by Alma Bean
Feature Image: Photo by Mitchell Leff of Getty Images.
The Utah Jazz (15-12) play the final game of their six-game homestand against Rudy Gobert and the Minnesota Timberwolves (12-12).
What to Look For
After an improbable win on Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors, 124-123, Utah will have another emotional game. For Utah fans, Minnesota coming to town is bigger than just any other game. This is Rudy Gobert’s first game back in Utah since being traded over the summer after a nine-year career in Utah. Emotions aside, Utah will need to bring pressure on the boards to keep up with Gobert, who is currently third in the league in rebounds per game. Though Gobert was known for blocks in his time in Utah, Utah has found a young player that is currently exceeding Gobert’s numbers in Walker Kessler. The rookie is currently sixth in the league in blocks per game (1.8) while Gobert is sixteenth in the league (1.3). Minnesota’s other star, Anthony Edwards, will be a pest on the defensive end as he is currently fourth in the league in steals per game with 1.8.
Keys for the Game
Mike Conley is slated to make his return to the court since getting injured almost a month ago. Though Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton have been able to create fluid ball movement, Utah has been in need of a game manager. In Conley’s absence, Utah has a 3-6 record while going 12-6 before his injury. Utah needs to force Minnesota on the perimeter if they want a chance in this matchup. Minnesota is currently in the bottom five in the league in three-point percentage at 33.5% while allowing the second-highest three-point percentage in the league at 37.7%. Leaning on Clarkson and Malik Beasley, the game plan might be living or dying by the three.
Minnesota- Karl-Anthony Towns: Out (calf), Taurean Prince: Out (shoulder)
Utah- Mike Conley: Questionable (leg), Simone Fontecchio: Questionable (ankle), Lauri Markkanen: Questionable (illness), Ochai Agbaji: Out (G League), Leandro Bolmaro: Out (G League), Johnny Juzang: Out (wrist), Micah Potter: Out (G League), Collin Sexton: Out (hamstring)
Where to Watch?
Tip-off between Minnesota and Utah will be at 7:00 p.m. MT on AT&T SportsNet.