20 points and 17 rebounds! A construction site against Turkey marked by a decisive tap. A double double average since the beginning of the tournament (14 points, 10.3 rebounds). And a leading role in this French team to compensate for the absence of great managers. Despite this remarkable performance and high-sounding statistics after the first more discreet outings (note: 11 points against Germany, 8 points against Lithuania), Rudy Gobert is still not unanimous. “There is a lot of pressure on him. His game makes us all proudlaunched Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot after the round of 16 with a commentary echoed by the AFP. All silent, those who speak, say that it does not deserveS “.
On social media or on sets in the United States in particular, the Blues star still sees criticism flourishing. In the eyes of some, her entry into the competition was too timid. And her offensive play remains too limited. “Yes, Rudy needs to improve in some aspects. But fortunately he has some progress to make, replies Jacques Monclar, consultant of BeIn Sport in particular on the NBA. JI also find it more ‘friendlier’ to the ball in the NBA than what I see this summer. Because there is less space here. Difficult to explain but you have to take into account the opponent’s defensive measures, the size of the field, the rhythm, the playing habits … (..) In FIBA basketball sometimes you get the impression that the field is too small for the ‘Big Men‘”.
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Rudy Gobert and the Blues came very close to elimination against Turkey
It must be considered on both sides individually
If the characteristics of the FIBA game do not necessarily help Rudy Gobert to express himself at his best – even if Vincent Collet tries to develop systems that allow him to shine also on the other side of the field -, everyone is all unaware of this. . And some expect more. Rudy Gobert is not, however, UFO Nikola Jokic, a 2m11 giant with golden hands and a leader’s vision of the game. Nor does it have the unique combination of power, fluidity and dexterity of the Giannis Antetokounmpo phenomenon, which however took a few years to have the same impact on both sides of the Atlantic. And he’s not even technically as good as Jonas Valančiūnas, for example. But don’t forget the rest. All that changes for the French team is the presence of Rudy Gobert.
If the Olympic vice-champions have the third defense of the teams still qualified despite being the team that loses the most balls (15.8 per game), it is not for nothing. With his extraordinary science of protecting the circle, the Saint-Quentin native forces opposing teams to adapt. That’s true in the NBA. And this is obviously the case with the Blues. “Must be considered on both sides (note: of the field) individuallyJacques Monclar explains. There is no debate but there is oblivion. Defense is part of the game, often in basketball the game is considered only through the prism of the attack. We must remember the usefulness of a 2m16 player with 2m35 wingspan in defense. In deterrence, rebound, counterattacks… “.
Credit: Getty Images
I can do a lot better
So why do some continue to be so “demanding” with him and are not satisfied with his already so valuable contribution? “There is perhaps his communication and understanding of French whose references are more those of the highlights, of Michael (note: Jordan) and Kobe (Bryant). Dominant players of this type”, adds Jacques Monclar who followed. the preparation of the Blues for this Euro for BeIn Sport. Gold with his resume, with his three trophies of defender of the year in the NBA (2018, 2019 and 2021), and his three selections at the great mass of NBA stars – the All Star Game -, the native of Saint -Quentin has changed to an extent. This can explain the enormous expectations of the general public about him. As well as his monstrous contract ($ 205 million over 5 years) has put him even more in the spotlight and generated even more harsh criticism such as the releases of, for example, Shaquille O’Neal or more recently Tracy McGrady.
While he always announces his ambitions loud and clear (“I don’t have a gold medal yet. It is our goal“Launches himself on the FIBA website), Rudy Gobert, however, ignores. Focused on his game and team, the new Minnesota Timberwolves pivot focuses on his goals and strengths to chart his course. “My goal is just to win. There is and always will be criticism, “sweeps away the former Choletais. But he remains a perfectionist. And he does not want to be completely satisfied with what he is currently doing, as he admitted after the exit against Turkey: “I can do a lot better. I am not very happy with my game, I have 20 points but I think I could have scored 30, I have left too many free throws (6/11 successful, ed) “.
As the tournament progresses, Rudy is becoming dominant
Ignoring the gossip, Gobert always goes on. And he intends to confirm his rise to power against Italy, who had dominated at the Olympics last summer in the same stage of the competition (22 points, 9 rebounds) while playing as a coach for this French team: “Qwhen you beat a team three times in a year. The more you advance, the more you can tell yourself, subconsciously, that these matches will be the same, thus warns “Gobzilla”. But no: we learned the hard way against Argentina at the World Cup (2019) “.
If Italy can pose some problems to the Blues who will have to defend more widely in order not to let the Azzurri catch fire from afar as against Serbia, Vincent Collet still knows he can count on the massacre of his pivot, well supported in circles of Moustapha Fall and Vincent Poirier. A Gobert more and more to his advantage. “As the tournament progresses, Rudy is becoming dominant. And he is part of the expression of a Big Man“, consider Jacques Monclar before concluding:”We can say anything we want about our team and Rudy. But by losing 16 balls per game, I see that we are still there. And if we can fix it… “
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