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Rudy Gobert, a mind made of tempered steel

If there is one quality that cannot be taken away from Rudy Gobert, it’s his mental strength. Whether he is forgotten at the All-Star Game or considered “patient zero” during the Covid crisis, or whether he is criticized after a failed first season with the Wolves, the pivot of the French team always succeeds to get up! You must have seen the documentary (n°27) which is devoted to him to understand where this determination comes from, and his return to the forefront this season confirms that he always gets back up. He knows his shortcomings. But his will prevails.

“I always tell people that great things take time. Especially for me, I'm not the type to just show up and have everything be wonderful.”he confides to The Athletic. “It takes time to build, to fight every day, to develop respect, habits, relationships with my teammates, frankness, community…”

“I think he's a lot more comfortable, a lot happier, a lot more stable, a lot more at peace with who he is and who he is here.”

It took a year, and today Rudy Gobert is not far from becoming the best defender in the NBA again. His influence is immense on the Wolves, who sit in 1st place in the Western Conference with 15 victories in 19 matches. Good in his head, Rudy Gobert is good in his basketball, and it shows.

“I think he's a lot more comfortable, a lot happier, a lot more stable, a lot more at peace with who he is and who he is here.”analyzes Chris Finch. “He showed professionalism in all areas last year, but this year he is determined to become the player he was again, to prove himself to himself, to his teammates, to the fans and to everyone world that he deserved the value of this exchange. Which we all already knew last year anyway. »

The key to the Wolves' success is also the effectiveness of the Gobert-Towns tandem. Last season, they played little together, due to Karl-Anthony Towns' serious injury. It's difficult to find automatisms when one of the two spends around fifty matches in the infirmary. But this season, both are at their best, and the duo is combining better and better in attack and defense.

The Athletic reports that since Minnesota moved to the top of the Western Conference, the two have clearly reached a milestone. When they are on the field together, their +/- is +24! In detail, this gives an offensive efficiency of 122 points per 100 possessions, and a defensive efficiency of 98 points conceded over 100 possessions. Exceptional numbers for a duo who spend between 20 and 25 minutes together per match.

“If I could shoot like KAT, I would put my ass in the corner, and we would shoot 150 points per game! »

“Rudy brings us something that few interiors or exteriors can do. He can take control of a match on defense, eliminate opponents, prevent teams from accessing the racket” appreciates Mike Conley, whose arrival was essential to relaunch Rudy Gobert.

A Rudy Gobert who even allows himself to speak and give his opinion on the systems and the placement of players. Like when he asks Karl-Anthony Towns to step into the corners. “Sometimes I try to convince KAT to get his ass in the corner” confirms the Frenchman. “I told KAT that if I could shoot like him, I would put my ass in the corner, and we would shoot 150 points per game! »

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