clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why Rudy Gobert is the most valuable big man in the NBA

It’s not just his blocks, rebounds, or dunks. Rudy Gobert turns the Jazz into a contender with his mere presence.

Rudy Gobert may not fit the obvious mold of one of the league’s most valuable players. He doesn’t touch the ball much on offense and only shows up in defensive highlights when brave souls dare challenge him. But like a tower blocking out the sun, Gobert’s presence obscures opponents’ vision on one end and sucks attention to him on the other.

In this video, we’ll show how Gobert’s presence singlehandedly gives the Jazz an elite defense. Not only does he slap away would-be-attackers off the rim, but he also intimidates those players from even trying. He is long and skilled enough to ward off two players at once, which means the other three Jazz players can stay on their assignments. That’s why teams don’t shoot layups or threes at a high enough level to score efficiently on Utah.

Gobert isn’t just a one-dimensional player, though. He’s become one of the league’s elite screen setters, creating countless Jazz drives to the hoop with his body. If you try to keep him off the offensive glass, you’ll only look silly in the process.

While he’s not a back-to-the-basket post player, he’s such a threat rolling to the basket that he sucks perimeter defenders off Utah’s three-point shooters. Plus, when he does catch and finish, he can slide in from a variety of angles or just cram one in your face.

Gobert wasn’t named to the All-Star team this year, but he has as good a case as any to be the most valuable big man in the NBA. When he’s on the court, the Jazz dominate, no matter who plays with him. When he’s out, Utah struggles. Isn’t that the very definition of value?