Rudy Gobert Makes Bold Celtics Prediction Following Game 7 Victory


    Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz reacts to a play during the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers

    If an NBA player and his team have been eliminated from playoff contention, it doesn’t hurt for him to give out his predictions for the rest of the playoffs. Utah Jazz All-Star Center Rudy Gobert certainly thinks so. Shortly after the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, Gobert revealed who he believes will be hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy this season.

    To make a long story short, he’s picking the Celtics to win it all.

    By extension, Gobert is also predicting that the Celtics will topple both the Miami Heat in the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals and furthermore, who emerges victorious out of the 2022 Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks.

    It’s possible Gobert may have been waiting to see who won the series to declare the victor as the eventual NBA champions. It’s also possible Gobert started believing in Boston’s title chances after the Celtics beat the Jazz 125-97 on March 23, 2022. Whatever the case is, it appears the league’s best players are taking notice of Boston’s play in these playoffs.

    Gobert was not the Only French NBA Player to Shout Out Boston

    Following the Celtics’ series-clinching win against the Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers Forward Nicolas Batum heaped praise on the Celtics’ role players for their part in helping Boston overtake the reigning NBA champions.

    The “role players” that Batum is probably referring to are the likes of Marcus Smart, Grant Williams, and Derrick White for the contributions they made throughout the series.

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    This also was not the first time Batum talked about the 2022 Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Celtics and the Bucks. Although previously, he praised the Bucks, or more specifically Jrue Holiday, for the impact he had on the court when Milwaukee won Game 5.

    Regardless, it makes sense why Batum would shout out specifically Boston’s role players since Batum himself was considered one of the Clippers’ most vital role players in their playoff run last year.

    Boston Has Brought in Several French Players in Recent Years

    Perhaps one of the reasons why Gobert may believe in Boston’s chances this season is because of how many of his teammates on France’s National Basketball team have gone on to play for the Celtics over the last several years.

    Since 2016, Boston has brought in three French basketball players who have also played with Gobert back home. The first one was Guerschon Yabusele, who Boston drafted in 2016 and then played for the team from 2017 to 2019. Yabusele went on to play with Gobert in the 2020 Summer Olympics.

    Next was Vincent Poirier, who Boston brought in as a free agent in 2019. Poirier played sparingly for the Celtics in the 2019-20 season before he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. Poirier has played with Gobert in the 2020 Summer Olympics, 2019 FIBA World Cup, and the 2017 Eurobasket tournament.

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    Finally, there was Evan Fournier, who Boston acquired at the trade deadline in the 2020-21 season. Fournier, who spoke out against the controversial call that went against the Celtics in Game 3 against the Bucks, only spent half a season in Boston before being signed and traded to the New York Knicks the following summer. Fournier’s played with Gobert for several years dating back to the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Since then, they’ve played together in the 2015 and 2017 EuroBasket Tournament, the 2019 FIBA World Cup, and the 2020 Summer Olympics.

    Even now, Boston has Juhann Begarin, also a French Native, as one of their draft-and-stash players. Begarin, who has an international scout “excited” about what he can do, has not played with Gobert as of now, but that could very well change in the future.

    Whether that’s the reason why Gobert believes in Boston, it’s clear the Celtics have a liking for the basketball players they have over in France.

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