On Tuesday night, the Miami Heat got throttled by the Milwaukee Bucks, 91-79. Despite a game where the Bucks led most of the way, Hassan Whiteside scored 23 points — tying Chris Bosh for the game-high. He was also an ultra-efficient 8-of-9 from the field on his way to those points and added 18 rebounds — seven offensive — with two blocks. By every statistical metric, it was a dominant performance; except, like we mentioned, the Heat got rolled and Whiteside got embarrassed by the Greek Freak. Why do we mention this?
Because Rudy Gobert took to his Twitter feed on Tuesday night, too, and he appeared to call out empty stats — like the kind Whiteside put up against the Bucks.
Except, Magic center Nikola Vucevic, who has been the Orlando’s leading scorer and rebounder the last two seasons, the former of which was again a lottery team, took offense. He wanted Gobert to give a name, and even questioned his manhood.
This is an overreaction on Nikola’s part. The Magic are in the Eastern playoff race this season at 20-20 — a game back from Boston for the No. 8 seed in the East. And Vuc is again the leading scorer and rebounder on the team. The logic doesn’t fit, so maybe Vucevic just had an issue with the passive-aggressiveness inherent in a subtweet.
But then Vucevic’s teammate, Evan Fournier, chimed in and appeared to offer a guess at the mystery player Gobert was alluding to.
That’s roughly translates to Whiteside in French. Besides the stats in Miami’s loss to the Bucks, Whiteside’s on/off numbers are odd. He leads the league in blocked shots, but the Heat give up fewer points per possession when he’s on the bench (Miami’s defensive rating is 101.6 when he’s on the court and 97.6 when he sits).
Gobert did eventually respond to Vucevic, but only to poke fun at Fournier’s haircut.
And as Vucevic mentions in a tweet from this morning, the whole thing was a joke:
For the record, Gobert did tweet that he was not calling out a specific player, but people who judge a player based solely on stats. He eventually deleted said tweet, but Ball Don’t Lie has a screenshot: