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The Downbeat: Defense remains the first thing on Rudy Gobert’s mind

How much better can the Jazz get defensively?

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

With NBA media day now behind us, teams have now started official practices and truly honing in on the regular season. With just under three weeks to go until opening night, the Utah Jazz have made it clear that defense is their main focus in these first practices.

What was the first point spoken to in the inaugural practice interview for All-NBA center Rudy Gobert? When asked what the main focus has been so far after just three practices, Gobert responded simply, “defense”.

As a member of the first team All-Defense last season, Gobert still wants to talk about improving defensively and becoming a better, more effective defender. This tells you all you need to know about his determination and drive to take the Jazz to the next level.

Even though the Jazz were one of the top defensive teams last season, Gobert stated that he believed they could become better with the new acquisitions this off-season.

He praised newly-landed defensive specialist Thabo Sefolosha, his defensive ability and what it brings to the team.

View the full interview here

We also received a convenient reminder of Rudy Gobert’s journey Wednesday afternoon, when the NBA G-League twitter account posted this:

From the D-League to All-NBA, All-Defense,Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and Most Improved Player candidate, it’s safe to say Rudy has made it. But something tells me he’s got a few more tricks up his giant sleeve.

Joe Ingles can’t seem to make it a day without being in a new article around the nation. Seems like everyone can’t get enough of his dad-bod athleticism and crafty passing. Today’s piece comes from The Pick and Roll, and Australian-based site at the hands of Ben Mallis.

This article is full of clips and highlights of Ingles’ contributions, and focuses on three things to watch from Joe Ingles this season. The article also points out that Ingles is the highest paid Australian player in the NBA, which he will need to live up to this season.

Utah Jazz legend Adrei Kirilenko stopped by for a visit, and posted a picture in front of the “Welcome to Utah” sign like a boss.

AK47 is welcome in Utah any time, and has a special spot in Jazz fans’ hearts for his countless swats, crafty passes, and signature “NO!NO!.. YES!YES!” three-point attempts. Miss you AK.

The first step to getting a life-size statue is getting a life-size mannequin.. right?

The Jazz mentioned on Twitter that Rudy Gobert would be unveiling a life-size mannequin, and this could be both amazing and terrifying. Maybe the Jazz are just doing a trial run before mounting a gold statue of Rudy Gobert outside by Karl and John. Seems understandable.