Tonight is the third game of four against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They won the first two games in a home-and-home series back in January, and our crew didn't put up much of a fight. Tonight the Utah Jazz will be playing their second game of a back to back set, and their third game in four nights. We are going to be without Derrick Favors again; but they are expected to be without Kevin Martin (starting shooting guard), Ronny Turiaf (first big off the bench), and possibly even Nikola Pekovic (starting center). That pretty much evens some of the odds between these two clubs.
Ideally, this will be a close game where our guys show a lot of room for improvement, but a lot of things to be happy about. The Wolves were aiming for the playoffs this season and injuries have derailed that. We Jazz fans know all about that -- when we should have been starting with homecourt we've instead started on the road with two starters injured. It sucks, and Wolves fans seem to be getting that every year now.
We're not even sniffing the playoffs, but I find this team compelling to watch. Are we better than last year? Are we better than the beginning of the season? What's working? What isn't? It's important to finish strong, and the Jazz need to at least finish February strong, because March is going to be like invading Russia in Winter. (E.g. Only something you should do if you are a Canadian Hockey team.)
I just don't know.
What I do know is that I'm also increasingly emboldened by the play of Alec Burks. It's no secret that he's my favorite player on this team. What I like is that he has the capability of being a two-way player.
Which is also something Wolves fans are familiar with.
'Sota should kill us, but we're young, at home, and don't know better. Ricky Rubio is one of the smartest players out there, but we have young guys with Swag. So, that counts for something right?