Center Rudy Gobert makes an impact when he's on and off the court
Gobert’s offseason was hampered for a little while in June because of an appendectomy, but he bounced back quickly and returned to 100 percent before Monday’s injury sidelined him again.
The French player has enjoyed the fresh start with Snyder.
“I really like the coach’s philosophy, the way he wants us to play defense and the way he wants us to play the ball,” Gobert said. “He’s already helped me and gives me confidence. It’s great for me.”
Snyder likes the way Gobert is working on defensive positioning, something that’s essential even for an enormous player who’s sometimes referred to as The Stifle Tower.
“He’s putting himself in position to make more plays defensively,” Snyder said. “I think when the ball’s been in front of him, he’s long and tall and he’ll block some shots. I think he’s doing a better job protecting his teammates.
“Hopefully he’s got confidence that when he leaves to come over and block the shot, his teammates are going to crack down on his man and help rebound.”
Gobert, whose Twitter bio claims he’s from “Swat Lake City” and Paris, takes pride in sending shots into the stands. Jazz supporters in Sin City have soaked up his efforts this week, vocally supporting him as a clear fan favorite.
“I just think that it’s my role to protect the basket,” Gobert said. “I like to block shots, so when I see a player coming I just go and I know I have help from my teammates. I just block shots.”
Gobert really made fans go bonkers earlier this tournament when he grabbed an offensive rebound, made an athletic spinning move and scored an easy bucket.
“On the offensive end, you have to guard him because he can finish,” Burke said. “He’s getting much better.”
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