The Utah Jazz broke their losing streak after soundly defeating the Brooklyn Nets. The Minnesota Timberwolves have had what they consider to be a slow start to the season as the team understandably figures out chemistry. Minnesota has star power, whereas Utah has grind-your-bones-to-dust defensive toughness. Utah comes into this game with a 6-3 home record, whereas Minnesota has a 3-4 road record. However, Vegas has Minnesota as a 3.5-point favorite to win the game.
When: Monday, November 13, 7 p.m. MDT
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
Radio: 1280 and 97.5 The Zone
Rudy Gobert - Knee - Targeting mid-December
Joe Johnson - Wrist - Will be re-evaluated in the upcoming week
Dante Exum - Shoulder - Out indefinitely
Gorgui Dieng - Finger - Day-to-day
Cole Aldrich - Ankle - Day-to-day
Justin Patton - Foot - Out indefinitely
What To Watch For:
Jazz Offensive Spacing
The Jazz had a solid offensive outing against the Brooklyn Nets. We will see tonight whether that was a fluke or a true development. With Rudy Gobert out of the lineup, Utah Jazz Coach Quin Snyder started Thabo Sefolosha at Power Forward, and Derrick Favors at Center. This seemed to work very well. Ricky Rubio seemed to be more comfortable passing to Derrick Favors, and there was more space inside for those two to work. We will see if this holds up against a better rival.
Win An Important Division Game
These in-division games are especially important come playoff time, assuming both teams are in the race for seeding. Minnesota may be projected to be a 4-6 seed, but it is games like these that could slot the Jazz slightly higher. We especially need to take care of our business at home, as we have already lost one game in the season series on the road to the Timberwolves.
Most Likely Jazz-Killer: Andrew Wiggins
While Jimmy Butler will do his thing, and always has a chance to go off against any given team, Andrew Wiggins is the player I’m really worried about. Our defense will be focused on Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns, this may give Wiggins just enough wiggle room to have a Jazz-killing night.
Most Likely Wolf Hunter: Ricky Rubio
Hear me out. The Timberwolves have a fine point guard in Jeff Teague, but their defense has been somewhat lackluster up to this point in the season. Ricky Rubio is the perfect player to carve up their defense and set up Derrick Favors, especially if our 3pt spacing draws some defenders out of the paint. We will need to hit our open shots, and hopefully Ricky’s 3pt shot will be closer to what we saw at the beginning of the season, but I think this could be a game we see the bad-boy “Rick” rather than boy-band “Ricky”.