Apr. 20, 2017
Can The Jazz Win Without Rudy Gobert
Eleven seconds! That is the amount of time Rudy Gobert has played in Western Conference Playoffs. After bumping knees with Clippers' forward Luc Mbah a Moute, Gobert has been sidelined with a knee injury. The Jazz did manage to steal game 1 from the Clippers with a Joe Johnson buzzer beater, however Game 2 really showed how the Jazz missed Gobert. The Clippers scored 60 of their 99 points in the paint en route to their 8 point win. If that trend continues, the Jazz may be looking at an early exit. There are some who are optimistic and feel as though the rest of the Jazz' players stepped up their play enough to win the series. Clippers' guard Raymond Felton feels the same sentiment when he stated that the Jazz have elevated their game and he almost wishes Gobert would return. Let's not get ahead of ourselves and start to think that the Jazz are a better team without one of the best rim protectors in the game. The Jazz did have advantages of playing a small lineup but you can't count on just perimeter play to win in the playoffs, especially a seven game series. Coaches who have been in the playoffs (i.e. Doc Rivers) knows that one of the keys to winning a playoff series is adjustments. There will be adjustments made by the Clippers to exploit that small lineup and also to attack Gobert if he were to return for Game 3. Granted, the Jazz are tied in the series, the chances of them winning the series depends heavily on the health of Gobert. There are rumors that Gobert could be out for a week but their have also been sightings of him taking shots in practice, Even though he's limping through these shots, it still gives the Jazz a glimmer of hope. If the Jazz can use the home crowd to propel them to a victory in Game 3 then they may have a legitimate chance in winning the series without Gobert. The likelihood of the Clippers not playing with an urgency and taking games 3 and 4 are very likely but at the end of the day, we are talking about the Clippers.