Anthony Edwards, Patrick Beverley call out Rudy Gobert’s defense

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  • Minnesota Timberwolves
    Minnesota Timberwolves
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  • Utah Jazz
    Utah Jazz
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  • Rudy Gobert
    Rudy Gobert
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  • Patrick Beverley
    Patrick Beverley
    American basketball player

The Jazz easily handled the Timberwolves Wednesday night, 136-104. As a team, Minnesota shot 18-of-41 (43.9%) in the paint, scoring just 36 points there, which is the effect three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert has on teams.

After the game, Patrick Beverley and Anthony Edwards called out Gobert’s defense, questioning how good he really is. From Timberwolves beat writer Dane Moore and Chris Hine of the Star Tribune (hat tip Bleacher Report).

Edwards was 1-of-4 at the rim in this game, taking a lot more jumpers, including eight 3-pointers.

This is Beverley and Ant trying to play mind games (the two teams play again on Dec. 23). They know the Jazz’s defensive system — and they are currently seventh in the NBA defensively — is to drop Gobert into the paint and let him protect the rim, something he does as well or better than anyone in the league. This was an attempt to go at Gobert’s ego.

Players, generally, also highly value one-on-one skills. It’s a pickup-game mentality, players who can take a guy off the dribble and get to the rim, guys with isolation skills, are seen as better because that’s the guy a player can’t stop in a playground game. Following the same logic, a player with strong on-ball defensive skills is seen as more valuable, a guy who is hard to get around and score.

Gobert can do some of that defensively, but the Jazz coaches recognized his rim-protecting skill set and designed a defense to funnel rim attacks at him to shut them down. It’s been highly effective, and why Gobert has a full trophy case.

But Beverley and Ant can try to get in his head if they think that will work. Gobert will look at the scoreboard and laugh.

 

Anthony Edwards, Patrick Beverley call out Rudy Gobert’s defense originally appeared on NBCSports.com