Rudy Gobert claims Utah Jazz ‘will be fine’

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - JANUARY 03: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz, who sat out the game due to injury, looks on from the bench during the second half of their 108-98 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans at Vivint Smart Home Arena on January 3, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - JANUARY 03: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz, who sat out the game due to injury, looks on from the bench during the second half of their 108-98 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans at Vivint Smart Home Arena on January 3, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

Despite the fact that the Utah Jazz are facing a rather dismal outlook, Rudy Gobert took to Twitter to encourage fans to remain positive.

Last night was a discouraging one for the Utah Jazz for several reasons. First off, well, they lost the game, so that’s never a good thing, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. More than anything, the way in which they lost and the implications of the defeat were the most troubling.

The Jazz were absolutely blown out in last night’s contest by the Denver Nuggets (don’t let the score that got closer during garbage time fool you), their second straight blowout loss in Denver and their ninth absolutely embarrassing loss in the last 11 games. Last night against the Nuggets, Utah didn’t even look competitive for the better part of the second half.

Not only that, but the defeat resulted in a split of the season series with Denver (although, let’s be honest, at this point with 5.5 games between them in the standings, a series win probably wouldn’t have mattered much anyway), in the Jazz falling to 16-23, seven games below .500 and four games out of playoff contention, and in Utah plummeting to a putrid 3-16 on the road, second only to the Atlanta Hawks for worst in the league.

It was a night that saw several players struggle including Donovan Mitchell who finished below his season average in points with 15 on 46.2 percent shooting. To be fair, though, it was a puzzling game for Mitchell and the Jazz as the stellar rookie hardly saw the ball in the second half. 6-of-13 shooting for 15 points isn’t bad by any means (he led the team in scoring after all), especially since it felt like his opportunities were simply limited.

Not only that but Mitchell recorded seven rebounds and five assists. Had the Jazz been able to find any semblance of consistent shooting, Donovan would have had several more dimes as well. Unfortunately, many of his brilliant passes that led to wide open shots were simply clanged off the rim or backboard by his teammates, depriving him of potentially doubling his assist count.

What was more concerning was the play of the likes of Ricky Rubio who despite a hot shooting start finished the game a -25 on the night. Or Thabo Sefolosha who couldn’t buy a bucket. Or Joe Ingles whose three-point shooting continues to plummet. Or Joe Johnson and Alec Burks whose woes were on full display. Or Rodney Hood who, despite a 55.6 percent shooting night didn’t make much of an impact at all on the game. In fact, in a lot of ways, it hardly seems like he even chose to show up last night…

In short, as the Jazz lost their 12th game of the last 15, it became clear once again that the team is in dire straights. Playoff dreams are fading and the lottery, much to the joy of the #TankNoters, is becoming more and more of a surety.

However, in spite of all the doom and gloom seemingly surrounding the Jazz during the 2017-18 season, reigning All-NBA Defensive Center Rudy Gobert, who has missed 21 games this year with a pair of knee injuries, chimed in on Twitter following the loss to provide some words of presumed comfort to Jazz Nation. Below is his short and sweet message:

Rudy’s far from the first professional athlete to declare a similar message to his fanbase. Some teams have truly been able to turn it around and excel after such a declaration a la Steph Curry’s 2009 promise to his fans. Others haven’t been so fortunate.

Quite frankly, considering that even when Rudy Gobert’s been on the court, the Jazz are just 7-11 and that he’s been one of Utah’s worst in net rating due to a mind-boggling inability to coexist with this year’s squad, I have a hard time believing that Rudy’s return will suddenly reverse Utah’s fate. Their problems run deep with few reliable offensive options outside of rookie Donovan Mitchell, a seeming inability to remain focused for four quarters, incredible struggles on the road and a starting point guard that only seems to negatively impact the team.

In other words, the Jazz are in a bad spot with no easy fix in sight this season. As such, it’s hard to see how all is going to be ‘fine’ as Rudy Gobert stated.

Nevertheless, on the bright side of things, the Jazz do have two incredible cornerstones in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, plenty of financial and contract flexibility in the coming offseasons and a handful of decent trade assets that could help them make some savvy moves. Therefore, while 2017-18 may be slowly going down the tubes, there’s plenty to be optimistic about in the not so distant future.

Considering Utah’s current state, they figure to be major players before and at the trade deadline as well as during this summer’s free agency period. Therefore, in the next six to eight months, we could be looking at a very different Jazz team. And as all those moves and changes take place while a healthy Rudy Gobert and Dante Exum are finally allowed to hit their stride alongside the exhilarating Donovan Mitchell and whatever new pieces the Jazz bring in, perhaps things will be fine as Gobert stated.

Next: Former Utah Jazz forward Trey Lyles hitting his stride in the NBA

But, as I’ve said before and will say again, while there very well could be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Utah Jazz – although they very well could be just fine – such probably won’t be the case until following this season.

The 2017-18 campaign has largely been a disappointment up to this point, but hopefully it will pay major dividends in the not so distant future.