Minnesota Timberwolves v Utah Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 14: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz dunks the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 14, 2019 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Rudy Gobert named NBA's Western Conference Player of the Week

by Aaron Falk

Rudy Gobert sat at his locker on Saturday night, a trash can at his feet. It wasn’t until that moment that the 7-footer showed any sign of how sick he’d been feeling.

“I was kind of feeling that way the whole day,” Gobert admitted and laughed to himself. “I tried to play the game. After the game, when I sat at my chair, I had to let everything out.”

Gobert’s willingness to fight through illness would have been impressive enough. Then consider the fact that he scored 23 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked three shots in a 114-98 win over the Brooklyn Nets. But that’s how dominant Gobert has been on the court of late.

For his efforts, Gobert on Monday was named the Western Conference’s Player of the Week. It is the first time in Gobert’s career that he has received the honor from the NBA.

Gobert averaged 16.5 points (on 69.4 percent shooting), 15.5 rebounds (most in the West) and 2.3 blocks last week, helping the Jazz to a 3-1 record in that time.

“He sets the tone for everybody,” Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio said of his center. “We know that he is a great defender. Sometimes we rely too much on him. He does a really good job on that.”

Gobert shares Player of the Week honors with Washington's Bradley Beal in the East. Gobert joins Donovan Mitchell in earning Western Conference Player of the Week honors this season. Mitchell earned the honors for the weeks of January 7-13 and February 25-March 3.

Here’s a closer look at Gobert’s week:

• March 11 — In the Jazz’s lone loss last week, Gobert went 5-for-7 from the field against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks, an assist and a steal.

• March 13 — The 7-footer had 18 points and 20 boards in a 114-97 win on the road in Phoenix.

• March 14 — Gobert had 10 points and 13 rebounds to go with two blocks and an assist in a 120-100 victory over the Timberwolves.

• March 16 — The reigning Defensive Player of the Year locked down the paint and scored 23 points (9-of-12 shooting) to go with 17 rebounds, three blocks and an assist in a 114-98 win over the Nets.

“I just tried to give everything I had,” Gobert said afterward.

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