Timberwolves' Rudy Gobert out for Game 2 vs. Nuggets due to birth of his child; Jamal Murray to play

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert drives to the basket against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Sunday, April 28, 2024, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert may miss Game 2 against the Nuggets due to the birth of his child. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Minnesota Timberwolves will be without Rudy Gobert, the backbone of their defense, for Game 2 against the Denver Nuggets due to the birth of his child.

Head coach Chris Finch announced his status to reporters Monday evening before tipoff. Per Finch, the Timberwolves considered flying him back to Denver for Game 2, but weather complicated travel.

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, meanwhile, will play. Murray was initially listed as questionable due to a lingering calf strain. The Nuggets announced before tipoff that he was available to play.

Gobert was initially listed as questionable by the Timberwolves on Monday afternoon due to "personal reasons." He was not at shootaround Monday morning, and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that no one on the team really knew if Gobert would play against the Nuggets.

The Timberwolves didn't elaborate on Gobert's personal reasons, but Gobert reportedly became a father Monday morning. He announced several months ago that he and his girlfriend Julia Bonilla were expecting their first child together.

Gobert and the Timberwolves were well aware that he might have to miss a playoff game for the birth of his child, and the team has been nothing but supportive of his choice to be at his girlfriend's side for such an important life moment.

“I would do anything I can to be there,” Gobert told the Deseret News in March. “I don’t think there’s any debate to have. Coach Finch and every guy in this locker room, 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. And I think all the guys will be literally telling me, ‘Don’t play, go.’”

Now that time has come, Gobert is out for Game 2. After winning Game 1, doing the same in Game 2 may be a little more challenging for the Timberwolves.

Tip-off for Game 2 in Denver is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET (8 p.m. MT).