The name Rudy Gobert often comes across in conversations for the NBA's rebounding and shot-blocking leaders, as well as the Defensive Player of the Year — yet the Utah Jazz big dipper has sneakily become an offensive weapon for his team.
The 7-foot-1 Stifle Tower was once known as a lob-catching and put-back machine in the offensive glass, but he's now developed his game into much more than that, now ranking among the best players in offensive win shares — sitting amongst the likes of James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon.
“It's all about winning for me,” said Gobert, who scores 15.7 points per game and creates a league-leading 13.9 off screen assists, per NBA.com tracking. “It's all about doing the little things that help us score, help us win and help my teammates be more efficient.”
Gobert hasn't only put up career-high numbers in scoring, rebounds, and assists, but also connected with league-leading efficiency, hitting 66.9 percent of his field goal attempts.
The Frenchman ranks tops in field goal percentage and is fourth in rebounds (12.9) and blocked shots per game (2.26), making him a triple-threat weapon worthy of consideration.
“His ability to put pressure on the rim is a form of penetration,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “You've got to account for him, and that draws defenders just the same way dribble penetration does. He's actually creating offense. We've talked about spacing assists when he rolls to the rim.”
Gobert has been formidable playing that role for the Jazz, and a steady presence that has helped them reach the fifth seed in a jam-packed Western Conference.