The (hopefully) soon-to-be DPOY certainly has a case.
First off, thanks to DLC_Jazz for picking up for me last week! My wife and I welcomed baby #2 into our family and almost have a full starting 5 now! We introduced her to Jazz basketball pretty quick having watched a couple games already, and I’m pretty confident we have ourselves another fan to add to Jazz nation.
Anyways, we know Rudy Gobert is a strong candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award this year, but where does he stack up in the NBA overall? His return brought a one-of-a-kind resurgence for the Utah Jazz this season, which certainly bolsters his case among the NBA elite.
Tim Bontemps over at the Washington Post wondered if Rudy is a top 10 player in the league, and showed that some of the numbers say yes, but that overall he is just outside:
No one would dispute that Gobert is the foundation of everything the Jazz is doing. But the case for placing him among the 10 best players in the game is complicated.
Unlike James Harden, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and LeBron James — fixtures on any such list — Gobert doesn’t typically have a line in a box score that is going to lead “SportsCenter.” His season averages — 14.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks — don’t stand out to anyone. Sometimes they don’t even stand out to his coach.
“We show more offensive highlights than we do defensive highlights,” Snyder said. “Historically those have been the numbers that are easiest to calculate and the most available. Now we have things like defensive efficiency, both individually and collectively. We have things like screening assists. So when you’re evaluating Rudy, you have to dig a little deeper, I think, to understand his true impact...
Gobert is clearly bringing plenty to the table, even if it’s more likely that he falls somewhere close to — but not in — the list of the NBA’s top 10 players.
What say ye SLC Dunk? Where does Rudy rank in the NBA?
While the Jazz have sputtered a little bit lately in terms of some disappointing losses (really Hawks!?), statistically they have remained one of the best teams in the NBA.
Defensive ratings over the past 25 games:
Nets 116.3 pic.twitter.com/2DQdJOJZhS
— Positive Residual (@presidual) March 31, 2018
Net ratings over the past 10 games:
Suns -17.5 pic.twitter.com/HO1kPzYefl
— Positive Residual (@presidual) March 30, 2018
Again, look up when Rudy Gobert returned to the Utah Jazz and line that up with Utah’s performance this season. I don’t know for sure if Rudy is a top 10 player or not, but at worst he is knocking on the door. The season turnaround in graphic form is pretty crazy to see.
Unfortunately I’m not fully up to speed on which Fan Posts need highlighting this week, but I’ll do my best. Please forgive me if yours was never included!
First off, Gobert_the_Destroyer has been doing great work with the continued “While you were sleeping” updates. Here’s the latest one.
jazzexile gave Derrick Favors some love, calling him the Unsung Hero:
One of the best things about the season is that so many people in the organization, from the front office and the coaching staff, all the way down to the players, have made major contributions. While so many of the players have stepped up, I think Derrick Favors deserves special recognition for all he has done. Here is a list of the stuff I can think of off the top of my head:
Theo Kamis took a look into how Ricky Rubio’s career may have been with a coach like Quin Snyder the whole time:
On February 7, 2018, SLC Dunk Tweeted this question:
Where would Ricky Rubio’s career be right now if he had a coach like Quin Snyder his whole NBA life?
I’ve been thinking of this Fanpost, how to write it, ever since...
Ethan Renshaw took a look into some advanced stats and how they apply to Donovan Mitchell:
Whenever the topic of rookie of the year comes up, the first thing people who argue for Ben Simmons will bring up is that Simmons is fifth in the league in assists at 8 per game, while Donovan Mitchell only averages 3.6 per game. Thus, Simmons is clearly a better passer and delivers more value to his team than Mitchell. But what these people are missing is why assists are valuable in the first place....
Gobert_the_Destroyer is at it again with some fun with numbers, focusing on Donovan and Ben Simmons:
So, this started out with me checking out Mitchell’s standing on most total points scored by a rookie: He’ll finish in the mid 20’s.
This then developed into looking at more than just points, but assists rebounds and steals vs the NBA this season...
I Stan for Mitchell for ROY, but Simmons season is unprecedented and he is fully deserving.
More love for Rudy Gobert you ask? I got you covered.
The Score recently had an article stating that Rudy should be the defensive player of the year, despite the games he has missed this year:
It’s not close, however, and it shouldn’t be. Gobert is far and away the most deserving, which is noteworthy because he will finish the season having missed at least 26 of a possible 82 games. Though that’s not completely without precedent for major NBA award winners, Gobert’s DNP count would be high.
The most regular-season games he can play is 56. If he then captures Defensive Player of the Year, that would be a record low in a non-lockout season for either that award or MVP...
The proof is in the defensive pudding. Since he came back, the Jazz are giving up just 97.5 points per 100 possessions, a league best over that period by almost five points. In games without the “Stifle Tower” this season, Utah has a 108.2 defensive rating. His presence in the middle further manifests itself in the Jazz allowing the NBA’s fewest second-chance points, along with a defensive rebound percentage of 81.
There was an interesting list from ESPN’s twitter account recently that I thought we could discuss from a Jazz perspective. Here’s the list:
Who changed the game of basketball the most?
Our list of the most influential NBA players ever: https://t.co/RDMqHyHWIm pic.twitter.com/ZRnXrxJST4
— ESPN (@espn) March 28, 2018
Who changed the game of basketball the most from Utah Jazz history? Rudy certainly changes the game on a nightly basis. John and Karl are legends and showed everyone how to run a pick and role. Pistol Pete certainly inspired a different brand of basketball as well. Who else in Jazz history is up there and who is at the top?
To top things off, here’s your important poll for the day:
Full Story on SLC Dunk...