One hundred and forty-one nights after his positive coronavirus test caused the NBA season suspension, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert scored the first points of the league restart, turning a step-by-step over former teammate Derrick Favor into possession of the opening Thursday night match against the New Orleans Pelicans at Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Most importantly, Gobert also scored the final points of the game, hitting a pair of free throws ahead with 6.9 seconds left.
“I’m just grateful,” Gobert told ESPN in a telephone interview following the Jazz 106-104 victory at Walt Disney World’s HP Field Field House. “Just grateful to be able to do what I want to do. After everything I personally and everything the world is going through now, being able to continue to inspire millions of children around the world and continue to spread positivity is just one blessing.
“And it̵7;s great to start with a win, of course.”
It was also an appropriate way to put an end to the victory, as the shooting keeper Donovan Mitchell broke the defense with dribble penetration and fed Gobert to lead the free kicks. A foul by Favor stopped Gobert from ending up with a pronounced dunk, but the show still stood as proof that the jazz stars, whose clashes dominated the exclusivity news coverage for months, could continue to have a productive working partnership. .
“Donovan was trying to play the right game and he did,” said Gobert, who had 14 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks in the win, which was sealed when Pelican striker Brandon Ingram lost a 3-goal lead to goal. “A lot of people will certainly not be able to say the things they want to say to destroy our team. As I said, life works in mysterious ways.”
The Jazz All-Stars priest did not speak for the first month of the break because Mitchell, who tested positive for COVID-19 hours after Gobert, was upset about the 7-legged cavalier standing for the coronavirus pandemic before Gobert was aware of it. his was infected.
However, they both admitted that there was friction between the pandemic, mainly about how often Mitchell passed on to Gobert and the tendency of a big man to complain about him.
“We went further, and talked about using this whole experience to get better, and I think those two guys did it,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder.
After several productive private conversations, with each responsibility in mind, Gobert and Mitchell have publicly expressed confidence in recent weeks they can continue to win together and have a desire to transfer focus back to the team as a whole. They repeated that attitude in the wake of working together in the critical game in Thursday’s win.
“It’s also a kind of stop to talk about him, to be honest with you,” said Mitchell, who had two of his five lobster assists for Gobert in the third quarter, when the Jazz were teasing from a 16-point deficit. “In the end, we’re basketball players. We go out there and play the right game. He did a hell of a job. I try to find my way and find guys who open up. For me, at the end of the game, it ‘s about I have told him thousands of times I have tried to be a better passerby, better creator as a whole.To be able to do this in those situations only shows the steps I have taken
“It’s just me trusting him and the one who trusts me. This is really the way it is. … He had the first two points, and for that [play] to put an end to it, he has to seal everything in terms of all the extra things. “
Mitchell scored eight of his 20 points in the final five minutes, surpassing the Pelicans only once during the crisis, as the Jazz decided on their final comebacks. It coincides with the biggest return of the season to Utah, as it also tracked down the Portal Trail Blazers with 16 in a Feb. 7 win, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Mitchell had the Jazz’s previous eight points when, with the score tied, he came down the middle of the lane after beating New Orleans Jrue Holiday guard with a back-and-forth dribble, forcing the Favorites to rise to help and did a peach passed by hand to Gobert.
“To play the game he did late and throw the ball to Rudy and then Rudy to make two free throws, it shows a lot of confidence in your teammate,” Snyder said. “Maybe I’ll change my mind and say it’s poetic, but I don’t want to overdo it too much. Those two guys have done it hundreds and hundreds of times over the last [three] years, the time they have played together. “It’s great to see them tied up in court.”
Gobert still had to drown the free throws that filled the pressure, which had been a problem for him. He entered the 1st-8th game on free kicks in the last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or during working hours this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info research, the weakest clip (12.5%) of any player with at least five attempts in such situations.
But Gobert did both free kicks with the game on the line, saying he just focused on the way he held the ball and its continuation, not the size of the moment.
Once the game was over, the final interaction between the players on the floor was Mitchell moving forward to exchange a top five with Gobert ahead of the center’s interview on TNT.
“Every team has its ups and downs,” Gobert said. “The most important thing is the way you respond. It takes a bigger man to take the high path in life. We are both doing it now. We will both continue to strive to make each other better. “This is what the team needs and our community needs.”