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It went under the radar in Monday night’s game over the Hornets, coming as it did in the Jazz’s fifth consecutive win and their 10th victory in 11 games. It was also overshadowed by the scoring outburst of Charlotte’s Kemba Walker. Meanwhile, Jazz players typically don’t like to make a big deal of acknowledging individual stats.
But Rudy Gobert’s 18-point, 18-rebound effort was a big deal.
It was his 62nd double-double of the 2018-19 campaign … which just happens to tie some dude name of Karl Malone for the most point/rebound double-doubles in a single season in franchise history. The Mailman set the mark back in 1987-88. If Rudy manages one more over the team’s final five games, he’ll have the record to himself.
“He hasn’t changed his mentality — I think it’s grown even more after All-Star [weekend],” teammate Donovan Mitchell said of the center from France. “I think that is just a testament to his work ethic. He’s determined, and you see it on a daily basis in practice and in games.”
Lest the big man get big-headed, he’ll have to try again next year if he wants the single-season franchise mark for double-doubles. “But,” you begin to say, before I interject and tell you to go back and re-read what I wrote: He’s tied for the most point/rebound double-doubles in a season! With only five games left, he cannot catch some other guy named John Stockton, who registered 69 points/assists double-doubles back in 1991-92.
In case you missed it …
Tonight in Phoenix, Jae Crowder is probable to return, but Derrick Favors and Kyle Korver will both miss another game. The Jazz say they’ve had enough injuries at this point that they’re well-prepared to step up when someone goes out. Meanwhile, with several more games against teams eliminated from playoff contention upcoming, Utah’s players said they also must be vigilant not to let any complacency creep in.
The Jazz have won 10 of 11, but columnist Gordon Monson wondered if they should intentionally lose to chase a potentially more favorable playoff path. Gordon had a busy week writing about the Jazz, also touching on their approach to individual stats, and whether the franchise has lost a little bit of its home mojo.
Among the Tribune’s other interesting Jazz-related stories of the week, Andy B. Larsen wrote about Ricky Rubio’s constant involvement in the community, delved into why NBA coaches can’t yell at players quite as vociferously as, say, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo does, and wrote about the team’s Autism Awareness Night, which was obviously a big deal to Joe Ingles. And finally, I wrote our weekly weekend NBA column, which touched on the fan reaction that Suns guard Jimmer Fredette got at Vivint Arena last week.
Other people’s stuff
• ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon, who counts the Rockets, Mavericks, and Jazz among his beats, was in Salt Lake City on Monday for the game against the Hornets. After Rudy scored 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting, and did plenty of his other usual things to bolster Utah’s attack, MacMahon wrote that Gobert “is this season’s most underrated offensive weapon.”
• Mike Sorenson of the Deseret News is covering tonight’s game in Phoenix, and wrote about Jimmer’s second opportunity to show the Jazz what he can do.
• Along those lines, I’d like to think this was an April Fools Day joke, considering it happened on Monday, but not being there, I couldn’t say for sure. Suns coach Igor Kokoskov, the former Jazz assistant and friend of Jazz coach Quin Snyder, issued an apparent warning: “Quin Snyder better be ready. Jimmer is coming. And I’m serious. He’s going to play more.”
• He may be out injured right now, but Kyle Korver is still one of 12 finalists for the “Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award” (yeah, I’ve never heard of it either), which Ryan Miller of KSL.com wrote about.
• If you care to read more about how Joe and Renae Ingles are dealing with their son’s autism diagnosis, Tony Jones of The Athletic wrote a story.
The Jazz have just five more regular-season games remaining, which will alternate home-and-away. They’re in Phoenix tonight against the Suns, then return to the Viv on Friday to face the Sacramento Kings. On Sunday, they’ll be in Los Angeles to face whatever is left of the Lakers. Next Tuesday, they wrap up their home slate vs. the Denver Nuggets, and the next night, they wrap up the regular season by going back to L.A. to take on the Clippers.