While the Minnesota Timberwolves and the fans who support the team are still weighing their decision of whether or not Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was ‘worth it,’ here is some new data to consider. Will it change your mind? Well, it’s certainly something that should be used to form an intelligent decision.
While NBA teams tout points scored, shooting accuracy, and rebounding, there are a number of statistics that contribute to success in the NBA. Perhaps one of the least understood statistics is blocked shots.
Of 30 NBA teams, and the 29 teams that Rudy Gobert has competed against before traveling to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Gobert has the most blocks in the past seven NBA seasons against 13 different NBA teams.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert truly is one of the best NBA players in the game today at ruling the paint.
Gobert gives more than many give him credit for
What would that look like if parsed into the two NBA Conferences? Well, we have the answer to that one as well:
In terms of the NBA Western Conference, Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis has recorded the most blocked shots against the Denver Nuggets, the Utah Jazz (Rudy Gobert’s former team, which makes sense, right?), and the Memphis Grizzlies. Rudy Gobert has blocked more shots in the past seven NBA seasons against all of the other NBA Western Conference teams, which includes these teams:
- Houston Rockets
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Sacramento Kings
- Dallas Mavericks
- San Antonio Spurs
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Los Angeles Lakers
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Phoenix Suns
- Golden State Warriors
- Portland Trail Blazers
I know that it can be tempting to second guess and scoff at the trade made by the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire Rudy Gobert. But if you truly compare what the Timberwolves got versus what the Timberwolves gave up, in terms of NBA Playoff performances, you will see that the players added to the Timberwolves roster upped their game for postseason play, while players traded away wilted under the brighter spotlight of the NBA Playoffs.
Right now, the Denver Nuggets are carving their way through the NBA en route to their first NBA Championship. But the Minnesota Timberwolves, without starting small forward Jaden McDaniels and backup center Naz Reid, put up a pretty good fight against them. The reason? In their win, the Timberwolves out-blocked and out-rebounded the Nuggets.
That is what the Minnesota Timberwolves want to do, are trying to do, to find success in the NBA Playoffs. This Timberwolves’ strategy is to get big in postseason play, and with Rudy Gobert on the roster, the Timberwolves can do exactly that. Worst trade in NBA history? Hardly.
To be quite honest, I still think that the Minnesota Timberwolves are onto something right now. Stay tuned . . .