Tonight, the Jazz have an opportunity to take on a Timberwolves team who will be playing on the back end of a back-to-back. The Jazz are also coming in as one of the hottest team in the NBA having won 9 of their last 11.
In their last game played, a Jazz loss, the Wolves put up 128 points in a game that received media attention for Derrick Rose putting up 50 points.
Both teams are different now.
Minnesota is without Jimmy Butler, who didn’t play in the last game, but is benefiting from the fruits of their trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.
They’ve been playing with Dario Saric who has been a solid contributor, as well as Robert Covington.
Covington has been on the sidelines with a bone bruise and Saric took a hard shot from Javale McGee but there’s no word if he’ll miss games with any possible injury.
Dario Saric took a nasty JaVale McGee elbow to the face pic.twitter.com/aP6boo1HAM— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) January 25, 2019
The Wolves are also 7-3 in their last 10 games and so, even if the Wolves are tired, the Jazz cannot give them any space because the spaced out style of the Wolves can give the Jazz problems.
But the Jazz, and Donovan Mitchell, are red hot.
Mitchell, who recently won Western Conference Player of the Week is on a tear and closing out games like he did last season.
His scoring, if it weren’t for James Harden going supernova recently, would be garnering a lot of attention.
Donovan Mitchell's last 10 games:— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) January 25, 2019
1/5 Detroit 26pts 5ast
1/7 Bucks 26pts 1ast
1/9 Orlando 33pts 7ast
1/11 Lakers 33pts 9ast
1/12 Chic 34pts 6ast
1/14 Detroit 28pts 2ast
1/16 Clips 28pts 6ast
1/18 Cavs 24pts 4ast
1/21 Port 36pts 5ast
1/23 Denver 35pts 6ast
Some of that had to do with taking on a lot of the ball-handling responsibility with Ricky Rubio and Dante Exum injured, but against the Denver Nuggets, with Ricky Rubio starting, Mitchell put up an efficient 35 points and 6 assists.
It’s also looking like this may be a sustainable trend because Mitchell was more than likely dealing with an injury before.
This is good insight from @Tjonesonthenba on @spidadmitchell’s early shooting struggles. I hadn’t previously heard that the injury lingered and prevented workouts clear through the summer. pic.twitter.com/qcxWYnLiLr— Trey Toupee (@TreyToupee) January 24, 2019
It may be that we’re seeing the Donovan Mitchell we were expecting all season and it couldn’t have come any sooner.
Tonight, the Jazz should be able to take care of a tired, and injured, Wolves team. If Mitchell continues his level of play, it may be pretty easy.