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Rudy Gobert Elston Turner Timberwolves NBA defense top-tier

Rudy Gobert and Elston Turner's honest, intense relationship leads to the NBA's best defense, challenging each other to succeed.

Rudy Gobert is widely recognized as the top defender in the league, but Elston Turner operates under the radar as the mastermind behind the NBA's premier defense. Their partnership is defined by unfiltered honesty and mutual respect.

When Timberwolves assistant coach Elston Turner, the team's defensive coordinator, and four-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert were asked about their dynamic, head coach Chris Finch drew a humorous analogy. He likened their relationship to divorced parents co-parenting, emphasizing their shared goal of success despite occasional disagreements.

Turner, a seasoned assistant coach, and Gobert, with guidance from Finch, joined forces to elevate the Wolves' defense to the top-ranked unit in the league this season. Their combined efforts have propelled the Wolves to the Western Conference finals, with Game 2 against the Mavericks looming.

Gobert's impact was evident in the Wolves' recent loss to the Mavericks, where the team's performance drastically improved when he was on the court. Finch noted the defensive lapses that occurred when Gobert was off the floor, highlighting his irreplaceable presence.

The Wolves' defensive prowess did not materialize overnight, requiring a collaborative effort between Gobert, Turner, and Finch. Adjustments were made to Gobert's playing style, challenging him to step outside his comfort zone and embrace a more versatile defensive approach. This process involved candid discussions and occasional disagreements, which both parties viewed as essential for growth.

Turner's coaching philosophy, rooted in direct communication and constructive criticism, resonated with Gobert. Despite initial challenges, Gobert embraced the need for adaptation and teamwork, leading to significant defensive improvements for the Wolves.

Gobert's transition to a more flexible defensive role was met with humor and camaraderie by the coaching staff. Finch highlighted the lighthearted moments shared with Gobert during timeouts, showcasing their rapport and shared commitment to success.

Ultimately, Gobert's willingness to evolve and collaborate with Turner exemplifies his dedication to winning. The Wolves' defensive strategy, tailored to maximize Gobert's strengths while addressing his weaknesses, has debunked the notion that he falters in crucial playoff moments.

In conclusion, the partnership between Gobert and Turner exemplifies the power of honest communication and mutual respect in achieving success. Their shared commitment to excellence has propelled the Wolves to new heights, setting a standard for defensive excellence in the NBA.

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