Wolves coach Chris Finch believes we still haven’t seen the best of Rudy Gobert – Basketball Insiders
The Timberwolves have entered December tied as the best record in the NBA alongside the Boston Celtics, both with a 15-4 record so far. However, Minnesota does lead the Western Conference in solitary, as they boast playing with two-starting big men who dominate the court’s high ground and are proving to be a dangerous strategy.
This scheme isn’t new, as coach Chris Finch tried it out last season too, so what’s different this time around? Well, both Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns are 100% healthy and established in their roles.
Named the West’s best coach during the month of November, Finch gave his impressions in a recent interview with KFAN-FM 100.3’s Paul Allen and spoke about his star centers.
Story: Chris Finch on Rudy Gobert’s mission, KAT’s move from sun to planethttps://t.co/Npr9S8GwjK
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“First of all, I don’t think we saw the best version of Rudy last year just for health. I think he was a bit banged up in his lower body all season long. Never really complained about it but I think it certainly affected him,” he assured.
The French center recovered last season, but it wasn’t clear until now that his lower body kept hurting throughout the campaign. Now that his woes are in the past, the Timberwolves trainer revealed that Gobert is on a mission to prove his critics wrong.
“His mindset coming into the season is about as focused of a player I’ve ever been around. The way he was talking, the way he was excited about the season, the way he felt settled and happy and encouraged by everything … it just takes some time when you’re traded. It just does, we underestimate that part,” Finch claimed.
He believes the seven-footer also wants to prove this to his own squad. “And then he’s gone out and backed it up. He’s on a mission, he wants to prove to the league, he wants to prove to his teammates and the fans here that he was certainly worthy of the trade and worthy of being here and he’s on a mission to win a championship,” the coach added.
The Minnesota coach believes this NBA contention is very open and guarantees that his squad has the right motivation to fight for the title
“The league is more wide open than ever, and I don’t put us above anybody but it is open and I think that’s got a lot of players around the league motivated in the right way,” Chris Finch said about his team’s chances of contending for the title this season.
He did recognize that Gobert’s offensive numbers are a bit lower than the last campaign, but he’s witnessed his blocks rise from 1.4 to 2.4 per contest, and contributed heavily to Minnesota’s No. 1 defense.
This Wednesday, the French center will have a second opportunity to defeat compatriot Victor Wembanyama as his team will host the Spurs. Last time around, the veteran lost their first clash against the 19-year-old rookie.
“It’s still man versus boy,” Finch claimed. “The best teams go out and impose themselves. When you’re playing against a Steph Curry and you’re a young guy, you cannot believe how quick, fast and how much he moves for a guy his age. Until you play against him, you don’t know. You can’t experience it. It’s not relatable. Coach can tell you a million times. Same thing with Rudy, when you get out there with his physicality and his length, it’s a different animal.”