Utah Jazz: Ranking the top five players from the year 2019

Utah Jazz. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
Utah Jazz. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Utah Jazz
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Rudy Gobert

2019 stats: 73 games played, 15.9 points, 13.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 67.9 FG %

Gobert has been sensational and has only gotten better since his initial breakout in 2014-15. Those who say he is an offensive liability or a poor perimeter defender clearly don’t pay close attention when the Jazz are playing. He not only blocks shots, but freaks out guys when they get near the basket, altering shots and changing the way opponents play offense.

Recently Damian Lillard claimed that Hassan Whiteside was the best defensive center in the NBA. Gobert responded by alluding to the fact that Whiteside has to be taken out of games in crunch time. He took a jab saying “he should have told his coach to put him in at the end”.

Gobert not only played Whiteside off the court, but he snapped a 15 game streak of consecutive double-doubles for the Portland Trail-Blazers’ center. In the final minutes of regulation it was Gobert’s defensive impact that halted the Blazers’ comeback effort.

Gobert got switched onto Damian Lillard on the perimeter and forced him to pass; then he denied Skal Labissiere a rolling lane to the rim; he capped the posession off by forcing an airball by isolation master Carmelo Anthony. If that doesn’t prove he should be the defensive player of the year, I don’t know what else is left for Rudy to prove.

Offensively he is one of the most efficient players in the league. His true shooting percentage is sky high as usual (first in the league), and his 60 percent free throw shooting is likely to climb up by the end of the season. He currently bests Ben Simmons, Steven Adams, and Dwight Howard in free throw percentage, and has proven the hack-a-shaq defense on him doesn’t work as well on him as people would like to think so.

When Gobert is paired with Ingles, their pick and roll game is a thing of beauty. More often than not Gobert is an offensive threat, and a game changer/superstar on the defensive end of the ball. If defense got as much credit and hype as offense and scoring, then Gobert would be as valuable as LeBron James, James Harden, Luka Doncic, and other superstars.

All three of those guys are game changers offensively, and manage to get by on defense. Why can’t Gobert be the same just with swapping the offense and defense? He’s arguably a top 15 player in the league, and once Mitchell firmly establishes his status as a top 15 player the sky will be the limit.

Next. The 15 best draft picks in Utah Jazz history. dark

With that, we conclude our list of the five best Utah Jazz players of 2019. Let me know either on Twitter or in the comments section who would be on your five man list of Utah Jazz players for the past year. Go Jazz!