Reason II: Reunited with a friendly and familiar face
Unlike last season, veteran center Rudy Gobert has a familiar, and friendly, point guard running the floor. The reunion of Mike Conley Jr. with Rudy Gobert on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster was a stroke of pure genius by Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly. Now, here’s why.
Before Conley arrived on the Timberwolves roster, Rudy Gobert had competed in 46 games. Over that period of time, Gobert failed to score 10 or more points for the Timberwolves 17 times. Worse yet, Gobert was held scoreless in nearly 19 minutes of play against the Denver Nuggets on February 7, 2023.
But once veteran point guard Mike Conley Jr. arrived on the Timberwolves roster, Rudy Gobert found a new lease on life on the offensive side of the basketball court. In 24 games, Gobert was held in check by failing to score 10 or more points for the Timberwolves just three times, and never fewer than six points in a game.
It makes a huge difference to play alongside a teammate who is authentically working with you to help optimize your production. That surge in Gobert’s ability to score at the end of the 2022-23 NBA season is why you should look for a better season from the big guy this season as well.
With greater ease to get into the flow of the game, Gobert will have a much better chance of not only scoring but rebounding as well. And with less frustration with his own point guard teammate, Gobert should do better on his spiking personal fouls from a year ago as well.