Rudy Gobert has had an interesting postseason for the Minnesota Timberwolves. While the Wolves are winning, and currently find themselves squaring off against the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, Gobert has been the subject of a lot of criticism throughout the playoffs, with guys like Draymond Green also chiming in to bash on divisive big man.

At first glance, Gobert's numbers throughout the postseason so far aren't great (12.2 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 59.7 FG%), and he's been exposed on both ends of the floor by both the Mavs and the Denver Nuggets. Many fans have complained about his play, and despite all of that, it's worth noting that Gobert is currently leading all Western Conference players in plus-minus, showing that while his play on the surface may not look incredible, he's making a huge impact for Minnesota on both sides of the ball.

Rudy Gobert's impact for the Timberwolves cannot be denied

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) shoots against Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) in the fourth quarter during game one of the western conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center.
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Through his first 11 playoff contests (Gobert sat out Game 2 against the Nuggets), Gobert has racked up a staggering plus/minus of +121. Chances are that figure would be even higher if he played in the Timberwolves Game 2 victory over the Nuggets, because Minnesota ended up winning that game by 26 points.

There's no doubt that Gobert has his flaws, and his play isn't always the prettiest to watch. But he manages to control the paint on both ends of the floor, whether it be through his rebounding, his shot-blocking ability, or his ability to hit shots at the rim. Gobert does a lot of the dirty work, and perhaps most importantly, he allows all of his teammates to play a more free style of their own games.

Plus/minus can be a bit of an overrated stat considering that it measures the score of a game during one player's time on the floor, when there are four other players on the floor alongside them. But in Gobert's case, the Timberwolves have consistently been winning during his time on the floor. At some point, his total plus/minus has to mean something, especially amid all of the criticism he has been receiving.

Gobert will surely enjoy having this stat back up his belief that he's still playing winning basketball, but it's worth noting that Minnesota currently finds themselves in a 1-0 series deficit heading into Game 2 against the Mavs. Gobert posted a plus/minus of +10 in Game 1, but it wasn't enough to help the Timberwolves pick up a victory to open the series.

The Wolves will have a chance to knot the series at one on Friday night when they take the court for Game 2, and while it may not seem like it, Gobert is going to be instrumental in determining whether Minnesota can win this game. If he can continue to win the minutes he's on the court for, the Timberwolves will be in a good spot, and the team will surely be leaning on him as they aim to avoid falling in a 2-0 deficit.