Behind Drew Eubanks' Poster Dunk on Rudy Gobert
A late defensive turnaround gave the Trail Blazers a solid home win against the Timberwolves.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Drew Eubanks' back must be feeling better.
We can talk about the Trail Blazers' fourth-quarter defensive turnaround or Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons both topping the 30-point mark in a nice home win over the Timberwolves, but the moment of the night was Eubanks getting one over Rudy Gobert.
"I think we ran that play three times in a row," Eubanks said after the game. "On the second one, he helped up and I was supposed to screen for Ant coming out, and Dame saw an opening and passed it to me. Shit, I just tried to put it through the rim."
Lillard didn't know what to expect when he threw the pass.
"Drew is bouncy, but Rudy Gobert is so tall and long that he'll always get to it," Lillard said. "So I was standing at the rim like, 'Let's see how this is gonna go.' And he got him."
It took three more possessions and almost a full minute of game clock before anyone realized that Eubanks had sliced his finger on the rim and was bleeding profusely up and down the court. He left the game to get bandaged, and after the game had a giant splint on his pinky.
Eubanks' dunk gave the Blazers an eight-point lead after a rough third quarter where Minnesota worked up a double-digit lead, taking advantage of defense Josh Hart called "fucking shit." The renewed defensive focus came from within, by all accounts. Chauncey Billups said he didn't need to get on players because they were getting on each other in the timeout huddle.
"We came in the huddle and it was like, Rudy Gobert is diving down the lane and when we go to help, they're getting corner threes," Lillard said. "And it's like, 'We covered this shit in our walk-through. What are we doing?' That was the conversation in the huddle. If we know he's switching and we don't get under, Rudy Gobert is gonna be rolling and then we'll have to protect the rim first, and they're gonna advance pass and get corner threes. That's what they did to our defense last year. We talked about this. And everybody was pretty much able to look around and say, 'This is a fact.' We talked about this in walk-through. We saw this on film. And at that point, you're either going to be able to do your job or your teammates are gonna be looking at you like, 'Bro, why aren't you doing your job?' We all just stepped up to the plate."
What We Saw
For paid subscribers, notes, thoughts and observations from the game, plus the Jersey of the Night: