Fran Blinebury of NBA.com looked at 10 players who could make their first All-Star game appearance in 2017-18, and Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert made the list.
“‘The Stifle Tower’ was a finalist for Kia Defensive Player of the Year last season and now he’ll see his offensive numbers go up in the wake of Gordon Hayward’s departure from Utah,” wrote Blinebury. “The Jazz say they’re making him the focus of the team.”
Gobert also gains some attention from Ollie Charlwood of Fadeaway World who ranked the top 5 rim protectors in the NBA. It was a list topped by Utah’s shot-blocking star.
“Mr. Gobert is the poster child for defensive statistics in the NBA,” wrote Charlwood, “1st in blocks per game at 2.6, 3rd in defensive rating at 99.2, 2nd in opponent field-goal percentage less than 6 feet from the rim and 6th in defensive rebounds per game.”
Charlwood then explained why he thinks that Gobert is the most effective center in the NBA.
“He is so efficient on offense that he can spend the bulk of his energy on defense, putting true meaning behind his nickname of the Stifle Tower.”
Finishing behind Gobert on the list were Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat at No. 2 and New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis at No. 3.
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