Rudy Gobert was helped off the court with after suffering a knee injury just 11 seconds into the Jazz’s Game 1 matchup with the Clippers. MRI results revealed a hyperextension and bone bruise in his left knee, Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania tweeted late last night. However, there is no structural damage.
“The bone bruise is the bigger concern. Just like with Kevin Durant, he could be out for an extended amount of time,” the Fantasy Doctors Dr.Selene Parekh said. “He will be out for two weeks on the low end and six weeks on the long end.”
The Jazz won Game 1 without him, but the uncertainty of his injury surely loomed into the night. Gobert is one of the top rim protectors in the game today, and despite the win. Now he will almost surely miss the remainder of the series against the Clippers, who will now have a clear advantage due to having an easier path to the rim.
Blake Griffin, who is notorious for driving toward the basket, struggled against Gobert in the team’s last two matchups. Griffin, who is shooting 49 percent from the field this season, has shot just 37 percent from inside the paint. Griffin can shoot, but teams would much rather him shoot than be able to attack the basket with ease. If Gobert is not around, Griffin will be a much more productive member of the Clippers offense. Despite losing the game, Griffin led the Clippers with 26 points.
Boris Diaw saw more time on the floor in Game 1. He scored seven points, had six assists and four rebounds in 23 minutes on the floor. He is an big-bodied big man who will act as the rim protecter at times while Gobert is sidelined.
While Gobert is out, Derrick Favors will have free reigns to take control of the Utah frontcourt. Expected Favors to see more chances inside. Gordon Hayward is also likely to see a higher usage rate in Gobert’s absence. But Hayward is expected to put all of his efforts into this series, because he will need to make the decision this summer on if this is where he believes he can win a championship.