat-out dominate against a Miami Heat team who was missing their top-three centers. Yet again, inexcusable.
— Charlie Walton (@CharlieWaltonMN) December 27, 2022
The Timberwolves have been playing without center Karl-Anthony Towns in December after suffering a calf injury in late November. The Heat meanwhile were without stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and reserve centers Dewayne Dedmon and Omer Yurtseven, which led to the harsh criticism of Gobert.
Miami was forced to start rookie wing Nikola Jovic at center, while two-way rookie Orlando Robinson played 26 minutes off the bench.
Robinson ended up outplaying Gobert, scoring 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds against the three-time All-Star.
“The Timberwolves have to ask themselves if the Gobert they got in the trade with the Jazz is a shadow of the player who was such a force in Utah for so many years, or just one that needs a little more time to find his way?” Krawczynski wrote.
Orlando Robinson put up 15 PTS 9 REB 4 AST in last nights win over Minnesota.
Active, aggressive and impactful. pic.twitter.com/yyySJbkB3z
— Stephen Strom (@SStrom_) December 27, 2022
Gobert’s numbers are down across the board in Minnesota, seeing a drop in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and efficiency from last season.
And, the problems he had in Utah haven’t remedied themselves with his new roster.
Despite optimism that Gobert could play a larger role in the Timberwolves’ offense than he did in Utah, many of the Fench center’s issues remain.
“Gobert’s struggles with catching passes from his teammates in traffic, securing rebounds that are contested and blocking shots to intimidate opponents have made it difficult for him to inspire faith from his teammates,” Krawczynski wrote. “The ball moves better on offense and the defense is more active, though not as effective, when Gobert is off the floor.”
The difficulties negotiating Gobert’s offensive limitations are familiar to Jazz fans, as is the defensive activity with the center off the floor.
The Jazz were never better with Gobert out of the lineup defensively, but they seemed to play harder when they didn’t have the shot-blocking safety net behind them.
As Krawczynski highlights, the season is far from over for the Timberwolves, and the return of Towns in the coming months should help alleviate some of the team’s issues.
However, with the five players, four first-round draft picks, and two pick swaps Minnesota sent the Jazz, and the four years, nearly $170 million left on Gobert’s contract, the Timberwolves have not seen the type of return on investment they’d hoped after going all-in over the summer.
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