Utah Jazz vs Minnesota Timberwolves Preview

Image via visitsaltlake.com

After a hot start beating the Denver Nuggets by 21 points, the Utah Jazz looks to create a winning streak against former Jazz man, Rudy Gobert, and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Timberwolves Bring the Thunder

Going into Friday’s game against the Timberwolves, Utah needs to focus on getting rebounds. With the “Twin Towers” known as Karl Anthony-Towns and Rudy Gobert, rebounds are crucial. In Minnesota’s season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team finished the game with 55 rebounds. Of those 55 rebounds, 22 came from the dynamic duo, 16 from Gobert alone. Anthony-Towns looked to be a facilitator during the game almost using D’Angelo Russell as a decoy. Anthony-Towns finished the game with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Even with a great opening performance, all eyes were on the new acquisition of Rudy Gobert. Whether it was alley-oops, his post presence, or being able to grab rebounds easily, Gobert feels the love.

“It feels good to see the crowd and the community embracing me already.”

Rudy Gobert speaking about Minnesota fans welcoming him to the team. Source: Bally Sports

Gobert is consistently out of the paint on defense and floating near the perimeter. Jazz fans know Gobert as a beast in the paint but, Minnesota is looking to evolve his game.

Rudy Gobert dunking on Oklahoma City’s Josh Giddey on Wednesday’s season opener. Photo by David Sherman via Getty Images

Sweet, Sweet Music

On Wednesday’s season opener against the Denver Nuggets, Utah centers Jarred Vanderbilt and Walker Kessler fought in the paint for every rebound. With Utah finishing with 43 rebounds, 12 of which coming from Vanderbilt in the first half, Utah will continue to fight in the paint. The Jazz left their fans in a joyful confusion going into halftime leading 75-53.

“We all have chips on our shoulders,” Collin Sexton said. “Everyone wants to show people that we’re a tough team.”

Collin Sexton speaking on the expectations of this year’s Utah Jazz team. Source: Matthew Coles of The Washington Post

Sexton has embraced his role as the sixth man. While recovering from a torn left meniscus in November, Sexton has accepted his role while trying to readjust to NBA speed. He proved he is a force off the bench leading the Jazz in scoring with 20 points.

Collin Sexton dribbled the ball in Wednesday’s season opener against the Denver Nuggets. Photo by Melissa Majchrzak via Getty Images

After a valiant performance, Utah shocked the NBA as they defeat Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets 123-102. Jazz players swarmed the court as confetti fell from the ceiling with the roar of the crowd so loud it was nearly deafening. To celebrate their miraculous victory, teammates gave first-time NBA head coach, Will Hardy, a water bottle shower to celebrate his first win.

What to Look For

A tale that will be a deciding factor will be each team’s ability to shoot beyond the perimeter. Utah is ranked in the top five in three-point percentage with 42.1% made. Minnesota on the other hand is ranked in the bottom five of the league making only 26.3% of three-point shots. Though these statistics are after a single game, teams will live or die by these numbers.

The Utah Jazz will tip-off against the Minnesota Timberwolves today at 6:00 P.M. MST on AT&T SportsNet.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: