Hassan Whiteside and Rudy Gobert bound by the call of duty | NBA

By recovering Hassan Whiteside during the offseason, Utah bet on size to support Rudy Gobert.

Even if the tendency for dominant pivots is starting to return, the association of these two beautiful babies over 2m10 is scary and is bearing fruit statistically, Utah being the best team in the league on the rebound (47.4 taken by match) and in a good position in terms of blocks (7th, with 5.4 blocks on average).

A common mission: to bring back the title

The success of this doublet was not guaranteed in advance, but the two players made a clean sweep of the past (and mocking “white people” on social networks) to focus on the challenges to come.

“When you play against someone, there is the media aspect, especially a few years ago when Hassan was playing in Miami and we were both leaders in the league on blocks and rebounds. Whenever we fought each other, and even when we weren’t facing each other, people liked to compare us ”, recalled Rudy Gobert. “There was also this competitive spirit between us. Everyone wanted to show that they were the best pivot in the league. I have a competitive mindset, so back then I just wanted to kick his ass and not be friends with him, and it was the same for him. But now that we’ve met and got to know each other, we actually have a lot in common, and I think he’s a great guy. Now it’s about how we can help this team to win a title and help each other to progress ”.

Before focusing on this mission, the two pivots took advantage of « Call of Duty » to get to know each other better. And little by little, a real friendship was born.

“Our friendship started on Call of Duty. When I first met him, I didn’t know he was playing there. It developed over time, and with a snap of my fingers I found myself going to his house to discuss everything and nothing, cryptocurrency, NFT, different topics. We then realized that we had a lot of things in common ”, for his part revealed Hassan Whiteside. “I think that was the first person who contacted me, who sent me a message while I was in Las Vegas. I told him that I was coming to help and to try to achieve something special here, I just wanted him to know that I was in full force from the start, in the optics of bringing back a title of champion in Jazz ”.

A certain offensive potential

Facing Minnesota last night, Utah relied heavily on his pair of XXL pivots to dominate the Wolves. The two players left no respite to their opponent by taking turns for 48 minutes. Their impact on rebounding and scoring allowed the Jazzmen to make the difference, with the help of the Conley-Mitchell-Bogdanovic trio.

« We make each other better » confirmed the French. “When he kicks in I’m not upset about going out and I try to give him a little trick to motivate him. Whether it’s a tip or something, I try to push him to make sure he gives his best when he walks in. That’s what we need in a team that wants to go for the title, players who accept their roles in order to make the team better ”.

Hassan Whiteside (12 points to 4/4 shooting in 13 minutes) and Rudy Gobert (20 points) also made the difference in scoring last night. Often singled out for his lack of impact in attack, the French has just completed two games at 20 points and more for the third time this season.

“A lot of people think you can’t score, which is fair to the way the game is played these days. It’s just different ” recalled Hassan Whiteside. “When I got there, Quin Snyder told me that they weren’t going to give me the low post too much like it has been the case in the past. It’s just another way of operating (…). The spaces are freed on the « rolls » of the pivots, and you need someone who can finish in the paint to open up 3-point situations as well, and that works pretty well ”.

Donovan mitchell2932.645.734.
Bojan Bogdanovic3029.847.442.588.
Rudy Gobert3031.972.
Jordan clarkson3025.138.530.580.
Mike Conley2728.147.744.
Rudy Gay1619.141.036.868.
Royce O’neale2830.848.139.472.
Joe ingles3024.844.039.676.
Hassan whiteside2815.
Eric Paschall2310.641.930.
Jared butler174.334.431.657.
Trent Forrest237.252.433.380.
Udoka Azubuike42.0100.
Miye Oni142.928.616.
Elijah hughes62.80.00.0100.
Malik fitts42.

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