The Utah Jazz host the Minnesota Timberwolves. They are better and worse than their record. At the same time. They've recently beat, since March 1st, the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Washington Wizards. They've also lost to a lot of times in that span as well. Which Wolves team will show up tonight? Honestly? It shouldn't matter if the Jazz are focused. It should be about Utah controlling their destiny from here on out. And that means not worrying about the other team - but making them worry about Utah instead.
In the 115 games these two teams have played the Jazz are winning two out of every three (77-38 overall, and 42-15 at home). But last time these two teams played the Jazz got rocked, and lost by 27 points. That margin of defeat was the worst ever in the history of these two teams playing.
Utah needs to save some face tonight. And they are on a seven game home win streak since losing that one. Minnesota isn't killing anyone right now, and should be tired and injured. But that usually means they can sneak up on teams. Hopefully Utah learned it's lesson.
For the season Tom Thibodeau has his club rolling the ball up the court, and playing at the 25th "fastest" pace in the league. Quin Snyder has his guys playing at the 30th "fastest" pace, so there should be no surprise with what this game is going to look like.
Both teams have competent offenses, but Utah is really digging deep on defense. A big reason for that is Rudy Gobert. Gobert is going to have his hands full with the inside / outside game of Karl-Anthony Towns. Aside from Ricky Rubio going through a really nice stretch since the All-Star Break there isn't much to be excited for, even former #1 pick Wiggins hasn't seemed to take the next step.
But that's really just me under-estimating the Wolves. As a result, they will probably win tonight.
You'd think that with Wiggins and closeness that they'd be more popular in Canada . . .
- PG: Ricky Rubio vs. Dante Exum
- SG: Brandon Rush vs. Rodney Hood
- SF: Andrew Wiggins vs. Gordon Hayward
- PF: Gorgui Dieng vs. Derrick Favors (?) or Boris Diaw
- C: Karl-Anthony Towns vs. Rudy Gobert
- Kris Dunn vs. Shelvin Mack
- Tyus Jones vs. -injured-
- Shabazz Muhammad vs. Joe Ingles
- Omri Casspi vs. Joe Johnson
- Adreian Payne vs. Joel Bolomboy
- Jordan Hill vs. Trey Lyles
- Cole Aldrich vs. Jeff Withey
Injuries / Absences / Rest:
- PG: George Hill (UTA, Not expected to play), Dante Exum (UTA, Will play), Raul Neto (UTA, Questionable)
- SG: Rodney Hood (UTA, Will play), Zach LaVine (MIN, OUT for season)
- PF: Derrick Favors (UTA, Probable), Nemanja Bjelica (MIN, OUT for season)
- C: Jeff Withey (UTA, Will play), Nikola Pekovic (MIN, OUT for season)
GO JAZZ GO!
Who is going to survive out of these young Wolves?
This poll is closed
Jon Snow (You may not have my name, but you have my blood.)