Gobert redeems himself and complicates life for the Zion Pelicans

Gobert scored two free throws that gave Utah the victory. The Pelicans collapsed in the end, with Zion on the bench due to a minute restriction.

Gobert-redeems-himself-and-complicates-life-for-the-Zion-Pelicans

One thing is clear: If the Pelicans want playoff options, they need Zion Williamson. The rookie, who had to leave the bubble due to personal problems, has not been able to train with his team in the last two weeks and has continued with the already traditional minute restriction he had before the break. Only 15 played on the restart, something that cost his team dearly, who came to have a 16-point lead and ended up giving in a last period in which the attack collapsed, staying only 17 points in 12 minutes and leaving escape a victory that they had in their pocket and that complicates their lives. Counting, of course, that any defeat complicates the life of each and every team involved in the fight for eighth place in the West.

There are only eight regular season games to be played before the playoffs. And one, only one, will be the team that has the possibility to play that pay-in tournament that Ja Morant considers an injustice to his Grizzlies, who have defended that eighth place tooth and nail, in a way as unexpected as it is deserved. The best placed to be his rivals in that hypothetical tournament are Pelicans and Blazers, placed at 3.5 wins each. You have to be less than four to have the opportunity to face Memphis and win them two games in a row ... since with a defeat they are out. And the rare eight games there are so far give little room for error and magnify the Pelicans' defeat.

The protagonist of the party, apart from all this, was Rudy Gobert. Ironies of fate, that man so criticized that he was the first positive for NBA coronavirus and led to the suspension of the season, scored the first basket of the match. It was a 2 + 1 in which he did not score the additional and to which a Zion responded that ended with 13 points ... in 15 minutes. His minute restriction does not include the last three of the game, and the Pelicans ostensibly missed him in that final part in which they wanted but were unable to close the game. The Jazz were 23-21 with just over a minute to go to finish the first quarter. And they did not have an advantage again until 98-97, with four to go and after a basket by Donovan Mitchell, who finished with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists and was excellent at the end.

His, in fact, was the pass that Gobert received under the hoop with 6.9 seconds to go. The French did not fail, partially redeeming himself from all the criticisms received during the confinement and scoring the first and last basket of the match, also giving victory to his own and ending with 14 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. The Jazz's top scorer was Jordan Clarkson, who came from the Cavs before the break and seemed to have found his place, something he has confirmed with 23 points today, being the leader of the second unit. Mike Conley was more than correct (20) and, on the other side, Brandon Ingram (23 + 8) choked on a clutch time in which he did not make the correct decisions. A triple of his to get the victory came from within and condemned some Pelicans who played the key minutes without Zion. And without Zion, you know, it's impossible.



Photos from as.com
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