Walker Kessler’s game-saving plays in win over Thunder just another reminder Jazz won the Rudy Gobert trade


The Utah Jazz won the Rudy Gobert trade. That much has actually been clear given that, well, the 2nd it was completed, and as the routine season has actually gone along, we’ve gotten various suggestions. The most recent began Thursday night with Walker Kessler’s big-time efficiency in allure’s 120-119 overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder

Kessler completed with 7 points, 18 rebounds and 7 blocks in what was an extremely amusing contest. In addition to making his very first profession 3-pointer, Kessler ended up being the 8th novice in NBA history to formally have at least 18 rebounds and 7 blocks in the exact same video game, per Stathead. The league did not begin tape-recording blocks till the 1973-74, however ever since 6 of the 7 gamers to publish such a line went on to end up being Hall of Famers: Bill Walton, Ralph Sampson, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning. (And, in case you’re questioning, John Henson is the response to that trivia concern.)

Those type of statistics are enjoyable, however the more vital thing for allure is that Kessler has currently end up being an essential cog who can remain on the flooring in huge minutes. That capability showed important in the closing seconds of policy on Thursday, as Kessler created game-saving uses both ends of the flooring.

” Big high-end for us to be able to have him in at the end of the video game due to the fact that you can put him on some border gamers,” Jazz coach Will Hardy stated “His length and timing and athleticism continues to stand apart. That block on Isaiah Joe at the end of guideline was a big play. There’s few people who can make that play. Walker does a heap for us. I am on him constantly and after that I return in the locker space and he had 18 rebounds and 7 blocks. I do not understand, perhaps I’m a moron.”

His very first minute began offense. With allure routing by 2 and less than 20 seconds to play, Lauri Markkanen attempted to go to work along the standard, however could not get his spinning layup to go. Kessler, however, existed to crash the glass and battled several Thunder gamers for the ball prior to ultimately connecting the video game on his 2nd put-back effort.

Down on the other end, the Thunder got the ball to Joe, who had actually Kessler separated on the boundary and shook him with a cool relocation. It appeared like Joe was on his method to a game-winning layup, however Kessler displayed some excellent healing abilities to return in the play and swat Joe’s layup away at the buzzer.

In 2023, Kessler is balancing 10.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per video game on 69.5 percent shooting from the field. For the season, Kessler’s 2.1 blocks per video game benefit 5th in the league, and he has 3 video games of a minimum of 7 blocks; the remainder of the league has actually 5 integrated.

” I believe that’s the actually enjoyable part about where Walker remains in his profession,” Hardy stated. He has the capability to have nights like tonight where he has 18 rebounds and 7 blocks, and our personnel and even Walker if you ask him, we believe he can get a lot better. There’s still a lot out there that he can enhance.

” Yes, a few of that is shooting threes, however on the protective end I believe he can continue to do more. We got ta continue to put him in circumstances where he is securing border gamers some, we need to change with him a bit, we need to attempt to develop protective adaptability with our group by how we utilize Walker. That’s in the meantime and with the future in mind. I believe Walker has the prospective to be someone that you construct a defense around. He’s revealed excellent development this year, however it’s on us as a personnel to assist him continue to broaden.”

When allure made the Gobert trade, Kessler was sort of an afterthought. A couple of months on, he now appears like the focal point, and a direct replacement for the Frenchman. If a more youthful, less expensive variation of Gobert was all allure got in that offer, it still would have been a win for them. As it is, they likewise got 4 more first-round choices and a choice swap from the Timberwolves, and a variety of gamers whom they have actually consequently utilized to obtain Talen Horton-Tucker and the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 2027 first-round choice.

Danny Ainge has actually done it once again.

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