Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert calls out teammates
Utah has lost four of last five, maintains slim lead over Clippers for fourth spot in West
NBA.com staff reports
A listless start and another defeat has Utah center Rudy Gobert feeling frustrated.
Following the team’s 108-95 loss at the LA Clippers, a potential first-round playoff foe, Gobert let his feelings be known to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
“We’ve got guys that compete, but some of us don’t compete. Some of us just think about scoring,” Gobert told ESPN after Utah’s fourth loss in its past five games. “That’s what it is.
“Coach keeps repeating it: We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice. Those guys, we know they’re going to get calls. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and ready to fight.”
Gobert was not happy with the Jazz after trailing 28-14 after the first quarter in a game that could determine which team will have home-court advantage if the two teams meet in the first round. The Clippers are now a half-game behind the Jazz for the Western Conference’s fourth seed.
“I think everybody needs to think about making plays for the team, making winning plays, before thinking about how many points we’re going to score and stuff like that,” Gobert said. “Everybody has to be ready to sacrifice. In the playoffs, it’s not going to be pretty. There’s going to be some games where you don’t score. But are you going to take a charge for a teammate? Are you going to come and box out DeAndre [Jordan] for a teammate?
“It works with all of us. And we do it, we do it, but we do it by stretches. We need to do it right from the beginning of the game. I think when we do that, we’re very, very, very good.”
Gobert, who was coming off a career-high 35-point, 15-rebound performance against the Knicks on Tuesday, had 26 points and 14 rebounds for Utah, and reserve Joe Johnson added 17 points.
”Right from the beginning they jumped us, and we weren’t ready,” Gobert said. ”That’s what happened the last few games and we came out the same way.”