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The Downbeat #2048: Defensive Gobert of the Year Edition

Rudy Gobert is tall.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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:

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.

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:

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.

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.

Spoiler Alert: I’m a Bryon Russell. DAMN YOU, JORDAN!!!!