Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert ripped by Draymond Green amid brutal night vs Nikola Jokic

Draymond Green did not hold back.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are supposed to have the best anti-Nikola Jokic weapon in the form of Rudy Gobert, who is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year — an award he has actually won a total of four times. But against Jokic in the second round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, Gobert has seemingly been as effective as a wet cardboard or a broken turnstile when matched up against the three-time league Most Valuable Player.

Call it a matchup between an unstoppable force and an immovable object, but for Golden State Warriors star forward Draymond Green, that individual head-to-head in the Timberwolves-Nuggets series is a one-sided affair with Jokic clearly winning. After the first half of Tuesday night’s Minnesota-Denver Game 5, Jokic had himself an already fantastic output of 19 points on 7/10 shooting from the floor. That prompted Green to call Gobert “barbecue chicken,” to borrow from Shaquille O’Neal’s favorite line.

“BBQ chicken is happening,” Green said during the halftime break analysis portion of the NBA on TNT. “I’m a truth teller and right now the truth is, Rudy Gobert don’t stand a chance against Joker,” added Green, who is a former Defensive Player of the Year himself and a four-time NBA champion.

When it was all said and done on the floor in Game 5, Jokic’s stat line read: 40 points, 13 assists, two steals, and a block to go with an efficient 15/22 shooting from the floor, 2/3 from behind the arc, and 8/9 from the free throw line in the 41 minutes he spent lighting up the Timberwolves. Adding to his impressive night was the fact that the Serbian did not commit a turnover. To have possession of the leather for the majority of the time, score 40 points, and dish out over 10 dimes while resting for only seven minutes and yet have zero turnovers was something that’s straight out of basketball nirvana.

Gobert wasn’t too shabby himself offensively, as he had 18 points on a perfect 7/7 field shooting, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks in 40 minutes. He tried but there was only so much he could do to slow down Jokic. For what it’s worth, Gobert had a plus/minus of just minus-2 in Game 5. No other Timberwolves starter had a better plus/minus than a minus-12. Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 23 points on 10/19 shooting from the floor but was just a minus-17.

Even with the Twin Tower combo of Gobert and Towns plus Sixth Man of the Year Naz Reid coming off the bench, the Timberwolves still couldn’t find a worthy solution to tame Jokic. Through five games in the series, it must have dawned on the Timberwolves that there’s really no antidote to Jokic.

Fans react to Draymond Green’s roasting of Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) and center Rudy Gobert (27) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets during game one of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Ball Arena.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Fans appear to have mixed reactions to Green’s Gobert comments.

Here are some of them:

“Keep Draymond out of that set please…”

“I thought Draymond was in Cancun”

“Ask him how the playoffs went this year.”


“Maybe Draymond isn’t the most objective commentator about Gobert considering he tried to choke him out.”

“Rudy is such a joke he cant defend on the perimeter”

“Draymond knows the ball”

“He’s telling the truth though, why everyone mad?”

“That’s like saying the sky is blue. No one has been able to guard Jokic outside a combo of AD with Dwight Howard 4 yrs ago.”