VIDEO: Rudy Gobert is practicing 3-pointers
Rudy Gobert has become underrated offensively.
So much talk about what the Utah Jazz star fails to bring to the table on that side of the floor has made it easy to overlook just how impactful the attributes he does possess really are in the modern NBA. It’s universally acknowledged that Gobert is one of the league’s preeminent alley-oop threats, and the statistics back up that reality. Otherwise, there’s a perception that he’s something close to useless on offense, if not an outright liability.
But that assessment fails to take into account the nuanced improvements Gobert has made over the last few seasons. It wasn’t long ago that his hands were the most problematic aspect of his game; now, he catches everything within the vicinity of the rim. He’s a borderline elite screener, erasing defenders with broad-shouldered picks, flips, and re-screens of all angles. He’s gotten far better catching the ball in space, reading the defense, and making the correct play. Gobert has even busted out a Eurostep on occasion, evidence of his rare and increasing dexterity for a player his size.
Here’s what people are really saying when submitting that Gobert is a minus offensively: He offers no shooting stretch whatsoever.
Indeed, Gobert made just one shot outside the paint last season and attempted only 11 field goals from that range. He’s tried just three three-pointers over the stretch of his six-year career, too, all of which were heaves with the clock running down.
On Tuesday, though, came evidence that Gobert is working on taking the next step as a shooter.
Reminder: Every player in the NBA looks like a good shooter when taking jumpers in an open gym. That Gobert is capable of knocking down several straight threes shouldn’t be shocking.
Still, considering his ballyhooed work ethic and the improvements he’s made since entering the league, it would be remiss to ignore altogether the possibility of Gobert extending his range. Just don’t expect him to start splashing threes with regularity any time soon.