While Draymond Green is out there chasing windmills, Rudy Gobert is building his Defensive Player of the Year case silently behind the scenes. Just last night Rudy Gobert had another impressive night holding the New Orleans Pelicans’ backcourt of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins to 12-32 shooting (37.5%) and 9 total turnovers. Rudy Gobert boasting another ho-hum line of 15 points (60% from the field), 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
NBA Math put it a different way:
26 players have defended 5+ FGA per game from within 6 feet. None can match the effectiveness of @rudygobert27 or @JoelEmbiid: pic.twitter.com/BKMUskosHu— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) March 7, 2017
Rudy Gobert is kind of an outlier and kind of elite.
There will be a fierce battle for Defensive Player of the Year, and undoubtedly Draymond Green will have bitter words about it if he’s not selected because Draymond Green. But I present to you without comment another metric that shows why Rudy Gobert is the DPOY and by a wide margin.
As a whole, the NBA is shooting 61.137% on defended shots from within six feet, which means the expected points per shot is 1.223.— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) March 7, 2017
By comparing points per shot players have allowed from within six feet to the expected value, we can see how many points they're “saving."— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) March 7, 2017
To account for both volume/efficiency, subtract actual points per shot allowed from expected points per shot, then multiply by shots faced.— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) March 7, 2017
For example, Anthony Davis allows 1.102 points per shot within 6 feet and has faced 325.— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) March 7, 2017
(1.223-1.102)*325 = 39.33 points saved.
It shouldn't surprise you that @rudygobert27 stands alone using this methodology. He's easily provided most defensive value within 6 feet: pic.twitter.com/AnYIyqoOUa— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) March 7, 2017
No one in last 3 years has saved more points from within six feet than 2016-17 @rudygobert27. Oh, and he has 18 games to add to his total: pic.twitter.com/PQuWHCeQce— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) March 7, 2017
Let’s just call this the NBA Math downbeat. Because he’s got a lot of good stuff this past Monday. While Rudy is dominating down low, the Utah Jazz are not up to their potential. As has been the theme all year, injuries are hampering them. Derrick Favors even confirmed our suspicions about his knee last night on twitter:
Welp. pic.twitter.com/MP0t94qA9d— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) March 7, 2017
That’s in addition to George Hill who’s been battling the toe injury for most of the season and Rodney Hood battling his hyperextension from a couple months ago. As you can see on the graph below the Utah Jazz have improved on defense, but without Hood and Hill at their healthiest the offense of Utah has taken a hit.
How much has your team improved upon its pre-ASG numbers on each end of the floor since returning from the break? pic.twitter.com/te0yFdpnlK— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) March 7, 2017
It will be interesting to see if Utah can regain that health by the playoffs. They’re in an odd situation of resting Hill as long as possible and possibly forfeiting a playoff spot to be healthy or take their chances with homecourt with a team limping into the playoffs.
Yesterday, Inside the NBA broke down a possible matchup in the playoffs between the Utah Jazz and the LA Clippers. Surprisingly, they think Utah could win it.
The Utah Jazz have an interactive quiz you can take to deduce which member of the ‘97 Utah Jazz you are. Before you say “I’m Stockton.” No you’re not. You’re an Eisley or—at most—an Ostertag. I don’t make the rules.
Which Member of the '97 Jazz are you?— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 7, 2017
Take the Quiz: https://t.co/a5Ie0SSbkb#JazzReunited pic.twitter.com/u6IJUbNNee
Spoiler Alert: I’m a Bryon Russell. DAMN YOU, JORDAN!!!!