The Utah Jazz overcame the Dallas Mavericks late to get a 112 to 107 victory. Luka Doncic scored 25 points on 11/25 shooting but was only 2/10 from three. Rudy Gobert scored 22 points on 8/8 shooting with 17 rebounds and 5 blocks.
If you needed a signature performance to show why Rudy Gobert should be an all-star, it was tonight.
The Dallas Mavericks, who sport one of the best offenses in the NBA, threw everything they had at Gobert and he had and he handled all of it. Including the game winning block that finished the Mavericks.
: That fourth quarter was electric. Here are the plays that made the difference down the stretch:— Jake Edmonds (@JakeKUTV) January 26, 2020
Donovan stepback 3.
Royce steal from Doncic.
Royce corner 3 to answer a Hardaway 3.
Rudy block to seal it... and then the flex.#TakeNote #DALatUTA pic.twitter.com/9uUjSDUd5A
Rational reaction #1: Rudy Gobert is the best defender in the world
There was an interesting sequence this game when Kristaps Porzingis had hit a sequence of threes. It was keeping Gobert away from the rim so Quin Snyder moved him off of both Luka Doncic and Porzingis and had him guarding a wing.
The crazy thing? It worked. Gobert was able to move between the wing and the basket and become a help side defender blocking shots. Because of that move Rick Carlisle put in Boban Marjanovic to switch things up and try to bully Gobert down low. It didn’t last long because Rudy Gobert handled him as well.
The fact that Rudy Gobert is able to be so versatile on the floor and guard every position is remarkable.
Even tonight, when it seemed like everyone struggled to guard Doncic, the times when Rudy Gobert guarded him on the perimeter, things went well. Doncic still got his, but he only shot 2/10 from three.
Rudy Gobert is the the DPOY again. Everyone else is fighting for second.
Rational reaction #2: The Utah Jazz are going to be very good in the playoffs
The Utah Jazz have a two headed monster that is blowing out bad teams and taking care of good teams in the clutch.
Donovan Mitchell is becoming a maestro in the final minutes of games on the offensive end. He’s finding open shooters when the defense fills the lane. When they don’t? He finishes at the rim. And even if he doesn’t finish, because he draws so much gravity, Rudy Gobert is able to clean it up with ease.
It’s VERY difficult to guard.
if he’s not there yet Donovan Mitchell is damn close to being on that very short list of NBA players who you just give the ball to and throw the playbook out for when the game is on the line. that’s a level of trust which is sacred but this man just wont stop getting buckets.— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 26, 2020
On the defensive end Rudy Gobert is an absolute force. He will guard anyone on the floor at any spot and force the miss. Tonight, just when Delon Wright thought he had Gobert beat, Gobert recovers and obliterates his shot. Very few players in the league have the talent to do that, if anyone at all.
The recovery. The block.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 26, 2020
WOW GOBERT. ❌ pic.twitter.com/rDWdwRXAOm
Overreaction: The Utah Jazz are the best team in the league
Not yet. The Jazz really shouldn’t have won this game. It was an insane performance by Gobert that got the win. Here are some of the shooting lines for the Jazz tonight.
Bojan Bogdanovic: 6/16
Donovan Mitchell: 9/25
Jordan Clarkson: 2/11
Mike Conley: 3/9
The fact the Jazz actually won this game shows you just how good Rudy Gobert was.
But maybe that’s a good sign. If the Jazz have a big night from any of these guys, is this game really that close? You also have to consider the first three quarters where the Jazz had 12 turnovers. In the 4th quarter they protected the ball much better with only 1.
The teams the Jazz are facing right now are high level and the Jazz offense needs to figure out how to be just as efficient as they were during the soft part of their schedule.
But if they can figure that out? Maybe they are the best team in the league. Time will tell.