Who would have thought the best team building the Denver Nuggets then General Manager and now President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly would be in Utah and not in Denver? After tonight’s game in Denver, Utah Jazz Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey owes him a few drinks. Why? Because the two players he gifted Utah in exchange for Trey Lyles, Erick Green, a late 1st rounder, and cash in two separate draft day trades just became All-Stars. The Stifle Tower Rudy Gobert and resident SLC Spida-man Donovan Mitchell are going to the Windy City for the 2020 All Star Game. This is each their first selection and, hopefully, first of many more to come.
Rudy Gobert more than anyone in Utah deserves this recognition. Last year he was snubbed from the All-Star game due to he and Donovan Mitchell splitting votes as most voters only picked one of the other as they felt Utah only deserved one All-Star last year. That left Rudy Gobert out and LaMarcus Aldridge in. There was no snubbery this year. Rudy Gobert who is anchoring one of the league’s meanest interior defenses and—as Dennis Lindsey puts it—is the ignition to the Utah Jazz offense is going to be in Chicago. He has averaged 15.7 points, 14.6 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks a game. When he is on the court Utah outscores their opponents by 29 points per 100 possessions.
Donovan Mitchell who has had his best season of his career gets in the game in his third year. The last time the Jazz had a player who was selected as an All-Star in their third season or less was Andrei Kirilenko who made the game in his third season in 2003-2004. If Rudy Gobert is the ignition to the Utah Jazz’s offense, Donovan Mitchell is the rest of that hemi doing the heavy lifting and sometimes towing the Jazz offense to victory. He is averaging 25.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.2 steals on 46.2% from the field and 36.8% from three. In Mike Conley’s absence Donovan averaged 48.9% from the field and flexed his rebounds and assists to 3.8 and 5.2. During that time, he may have very well answered the question that Utah had thought they answered with Conley when they traded for him: Who is the point guard of the future in Utah?
This year’s All-Star game will be a little different this year. Buckle up. It seems confusing, but it’s really not.
Each quarter 1-3 has the score started at 0-0. Winner of each quarter gets $100,000 that goes to a predetermined charity chosen by the team captains. (WOOO CHARITY!)
Take those scores. Add them up to start the fourth quarter. Take the score that’s ahead at that time, add 24 to it.
First to hit that number wins the All-Star Game a la the Elam Ending but with a Kobe tribute flair.
Honestly, sounds fun because most people weren’t watching the entire game anyway. AND Rudy Gobert just became probably the first pick for each team so he can have the juice to shut opposing teams down the entire 4th quarter. Basically the All-Star game’s new format comes down to this: Whoever has Rudy, wins.