Recently video surfaced of Rudy Gobert shooting threes while practicing with the French National Team.
For someone in a 7’2” frame, that form looks really good.
As good as it looks, and his form does look better than ever, this isn’t the first time Rudy has shown his ability to shoot a three. Multiple times we’ve seen video of Gobert at Jazz practice working on his three point shot.
But is it worth it for Rudy to take that shot considering he’s so proficient at rolling to the rim?
The answer is ... maybe?
Probably the most underrated offensive player in the league, Gobert puts incredible pressure on the defense when he rolls to the rim.
According to NBA.com Rudy Gobert was one of the most dominant PnR big men in every category last season.
When you consider all the enormous numbers Gobert puts up while rolling, and then the fact that he creates open shots for everyone on the perimeter, the primary role for Gobert on offense should always be within the pick and roll.
Still, a three point shot could be a nice secondary or more likely a tertiary option.
It’s not just his rolling to the rim that that makes him dominant on offense, Gobert helps a team with his incredible ability to set up teammates for open shots as the screener.
Last season Gobert created more points with his screens than anyone else in the league.
Having a player that opens up his teammates better than anyone else in the league is incredibly valuable.
(On a side note, this is one of the big reasons Jazz fans should get excited about Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic joining the team. Gobert is going to help them score a lot. Just ask Gordon Hayward what life is like with and without a Gobert screen.)
On most possessions the offense runs through Gobert with a pick and roll but also a dribble hand off from the top of the free throw line extended.
There are times where Rudy has the ball around the three point line and his defender backs off knowing he won’t take the shot. Typically, Gobert will wait for one of the ball handlers to come for a dribble hand off. Some of those situations work out well because of Rudy’s screening ability, but sometimes in late shot clock situations it leads to a rushed, bad shot. This could be an example of a time the three point shot could be useful.
If Rudy could just pull up from three and hit the shot at a reasonable level, it would be a very nice option.
On top of adding potential points to the offense, hitting the three isn’t the only positive effect from this. Gobert has proven that when a defender has to play him honest, he’s also able to drive to the rim and score.
Gobert’s ball handling is surprisingly good when he’s guarded by opposing centers. This is something he could do with a little more regularity.
These are solid things, but there is one other thing to consider when deciding if shooting threes is worth it for Gobert.
Another important facet of Gobert’s game, and mere presence on the floor is that he’s a threat for offensive rebounds on every play. Being out at the three point line keeps him away from the rim where he does so much damage. For the three point shot to be effective for him, he has to shoot it at a nice level.
All in all, the three point shot for Gobert could be a really nice wrinkle to his game and could create a ripple effect of positive things for Gobert, but it’s not necessary for him to be a dominant player on offense and the positive effects of that shot will probably never be as good as what he does already.
Whatever Gobert ends up doing, no one can argue his work ethic and willingness to do what it takes to win. If developing a consistent three point shot is it, you can bet he’ll work on it until it becomes a positive part of his game.