The Utah Jazz pride themselves on defense, but won’t emerge as one of the league’s best teams unless they continue improving on the other side of the ball. And the foreseeable future, unfortunately, will serve as an arduous litmus test for the prospects of Quin Snyder’s young group in that very regard.
Rudy Gobert, a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate, will be out indefinitely following a knee sprain during Wednesday’s practice. The Jazz announced the news on their website on this evening.
Pertinent details of the team’s release on the matter are below.
After sustaining a left knee injury during today’s practice at Zions Bank Basketball Center, Gobert underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) this afternoon at University of Utah Health Care’s Orthopaedic Center. Following the examination, Jazz physicians Dr. Travis Maak and Dr. David Petron determined that Gobert suffered a Grade II sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee.
No surgery is required and Gobert will be out indefinitely.
The 7’2 center spurred Utah to the stingiest defense in basketball over the second half of last season following his full-time promotion to the starting lineup. Gobert is a peerless rim-protector, combining rare length with sublime timing and explosive athleticism for a player his size. Opponents are shooting a league-worst 35.7 percent at the rim against him this season, a paltry number nearly four points lower than Draymond Green’s second-ranked mark.
Utah went 0-2 in mid-November when Gobert was sidelined with a minor ankle sprain. Rookie Trey Lyles will likely take his place as a starter, while Derrick Favors shifts from power forward to center.
We’ll keep you updated on Gobert’s condition as news becomes available.