Why Rudy Gobert's defensive impact cannot be doubted

Yahoo Sports NBA contributor Tom Haberstroh takes a look at his latest ‘Big Number’ and why the Timberwolves big man — a 4-time NBA defensive player of the year — plays a key role in Minnesota’s defending the rim.

Video Transcript

I'm Tom Haberstroh.

And you're watching the big number.

Today's big number is 109.9.

That's the Minnesota Timberwolves defensive rating with Rudy Gobert on the floor in the western conference finals among the seven Minnesota Timberwolves players with at least 75 minutes played in this series.

It is the lowest meaning the best on court rating for any player.

What this tells us is, despite some people calling Gobert a defensive line that the Timberwolves defense is at their best with Gobert on the floor.

Gobert might not be racking up a lot of blocks but he is forcing a ton of business decisions like when Luca Kyrie and the Mavs offense just don't want to go at the rim when Gobert is out there with Gobert on the floor, the Dallas average two point shot distance is 7 ft away from the basket.

But when he sits, that same number falls to 5.4 ft, meaning the Mavericks are getting closer and closer to the rim with Gobert checks out what's more dallas' fal percentage at the rim soars from 68% when Gobert is in the game to 83% when he's off the court.

83% Gobert isn't perfect.

No defender is, but singling him out for his defensive limitations says more about the critic than the subject himself.

Just look at that team low defensive rating of 109.9.

I'm Tom Haverstraw and that's the big number.