Get Rudy Even More Involved
From a simple look at the box score, one would have a hard time arguing that Rudy Gobert hasn’t made a significant impact in the series so far. He was Utah’s leading scorer with 13 points in Game 1, then finished Game 2 with an even better 16 points and 16 rebounds. However, given the skill advantage he has over Zaza Pachulia and the height/length advantage he has over Draymond Green, he has to be even more involved in what the Jazz are doing on both ends of the floor.
On several occasions, it has appeared as if the Jazz are overlooking their formidable Frenchman as he hasn’t been utilized nearly enough in the paint on offense. The Jazz did a better job of involving him with some alley-oops in Game 2, but it still feels like there’s more he can provide.
Defensively, the Warriors are doing a great job of neutralizing Gobert, but even so he has to be more willing to contest. Unfortunately, both in his timidness to attack the rim on offense and his apparent hesitance to challenge on defense at times so far this series, it’s clear that Rudy isn’t quite 100 percent healthy. This is a shame as he had been a dominant force in the second half of the regular season and he deserves to be seen as such.
The other challenge he has going against him is that when the Warriors go small, Rudy has a hard time defending Draymond Green who has stretched the floor extremely well with his unbelievable three-point shooting this postseason. He’s shooting 54.5 percent from deep so far in the playoffs and went a scorching 5-of-8 (.625) against the Jazz in Game 2.
On the other end of the floor, it would be good to see Rudy then punish Draymond by utilizing his length to overpower him offensively. However, particularly with Gobert at less than full strength, he has struggled to have success against fellow Defensive Player of the Year candidate Draymond Green.
So essentially, there’s plenty of reasons explaining why Gobert hasn’t been quite as involved or successful so far in this series as Jazz fans might have hoped. However, even those are still no excuse.
Gobert showed in the latter part of the regular season that he is right on the cusp of being an All-Star and that he deserves consideration as an All-NBA caliber player. If Utah is to have any success picking the Warriors apart and making them struggle, he is absolutely going to have to get going and start producing in a much bigger way than he has thus far.