'I don't think there's any debate': Rudy Gobert misses playoff game after birth of son

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DENVER — Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert missed Monday's Game 2 in Denver due to personal reasons.

The reason? Gobert is now a father.

Gobert's first child, a baby boy, was delivered Monday morning, according to ESPN.

"I think just the timing of his circumstances, plus some weather made it really tough (for Gobert to get back)," Minnesota coach Chris Finch said before Game 2. "And it didn't feel like he really was going to be able to get here and be prepared to play."

Such a situation was something Gobert had planned for heading into the playoffs.

In March, the longtime Utah Jazz center said the baby would be born sometime during the playoffs, so he's been preparing for this exact situation.

"It has been clear for me from the beginning, I would do anything I can to be there," Gobert told reporters during Minnsota's trip back to Utah in March. "I don't think there's any debate to have."

He expressed confidence that his coaches and teammates would be eager to see him have that moment with his family, no matter what was happening in the postseason.

"That's what I love about them, we have a level of human connection and empathy for one another that I think is really good," he said. "And I think all the guys will be literally telling me, 'Don't play. Go.'"

That's just what he did.

"It's amazing," he said. "It's a blessing. It is something that I've always wanted in my life."

Gobert has averaged 13.2 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in five playoff games this season (all wins). Minnesota has outscored opponents by 74 points in Gobert's minutes.

"Him being a great defensive player, he helps us," said guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker. "All of us have different tools that we bring to the team. I believe in every one of my teammates to step up. All season we have played a few games shorthanded … and we found ways to win."

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