The splash heard around the land of 10,000 lakes

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves News Timberwolves roster Rudy Gobert
Mandatory Credit: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports /

Rudy gets his teammates open through screens

I would like to caution anyone reading this hopeful essay regarding the Rudy Gobert developing a three-ball to temper their expectations of him successfully doing this in NBA action.

With that out of the way let’s have some fun with this thought.

Rudy Gobert has been one of the best screen setters in the NBA over the past decade. This past season he averaged 4.9 screen assists per game, leading to 11.5ppg of those screen assists. Both of those stats are good for 4th in the NBA. What all those fancy stats mean is that Rudy is able to get his teammates an open look off a screen at an elite level.

You can directly see the impact of this when you look at the Wolves’ highest-volume shooter last year, Anthony Edwards. It is no coincidence Edwards’s three-point shot accuracy shot up to 37 percent this year given the open looks off Rudy Gobert screens.

As you can see from the clip, Rudy is effective at using his size to seal off Ant’s man while his man sags off low, creating space for Edwards to get a shot off. This isn’t limited to three-pointers either. He can also get his man open going downhill, creating options for an open midrange shot, pick and roll, or warping the defense to create an open kick-out look.

While this is already great offense created by Gobert screens, there is something that sticks out significantly in both of those clips. Rudy’s man is camping out near the paint, completely careless about what Rudy is doing on the perimeter.

What if the opposing center DID have to care about Rudy on the perimeter?