In their first trip to the NBA All-Star game, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell represented the Utah Jazz in a big way.
Rudy Gobert showed everyone why he is one of the most dominant players in the league putting up 21 points, 11 rebounds and was a +9 in a close loss. Donovan Mitchell, who should have gotten more play, had 7 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 14 minutes.
The story of this game was the surprising level of intensity. At the start of the game it was clear that both teams were feeling each other out. No one wants to be the one that’s trying too hard. But because of the new format (where the winner of each quarter awards money to charity and the elam ending) things got more intense as the game went on.
Because of that intensity, Gobert showed just how valuable he is. Gobert blocked shots and finished lobs helping team Giannis gain their only quarter win of the game. Donovan Mitchell was asked what he thinks of those who doubt Rudy Gobert, “I think they should shut up.”
Kawhi Leonard was the MVP of the game, but the award probably should have been given to Nick Nurse.
Nurse kept the same lineup the entire fourth quarter despite a dismal performance. Obviously biased towards Raptors players (he played Siakam and Lowry the whole quarter like they were coaches kids) and Eastern Conference players in general (only playing Kemba Walker and Joel Embiid) he cost team Giannis, and their charity the game.
The end of the game was close. Because of the elam ending, where the first team to a certain score wins, the game got incredibly intense. Nick Nurse, supposed good coach, needed a stop and decided not to play the 2X DPOY on the last possession.
You can guess what happened.
All in all it was probably the most fun All-Star game ever. I’m not exaggerating. Both teams really wanted it. Fingers crossed they do this again next year.