Utah Jazz: Mavericks forward wants Rudy Gobert to guard him

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) /

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has received some bulletin-board material.

It takes a lot of nerve for any man to openly wish for a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year to guard him. Yet this week, that’s what Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith did while gearing up for the No. 4 seed’s best-of-seven first-round series against the No. 5 seed Utah Jazz in the NBA Playoffs.

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Here’s what Finney-Smith, a full-time starter for Dallas, told reporters on Wednesday after fielding a question about the Jazz potentially again tasking Rudy Gobert to switch onto him regularly:

“I don’t know. If they do, then I know I’m probably going to get a bunch of threes. I hope [Gobert] guards me so I can get some shots. But I’ll just take whatever the defense gives me — if I get shots or don’t, as long as we win.”

The Jazz and Mavericks met four times during the regular season and split the head-to-head with two wins apiece (the home team won each matchup). Finney-Smith played in three of those games, averaging slightly better than his season marks with 12.0 points per meeting while shooting 7-for-17 (41.2 percent) from downtown.

A measured response from the Utah Jazz big man

Rudy Gobert, who has seen his fair share of beef with the Mavericks this season, opted to take the high road this go-round when responding to Dorian Finney-Smith’s comments. The three-time All-Star brushed them off altogether while speaking to the Utah media on Wednesday:

“It’s part of the game. Focus on doing what the game needs.”

Game 1 between the Jazz and Mavericks tips off in Dallas at 11:00 a.m. MT Saturday. At the moment, the status of Mavericks star Luka Doncic (strained left calf) remains a question mark.

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