As much as anything I was excited to see he let the team come to him. Obviously he can make a huge impact on the game. —Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
SALT LAKE CITY — After a quiet game on Saturday night when he finished with just six points and eight rebounds, Rudy Gobert came out and played with a vengeance in Monday night’s 104-89 victory over Dallas.
It may have seemed like a fairly normal night in the fact that Gobert scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. But the big Frenchman really shined in a couple of other departments as he ended up leading his team with six assists, a career high, and finished with a season-high six blocked shots. Oh, and get this, he also made a 15-foot jumper.
“Rudy, he had a very, very good night,” said coach Quin Snyder. “As much as anything I was excited to see he let the team come to him, obviously he can make a huge impact on the game.”
Snyder talked about his “sureness with the ball” and called the assist total “a big deal. That’s something we’ve been emphasizing with him.”
As impressed as he was with Gobert’s offense, Snyder had to gush about his defense.
“What didn’t show up in the box score is the times he deters people from going to the rim,” Snyder said. “It’s just hard to score over him. At some point. it has an impact on the opposing team because they know he’s down there.”
The soft-spoken Gobert downplayed his individual accomplishments.
“I’m just trying to make the right play,” he said. “I got fouled a lot, and they called it. Sometimes I could finish, but I see a guy in the corner or I see Derrick on the side and I like to drop it off. Every time I get the ball inside guys try to stop me, and so I just have to read the defense and make the right play.”
Gobert got the Jazz started with a rare jump shot near the foul line in the opening 13 seconds of the game, off a Joe Ingles assist. Then, on the Mavericks’ first possession, he made a steal, and on the second possession, he blocked a layup by rookie Dennis Smith Jr.
Late in the first half, Gobert got two of his blocks in a two-second span as Nerlens Noel, after getting his shot swatted away, made the mistake of trying again, only to get it jammed back down his throat again.
In the second half, Gobert opened the half with another block of Smith driving layup (don’t these rookies ever learn?) and added another block midway through the third quarter.
Gobert only missed one shot on the night, going 4 for 5 from the field, and was a solid 9 of 12 from the free throw line.