Rudi Gobert, the main focus of the French national team in the European Basketball Championship

“Rudy, it’s a diesel engine.” Rudy Goubert’s 30-year-old colleague since adolescence, captain of the French men’s basketball team, Yvan Fournier, knows his friend by heart. “It always takes him a long time to get into his competitions. The first games, unfortunately, are kind of a warm-upnote the back of the Knicks during the first round of the Euro, as the tri-color pivot remained conservative. But I know he will end up dominating the feuding speculators. »

As in the round of 16 against Turkey, Goubert proved decisive, Wednesday 14 September, during the painful qualifiers for the Blues against Italy (93-85 after extra time) for the semi-finals of the continental competition, where they will find. , on Friday, Poland, the surprise winner (90-87) from Slovenia. With 19 points and 14 rebounds (recovering the ball after a basket wasted), consistent action and decisive action at the end of the game, the new Minnesota Timberwolves pivot contributed greatly to pushing France to the quarter-finals.

Diesel in competition, Rudy Gobert is also during the match. it is in “money time”, the end of a match that deserves the cherished moments, and which shines the most. subordinate dip (basket smashing action), rebounds, fouls, successful free throws: The French hub fired the full range at the end of the game and in overtime against Italy. Four days ago, he scored the useful basket that allowed the Blues to draw “Miracle” against Turkey, before putting his team on his shoulders in overtime.

Continuous work to undermine

After the quarter-finals, Vincent Colette explained why his captain, named this summer’s captain, made the impact at the end of the match: “At the end of the game, defenders are afraid to give up their player and take the basket that could kill their team.. » Preferred a “one against one” position. “So Rudy finds himself with his gaze and since he’s in control…”

Perhaps Rudi Gobert will not have the flexibility of Nikola Jokic in attack. where double MVP (“Most Valuable Player”, best player) The Serbian in the NBA (North American League) has a nearly inexhaustible offensive gear, the tricolor pivot can seem tough at times. But in addition to the fact that France was still in contention for the Euro when Serbia left Berlin in the round of 16, Joubert’s contribution to the Blues doesn’t always show up in the stats in the end. from the meeting.

Since his debut for the France squad, the pivotal player has seen his average counterattack drop (one per game this year). But rather than seeing it as a defensive relaxation, the tricolor team sees an expansion of Joubert’s influence. Many opponents penetrating the ball in their hands suddenly change their minds at the idea of ​​rubbing shoulders with the NBA’s best three-pointer defender of the year in the NBA, and falling back, risking losing the ball.

Like Italian Stefano Tonot, opposing attackers are reluctant to approach the French watchtower.

For former Blues hub Frédéric Weis, the constant work of undermining the person who now holds his position on Team France often goes under the radar. “Rudy is always on the move, running the whole game, he’s very present on the screens, presenting himself when he’s alone and staring at opponents, Consultant BeIN Sports . notes in the team. In the end, his opponents are exhausted and lose clarity of vision. »

One thing in mind: gold

Erratic from the start of the competition, the Blues sometimes have trouble finding their hub. In the absence of Nicolas Batum and Nando de Colo, two executives from the team responsible for construction, Team France’s 2022 edition is somewhat struggling in the sector. “Rudy Gobert at the end of the series, usually. We make for him, and he doesn’t need to create the game.”Explained Frederic Weiss before the competition. For him, the smoother the blues, the better Joubert, as evidenced by the association with leader Thomas Hertel, is decisive in two games. “It’s all related to the way we playJoubert confirms. When we take good shots, even if we miss, I am in a better position to take the rebounds. »

Read also: All-Star Game: “The Great Pride” of Rudy Gobert, for the third time in the NBA All-Stars meet

In the run-up to the semi-finals in Berlin, the Watchtower of the Blues was the last of the NBA’s stars – participants in the celebration game rewarding the best players – still in contention for the European Championship. Slovenian Luka Doncic joined Nikola Djokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) on vacation on Wednesday. But there is little chance that Joubert will worry about it. We are two games away from the gold medal., insisted on the French axis after the success against Italy. A metal he had never known before in the France team – including among the youth – while collecting the podiums there. “Personally, I am tired of bronze and silver medals, so we only aim for gold.”, confirmed before the euro. The amount of compression, “Diesel” still has some in the engine.

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