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The Downbeat #1588: Gobzilla vs Mecha-Wiggins

Do not wake the Gobzilla.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Sharp of Grantland proposes a new #HoopIdea after seeing Gobzilla vs MechaWiggins on the court last night.

Stuff like this starts fights in pickup games.

Look at the ball bounce off Gobert's head.

Look at Wiggins flexing.

This was Alien vs. Predator 11 feet in the air.

This was Vine vs. Synergy live on League Pass.

It was the unstoppable force vs. the immovable object.

And the unstoppable force won.

I could watch this for hours.

Petition to cancel the entire baseball season and replace it with Andrew Wiggins trying to dunk on Rudy Gobert all summer.

Wiggins is going to be so scary.

Then he goes again????

But Rudy wasn't going down like that.  Robert's team might have been leading by 20 but pride was on the line.

Media and fans wouldn't make a big deal about Wiggins posterizing Gobert if Rudy wasn't such a defensive force.  He's the measuring stick when you attack the rim.  Do you want to prove your worth as a dunker?  Then don't posterize a guard or a forward.  Don't even posterize a center.  You posterize Rudy Gobert.  He is the one who block-blocks.  He is the gatekeeper of your adulthood and glory.  Posterize him, you stand with a small handful of men who have succeeded against overpowering odds of failure.  Rudy is the test.  Wiggins passed.  Wiggins then got cocky and learned that there's a reason that Rudy is the Stifle Tower.

I said last night, in jest, this:

Of course the usual names came running out in opposition to this claim: Marc Gasol, Dwight Howard, Anthony Davis (WHO IS A POWER FORWARD, PEOPLE), Andrew Bogut, DeMarcus Cousins.  The biggest challenger in this group is DeMarcus Cousins who is most definitely a Center and ballin out of his mind right now.

But let's talk about what helps a team win.  DeMarcus Cousins, for example, who has played in 56 games this year has these stats compared to Rudy Gobert's:

It clearly appears that on a STATISTICAL basis DeMarcus Cousins is the superior player.  Now let's get to an ANALYTICAL level.  What are these stats predicting?

Now this is where it starts to get fun.  Rudy's win shares added gets insane.  Before the Boogie crowd starts crying tears yelling, "BUT, BUT, BUT Rudy has played in more games!!"  Look at minutes played.  I could not have picked a better time to do side by side comparison.  They've almost played the identical amount of minutes.  Only 3 minutes apart.  Rudy's wins added is insane.  In addition, Boogie, the offensive weapon, actually has an offensive rating of 105.  Which is great, but compared to Rudy Gobert's 124 Offensive Rating with a usage % of 13.5% compared to Boogie's 33.9% it's not even close.

Now let's have some real fun, shall we?

Rudy is the more efficient offensive weapon.  While Cousins can ball and get points is he the right tool to get the job done?  Case in point, a sledgehammer can make a whole in the wall a lot faster than a jigsaw, but it's going to cause you more damage in the short term and you're not going to end up with the desired result.

Now let's talk about what a center is really there for.  Not for scoring, but for actual rim protection.

Rudy Gobert leads the league in rim protection for big men.  For the purpose of this I made sure all players that qualified played at least 55 games.

Rudy Gobert

You might be asking yourself ... where's DeMarcus Cousins?  Well ... funny you should ask that.

DeMarcus is 27th in the league.  Just barely trailing Pablo Prigioni.  Those who attack DeMarcus at the rim will average 47.6% shooting.  In retrospect, that's almost a full 8% points worse than Rudy Gobert.

Rudy Gobert is the embodiment of the return of True Big Men.  A true Rim Protector, rebounder, and true value adding big man.  If scoring a lot of hollow points and collecting empty rebounds is your thing, then DeMarcus Cousins is the best Center in the Western Conference.  If imposing defense, blocks, and meaningful scoring is your thing, then Rudy Gobert is the return of great things.

The Jazz are doing something awesome for World Autism Awareness Day.

In recognition of World Autism Awareness Day, the Utah Jazz will host 300 guests from the Autism Council of Utah, Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning, and Clear Horizons Academy at the Jazz game on April 1 against the Denver Nuggets at EnergySolutions Arena.

Game tickets are courtesy of the community donation program purchased by Jazz players Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Trey Burke and Alec Burks. The Jazz coaching staff and broadcasters will be wearing "Autism Speaks" lapel pins during the game. The Autism Council of Utah will have an information booth at portal J on the main concourse of EnergySolutions Arena.

Let's be aware of this condition but let's also celebrate the differences between all of us.

Last night I realized that there are a lot of young Jazz bloggers out there that have not seen Stockton and Malone play in person.  Or have not seen them play for extended moments of time.  Yes, you may have been 4-5 when the Jazz were in the NBA Finals, but your perception of that event is so so so so LIMITED.

This came at a head when I saw a young Jazz blogger mention that John Stockton wasn't an exceptional defender and his defense could be compared to Steve Nash.  While others who had lived and watched Stockton play, some who were in attendance when Stockton was booed when selected by the Utah Jazz in the draft, gave this young blogger a history lesson.  While this was a moment of ignorance that that blogger will learn from it brings to the forefront a bigger issue that I believe the Utah Jazz need to address.

This problem?

Teaching their history.

Educating about their tradition.

The Utah Jazz are no longer the plucky upstart team that arrived in Utah in the 1970s.  They have a rich history of players and a tradition of hard nosed defensive minded basketball.  I grew up hearing opposing teams complaining of the bumps and bruises they received trying to chase Stockton off a pick or, better yet, the deep bruise they received from a John Stockton screen.

I grew up watching Mark Eaton be a defensive monster which is probably why Rudy Gobert is so much fun.  He is the Mark Eaton 2.0.  I grew up watching the Utah Jazz offense create capable players out of scrubs and castaways.  I grew up watching the buzzsaw that was the Utah Jazz offense.  For those who sing praises of Golden State's buzzsaw of an offense, I'd love to show you the glory that was the Utah Jazz from 1995-1997.  It was a fine tuned machine.  The basketball moved beautifully on the court.  This would be the style of basketball the San Antonio Spurs would emulate and imitate.  Imitation is the biggest for of flattery and the San Antonio Spurs created a Championship-level imitation.

This is the history and anecdotes that the younger crowd doesn't know.  They haven't seen this.  Hopefully, this new Utah Jazz regime sees the opportunity to teach the young crowd about Jazz basketball.  The Tradition of Utah Jazz basketball.  Because I cannot take seeing another plucky upstart blogger who should revere and canonize John Stockton's defensive abilities blaspheme that John "5-Time All NBA 2nd Team Defender" Stockton was a Steve Nash-like defender.

Remember that the Utah Jazz have a player like this waiting to play next year?