The Weekly Run: He may be the Defensive Player of the Year, but Rudy Gobert continues to evolve defensively

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz guard Kyle Korver (26) and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) high-five. Utah Jazz v San Antonio Spurs, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City on Tuesday Dec. 4, 2018.

The Weekly Run is a weekly Salt Lake Tribune newletter on the Utah Jazz. Subscribe here.

There was quite a bit of attention paid to the Jazz’s outside shooting Tuesday night, and deservedly so. But what about the defense? After all, LaMarcus Aldridge torched Utah for 45 points in their previous meeting last March.

On San Antonio’s first possession, Rudy Gobert, sagged off a bit too far, and the sweet-shooting big man drained an easy jumper, prompting Jazz coach Quin Snyder to yell at Gobert to get closer.

Aldridge scored eight first-quarter points on 4-of-5 shooting, but then he only totaled 16 for the game (shooting 7 for 10).

You’d be hard-pressed to argue Gobert didn’t wind up outplaying him. The Frenchman totaled 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Snyder even wound up happy with his big man’s defense.

“Rudy obviously anchors us on defense. As teams begin to, or continue to, gravitate toward more spacing with Rudy’s matchup, that’s just something that he is able to do in order to be as effective as I know he wants to be and for us to have the defense that we want to have," Snyder said. “I’ve challenged him, he’s challenged himself. Rudy certainly isn’t going to be perfect, but the effort and the focus and intensity that he has to have, if he brings that, he’ll continue to get better in other aspects of the game."

Week in review

• Lots happened in Tuesday’s game against San Antonio. For starters, 10 Jazz players combined to make a team-record 20 shots from the 3-point line. [TRIB]

• Andy Larsen’s latest Triple Team dives a bit deeper into those numbers, however, and concludes the shooting performance is probably random variance, rather than newfound deep-ball proficiency. [TRIB]

• Nevertheless, a big part of the night was the Jazz home re-debut of Kyle Korver, who hit 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. The Tribune’s Alex Vejar had it covered. [TRIB]

• Alex also wrote about the career night had by ex-University of Utah center Jakob Poeltl, who scored a game-high-tying 20 points for San Antonio. [TRIB]

• OK, on to stuff that didn’t happen yesterday. Perhaps you’ve noticed lately that Raul Neto has been getting more minutes as the backup point guard, while $33 million man Dante Exum has barely been playing. Wanna know why? I wrote about that. [TRIB]

• You may have read that Rudy Gobert got fined $15,000 yesterday for criticizing the refs. Here’s Andy’s original story about what got the big man so mad following the loss to Miami. [TRIB]

• If you’ve ever wondered about some of the behind-the-scenes details of how an NBA trade works — from the notifications, to the outgoing and incoming players' travel, to making sure the new guy has a jersey and shoes to wear — well, Andy has you covered and then some. [TRIB]

• We’ve written plenty about the Alec Burks-for-Kyle Korver trade in the week or so since it happened. Still, it was a bit of a shock at the time. Re-live the original news with this story co-written by me and Andy. [TRIB]

Other voices

• Deseret News' Eric Woodyard went down to Ruston, La., to hang out with Jazz legend Karl Malone and his family for three days, to see what The Mailman is up to now. The answer? A host of businesses (including a new cigar and vape shop), plenty of hunting, and a lot of time spent with his kids and grandkids. [DesNews]

• Donovan Mitchell is getting compared to Dwyane Wade quite a bit these days. Ahead of the Jazz’s Sunday game against Wade and the Heat, former Trib reporter and now utahjazz.com writer Aaron Falk took a look at the growing bond between players on opposite ends of the country, and their careers. [Utah Jazz]

• Actually, Lee Davidson isn’t an “other voice,” as he’s a great Tribune writer. But his story about former Jazz guard Eric Murdock suing United Airlines for $10M, alleging racial bias, definitely qualifies as “other” news. [TRIB]

• Maybe you just wanna watch some highlights? Of, say, a certain 34-point win against a certain team from San Antonio? ESPN’s YouTube page has that. [YouTube]

• Or maybe you just wanna watch some highlights of, say, 20 3-pointers being hit in a game? Well, the Jazz’s Twitter feed has that. [Twitter]

• And finally, Gobert is a noted fight fan. Mitchell pointed out back on media day that the center had his teammates over for a watch party for the Canelo-GGG match. However, the Frenchman may have had his fill. He’s apparently fine with spending $15,000 to get his point across to NBA refs, but he’s now unwilling to shell out $74.99 on pay-per view anymore when the result of the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury heavyweight title bout was … yet another draw to set up yet another rematch! [Twitter]

Quote of the week

At Tuesday’s shootaround, I asked Korver what the biggest difference was going from the Cavs to the Jazz. He said the new offensive system would take some getting used to:

“The style of play is probably the most different. The style of play that we played the last couple of years, you get to play in the Finals two years in a row, so it’s still a good way — especially when you have LeBron James. But you come here and it’s just a whole different style of play — a lot more passing, a lot more cutting, a lot more reads, a lot more movement, a lot more energy. So it’s really fun for me. It really is.”

— Kyle Korver

Up next

The Jazz have another home game on Thursday night against the Houston Rockets. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. After that, they’re back on the road for a back-to-back set against San Antonio and Oklahoma City this Sunday and Monday. A week from today, they’re back at The Viv against the Heat.