First of all this post wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Zeb at Welcome To Loud City (SB Nation Oklahoma City Thunder blog), and J.R. Wilco from Pounding the Rock (SB Nation San Antonio Spurs blog). So please visit their sites! Second, let's take a look to review actual game footage of all-new Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert! Rudy has some similar experiences to Raul Neto (who we looked at here), in that he's played professionally and for his national team (France). Though, Rudy has played on primarily junior squads while Raulzinho has done it on the senior men's team and in tournaments like the Olympics and against our USA Men's BBALL team.
All that said, it's important to look at whatever data you have, even if it's just a small sample size.
Rudy has been playing on the junior squads for France for three straight years. In 2010 he played on France's U-18 Euro Championships (Division A), team where they finished 7th. In 2011 he played on France's U-20 Euro Championships (Division A) team, where they finished with the bronze (3rd). In 2012, last year, he played on France's U-20 Euro Champ's team again, where they finished with the silver (2nd). Livio Jean-Charles (you may remember him from being the guy the Spurs picked in the draft) was on those teams too.
These are FIBA games, and each time he played in 9 games. I don't know how many minutes he played but the full games are 40 minutes long, and if you've watched a lot of Andrei Kirilenko's stuff with Russia you know that the scoring is pretty low. And I will freely admit that I don't know how to convert a European FIBA boxscore into NBA boxscore currency. (He scores 9.2 ppg, is this good or bad? I don't know . . . ) This may be ignorance on my part as over the last few years I've watched less and less FIBA ball.
Anyway, from looking at the stats of his last go-around (2012) he finished the tournament with 7.6 ppg (59.0 fg%, 81.5 ft%), 7.0 rpg, and 3.9 bpg. He had less than one apg and spg, but whatever, he's a bigman. At this stage I'm not worried about that.
France did well there, finishing with the silver:
- Group Stage: lost to Germany 54-52
- Group Stage: lost to Serbia 70-67
- Group Stage: beat Montenegro 102-68
- Pool Stage: beat Russia 81-62
- Pool Stage: beat Ukraine 75-62
- Pool Stage: lost to Greece 72-55
- Knockout Stage: beat Slovenia 77-54
- Knockout Stage: beat Spain 66-59
- Knockout Stage (Gold Medal Game): lost to Lithuania 50-49
I don't know how you can go 1-2 and then advance to the next group of a tournament, but whatever. I'm not going to complain. Maybe my brain is just wired differently, after all, I understand cricket scoring.
Well, let's take a look at the highlights of some of these games (so they aren't just France specific, and just not Gobert specific either).
France vs Serbia (loss)
France vs Slovenia (win)
France vs Spain (win)
France vs Lithuania (loss)
Well, he's just not an impact player. He reminds me so far of a JaVale McGee who doesn't do dumb stuff. He gets scored on, he's slow to rotate (confirmed by eyeball test at the NBA Draft Combine, and the clock speeds at the NBA Draft Combine tests), and for a guy with his size, he doesn't have the brawn to back it up. His screens are ineffectual. He never posts up in these vids. But in the occasions where he can use his length and athleticism to go to the rim, he does. Every time. This also confirms what we saw of him at the Combine. And well, this is also why I liken him to an LSU level Shaquille O'Neal. He's just not a very good basketball player, and he scores in very limited ways. But his physical length (Shaq also had stength) allows him to get certain rebounds or make plays around the basket that other guys can't.
He needs to get in the gym, and work with Karl Malone. Needs to bulk up. Needs to work at P3 and work on quick twitch muscle groups. Needs to work with Karl on the court to work on his understanding of defense and learn some post moves.
He is an amazing lob target like Tyson Chandler. And I think with some work he could be Chandler like for us. Which is good, because I never felt like Derrick Favors would be our Tyson Chandler, I felt like he could be our Milwaukee Bucks era Terry Cummings. (And yeah, I get it, some of the Jazz fans on twitter who yell at me are so young they never knew Cummings used to play for the Bucks -- I ain't mad atcha.)
But how much FIBA data do you take, and how closely do you think this measures up with the NBA? This was a U-20 Tournament that's over a year old. He played a lot more during the season with Cholet where he averaged 21.4 mpg in 30 games. When I get that film I will do a post on it. The good news is that he looks to make an easy transition to the NBA because his coach in France was the French Tyrone Corbin.