The “Utah Jazz” will take on the Phoenix Suns tonight in what is going to a near impossible task with so many Jazz players out. And when I say so many, I mean the entire starting lineup, and Joe Ingles.
Jazz injury report vs. Suns:— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) January 24, 2022
OUT - Mike Conley (Knee, B2B)
OUT - Rudy Gobert (Calf Strain)
OUT - Donovan Mitchell (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE - Bojan Bogdanovic (Finger Strain)
QUESTIONABLE - Joe Ingles (Ankle Sprain)
QUESTIONABLE - Royce O’Neale (Knee Tendonitis)
This means a healthy dose of Jordan Clarkson, Rudy Gay, Hassan Whiteside and the rest of the Jazz’s roster.
The Jazz did this a few months ago, although not out of necessity, against the Toronto Raptors and nearly came out with a win. This would be an even tougher task taking on the #1 team in the NBA right now. But hey, stranger things have happened, right?
In some ways this is a fun chance to see some of the players get some run that normally don’t. For example, Elijah Hughes had a monster night against the Raptors going 9/15 from the field and 7/12 from three. His shot looked great and he moved the ball well within the offense tacking on 4 assists. Since that game Hughes has played 0 minutes.
It’s also not clear if we’ll see Jared Butler play. Butler had a lot of turnovers in the game against the Raptors but in the first half he showed why Jazz fans were so excited about him. He got to the rim quickly against a long Raptors team scoring 17 and set up his teammates with 4 assists. It would be fun to see him play again considering how much hype was around him in preseason.
There is the chance that Jordan Clarkson has one of his explosive nights. We’ve seen him have huge scoring games in the past and tonight is surely a chance for him to do that again. It would also be nice to see Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside have nice performances, if they play.
With the recent month of bad games for the Jazz, a game like this one is nice, in a way. There is no expectation of winning and we get a chance to see guys play that never see play time in the Jazz’s rigid rotations. Could Butler have a big night? Could Elijah Hughes show his game against the Raptors wasn’t a fluke? We’ll find out tonight!