Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert say’s he’s fine with Nuggets weapon turning into Kobe Bryant

Tony Nguyen | Denver Nuggets
May 13, 2024

In the NBA Playoffs, the expectation is always that the star players are going to pop off. Teams are separated by the contributions of their bench and how good the unit is at executing schemes as a whole. This is exactly what defined Game 4 between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets. Everyone knew that Anthony Edwards and Nikola Jokic were going to get huge buckets but it was not the expectation for Aaron Gordon. A lot of the Timberwolves faithful were shocked about the forward’s impact but this did not faze Rudy Gobert. The Defensive Player of the Year could even care less if his opponent turned to Kobe Bryant.

Someone went ballistic in Nuggets vs. Timberwolves

May 12, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) works around Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) in the first quarter of game four of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
© Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

You heard that right! Despite the loss and big showing from Aaron Gordon, Rudy Gobert could not care any less. He outlined how these buckets were not a result of the Timberwolves lacking defense. Instead, it was largely just because the Nuggets forward was on an absolute heater and they could not do much to throw him off, via Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.

“If Aaron Gordon turns into Kobe Bryant for stretches, we got to be living with that. Those shots were contested, highly contested some of them. This is part of the game,” the Timberwolves’ Stiffle Tower declared.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened and the Timberwolves were at the short end of the stick. Aaron Gordon went off by scoring 27 points. The most impressive part was that only one of his 12 field goal attempts did not find the bottom of the net. This insane 91.7% shooting clip was not the only thing that Gordon boasted. He also went two for two from beyond the arc while dropping six assists and grabbing six rebounds.

Just like Kobe Bryant, his impact was not just on the offensive side of the court. Rudy Gobert along with the other Timberwolves defenders had some trouble playing against him. Aaron Gordon stole the ball once to stop his opponent’s momentum. Moreover, there were no easy jumpshots executed against him because of his insane timing and vertical leap. This set of skills even netted him two blocks. All of these were very crucial to the Nuggets’ 107 to 115 victory.

The Timberwolves have a problem to solve

Defensively, Chris Finch’s squad has all the personnel in the world to stop the Nuggets offense. They can funnel the scoring to Nikola Jokic and prevent everyone else from getting involved. However, it is on offense where everyone else struggled. It looked like Anthony Edwards was the only one blazing it up for the Timberwolves.

Their star played 45 minutes in this NBA Playoffs clash and gave every single part of himself on the court. His shots were all efficient as he scored 44 points while shooting at an insane 64% clip from the field. His five assists along with a block and two steals proved his hunger in this matchup. The same cannot be said for the rest of the Timberwolves, especially Karl-Anthony Towns. No one else managed to score more than 15 points to keep them afloat.

Hopefully, this all changes such that they take the commanding lead.