After a disappointing one-point loss in Memphis, the Jazz now face a back-to-back against Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves are currently 8th in the Western Conference, sitting at 7-6 after losing 2 straight.
This young Minnesota team will be hungry for a win, but those have been hard to come by when Rudy Gobert and Towns have faced off. In the 14 head-to-head games between KAT and Gobert, Rudy secured the win 11 times. KAT puts up good numbers, but has lost more often than not. Does that trend continue tonight?
When: Monday, November 18th, 2019 • 7:00pm MT
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena * Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain, Fox Sports Network
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
Andrew Wiggins - OUT (Illness)
Shabazz Napier - OUT (Hamstring)
Josh Okogie - Day-to-day (Knee)
Ed Davis - OUT (Knee)
Dante Exum - Questionable (Knee)
What to watch for
How will the Jazz respond to the bad Memphis loss?
The Jazz had a perfect opportunity to gain some ground in the brutal Western Conference, and they’ll need to right the ship quickly if they want to have home court in the second round of the playoffs. There simply isn’t much margin for error (case in point: the Spurs and Trail Blazers are both 5-8, 2 games behind 8th place).
Hopefully this guy can get the team back on track and get a
kill win streak going.
Wiggins-less Wolves’ woes
Andrew Wiggins’ play has substantially improved this season, and he’s near the top of the short list for Most Improved Player a month into the season. With Wiggins sidelined the past two games (and again tonight due to illness), the Wolves have dropped two in a row, giving up 125 and 137 points against the Rockets and Wizards, respectively (yikes). This could be the perfect game for Utah to find some offensive rhythm and consistency. The fact that the Jazz don’t have to face Wiggins and his 26/5/3 stat line certainly helps their chances at a win.
Strength vs Weakness
Utah’s stifling defense, led by the back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year, holds opposing offenses to 30.5% from 3-point range (2nd best in the NBA), and allows just 42.3% from the field overall (4th best in the league). Minnesota shoots 44.3% from the field (10th worst) and a paltry 30.9% from distance. This is the kind of matchup that, at least on paper, has blowout potential.
KAT playing near MVP levels
Performing at career-best levels across the board, KAT is putting together a phenomenal season. Historically, the wins haven’t come easily for Towns, as he’s largely been a one-man show with little in the way of quality supporting cast. In this young season, that appears to have changed a bit with Wiggins’ explosion and the addition of Robert Covington in a trade last season.
The Gobert/KAT matchup will be one to watch all night long. KAT has been playing like a superstar and can stretch the floor (he’s canning a stellar 43% of his 8.5 three pointers per game). Rudy has made huge strides in his perimeter defense and is on his way to a DPOY three-peat. Unstoppable force. Immovable object.
Andrew Wiggins' last 4 games:— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 12, 2019
30 PTS | 6 ASTS | 2 STLS
40 PTS | 5 REBS | 7 ASTS
25 PTS | 4 REBS | 5 ASTS
33 PTS | 6 REBS | 5 ASTS
Breakout year? pic.twitter.com/sesGVY0nk0
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