Rudy Gobert is the anchor of one of the league’s best defenses. But thanks to a controversial play from Dion Waiters, the Utah Jazz are going to have to do everything in their power not to drift away without the aid of their defensively dominant center.
During the Jazz’s Friday matchup with the Miami Heat, Gobert found Miami guard Dion Waiters’ shoulder in his knee following a loose ball.
NOOOOOOOOO!!!! Rudy Gobert taken off the court as Dion Waiters runs into Rudy Gobert’s knee. pic.twitter.com/kxFRyQkxmj
— Dave Noriega (@davenoriega) November 11, 2017
The collision sent last year’s All-Defensive team center to the locker room, though he’d return to post 12 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks in an 84-74 loss.
The big man said Waiters had intentionally gone after his knees.
“It feels better than it looked on the video,” Gobert told the Deseret News. “I think it was a dirty play, but no matter what the most important thing is to keep getting better and to win tomorrow. … He just dove right into my knee. Kind of like the same thing that happened before on my MCL so my knee just went inside and kind of popped inside and back out.”
Dove for the ball right… https://t.co/0xnXZVy2eG
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) November 11, 2017
Gobert then missed Utah’s game the following day.
Now, he’ll apparently miss the next four to six weeks.
Sources: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks with a bone bruise in his right knee. Gobert suffered the injury Friday against Miami.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 12, 2017
As it stands, the 6-7 Jazz have the third-best defensive rating (which calculates points allowed per 100 possessions) in the league, which is crucial to their success, because they also they the fourth-worst offensive rating in the NBA.
Gobert leads the league with 2.5 blocks per game.