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#pounditFriday, March 31, 2023

Rudy Gobert explains how Clippers exploited him to win series

Rudy Gobert

The Los Angeles Clippers found a way to exploit Rudy Gobert defensively in the Western Conference semifinals, something few teams can say they’ve done. It left Gobert clearly frustrated on Saturday a day after Utah’s elimination.

Gobert spoke at the team’s end-of-season media availability on Saturday and admitted he was incredibly frustrated with how the season ended. He also laid out why the Clippers’ offense was so problematic for him and his teammates, and how their plan backfired on Friday.

The Clippers focused heavily on the perimeter with their lineups and strategy, knowing they would force Gobert to either stay home and be less of a factor or come out to try to close down shooters. It successfully exploited Utah’s defense, culminating in a Game 6 effort that saw the Clippers attempt 39 threes while converting 20 of them.

That’s essentially why the Clippers’ plan worked perfectly. Gobert was presented with a dilemma, and he decided to take the option that seemed less damaging. It made sense on paper, but Terance Mann went 15-of-21 in Game 6, taking full advantage of the fact that the Jazz were willing to dare him to shoot.

The Clippers clearly made it a point to stay away from Gobert after losing the first two games. As a result, it was a very quiet series for the Defensive Player of the Year on both ends, as the Clippers consistently made the strategy work perfectly. It’s no coincidence that they won four in a row after committing to it. Full credit should go to Ty Lue for making the adjustment.


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