Rudy Gobert‘s bone bruise in his right knee will sideline him until December at the earliest, a major blow to the Jazz‘s frontcourt. However, the Utah center also feels the team will be fine in his absence and that he will return to form once he recovers from injury.
“I’m confident that the team is going to win games even when I’m not here and I’ll be back stronger,” Gobert said (via Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News). “It’s like an All-Star break before the All-Star break. So everything is good, I’m confident and nothing’s changed. No team goals. No individual goals. Everything’s good.”
Gobert, 25, was in the midst of another productive season. Through 12 contests, Gobert posted 13.9 PPG, 10.5 RPG and a league-best 2.5 blocks. That Jazz, currently in 10th place in the Western Conference with a 6-8 record, will miss Gobert’s defense but will have to tread water until he returns to not fall out of the playoff race.
Check out additional news out of the Northwest Division:
- Jonas Jerebko made a surprise start for the Jazz and posted 13 points. The former Celtics forward has only played sparingly this season but he addressed his mentality while occupying an uncertain role for the Jazz, Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News writes. “During my career, I’ve started, been on the bench, played two minutes, played 20 minutes so you’ve just got to be ready when your number’s called,” Jerebko said. “Whether I started or not, it just felt good to get 20-plus minutes tonight.”
- Shabbaz Napier has the support of his Blazers teammates and his recent performances have called for more playing time, Jason Quick of NBC Sports Northwest writes. In a contract year, Napier wants the chance to show he can be a productive NBA player.
- Finding equal minutes for both Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee off the bench has been a challenge for Nuggets head coach Michael Malone, Gina Mizell of The Denver Post writes.
- Injuries to Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams gave the Thunder a chance to experiment with 17 different lineups in Sunday night’s win against the Mavericks, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes.