Last time these two teams met, the result was less than ideal. Karl Anthony-Towns towered over the Jazz, Jeff Teague was his normal Jazz-killing self, and the Timberwolves left Vivint Smarthome Arena with the win. The boys from the City of Utah are struggling for answers after being dispatched by two teams who are not predicted to finish the season in playoff position. “One thing we’ve done every night is we’ve competed,” said coach Quin Snyder. “There are a lot of things we need to improve on and focus on . . .” This is true. For example, over the past two games, the bench has scored a paltry 43 points on 14-44 shooting. The Jazz clearly have the horses to be a better team than they’re showing—and a better team than the Timberwolves—but they have to prove it on the floor. Up to this point, they haven’t been a total disaster, but they haven’t shown themselves to be the Western Conference contender that many predicted them to be.
When: Thursday, November 21, 2019 • 6:30pm MT
Where: Target Center • Minneapolis, MN
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
What to Watch For
Can Donovan Mitchell Find his Shot?
Last time these two teams played, Donovan scored 17 points on 23 shots—of which he made 5. Though the Jazz have more offensive weapons than they did last year, they need more from their brightest star if they want to win games. If he continues to struggle from the field, he needs to find ways to get to the line. In the Memphis game, he shot 9-22, but had 29 points because he was perfect from the charity stripe.
What About Rudy?
Karl Anthony-Towns forced Rudy Gobert to play his game in the last matchup, pulling him out of the paint by raining shots on the Jazz from deep. Gobert only got 8 shots off compared to Towns’ 23. To right the ship in tonight’s matchup, the Jazz need to feed Rudy more than they have been. Towns is not a great defender, and has historically had a hard time containing Gobert inside.
Battle of the Benches
The Jazz second unit got absolutely wrecked by the Iowa Wolves the other night. That’s basically who Minnesota trots out when the starters sit. How bad was it? Bad. 41-29. The current trend is that the starters build a lead and the bench digs a hole that is simply too deep for the starters to claw out of unless they’re at the top of their game—which no group of starters ever is every night. There’s nowhere to go but up for Utah’s reserves, and they’d better start trending up soon or the Jazz are in trouble.
Game Thread Ground Rules
Welcome to the SLC Dunk Game Thread.
Dunkers know how this thing works, but for you lurkers ready to make the jump to Dunker, we have a few guidelines. Remember to follow our community guidelines (no swearing, trolling, excessive use of Jerry Sloan’s name in vain, no personal attacks, no debates about Utah liquor laws, etc.). Remember to have fun. Anyone who dare blasphemes that Tim Duncan was a Power Forward (this means you, Pounding the Rock), Ben Simmons can hit threes, Gordon Hayward should not be booed, Exum Island isn’t a 5-Star resort, Donovan Mitchell is Monta Ellis 2.0, men should never cry, or John Stockton is not the best point guard of all-time will receive an automatic ban. Just kidding. But seriously.