Tonight’s matchup is definitely one of the games that a lot of Jazz fans have circled on their calendars. It’s the first game against our guy, the former Jazz legend Rudy Gobert, as the Jazz take on the Wolves in game two the season. Rudy looked amazing in Minnesota’s opening night win against the Thunder, leading the Wolves in scoring with 23 points and 16 rebounds. It was a typical Rudy performance, anchoring his team and doing the little things that bring the W. It’s going to be very weird from a fan’s perspective, but it’ll be even weider from the player perspective, which Rudy admitted himself.
“It’s definitely gonna be weird. Those jerseys are a little different but still gonna be weird to play against someone with Utah on them,” said Gobert, referring to Utah’s offseason style switch that will have the Jazz occasionally wearing black and white jerseys with bright yellow accents.
“(To) see all the coaches on the sideline, even though Quin (Snyder) is not there anymore, it’s still gonna be, yeah, it’s all love for me. You know, I want to see these guys succeed, and I’m sure they want to see me succeed, too. So it’s gonna be fun.”
“Weird” is a good way to put it. It’s going to be interesting to see how Rudy plays, if he has an extra chip on the shoulder, or if it’s just a regular night. “It’s all love” can turn pretty quickly when he realizes it’s a new team in Utah and they want to fight for a win just as much as he does.
When: 6:00 PM MT
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Radio: 97.5/1280 The Zone
The Jazz are coming off a surprising opening night win against the Nuggets and reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic. They defended well, shot the ball well, played hard and it resulted in a win. How will things go in game two?
What to watch for
The Jazz should have a pretty extensive scouting report on Gobert, being very familiar with his ability as a rim-runner and screener. Do they find ways the nullify that? It would be hilarious if the Jazz try to small ball him off the floor. No way that actually works right? The Wolves made Gobert a priority in their offense in game 1, giving him plenty of touches resulting in 15 shot attempts, which was more than Rudy had in any game on the Jazz last season.
Game 1, Rudy Gobert was as advertised. Screened for DLo, crashed the glass, scared the Thunder into wildly rushed shots or just not shooting at all— Key Sang (@Phantele_) October 20, 2022
86 def rtg when he played. Just literally erased a disjointed night with his presence alone. That's why they got him pic.twitter.com/Dz0nCFSsjZ
Revenge Games Galore
Not only is this a potential revenge game for Gobert, but because the Jazz got a thousand players from the Wolves in that trade, it is now a possible revenge game for many. Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, and Walker Kessler all came to the Jazz via Minnesota in that trade, so the opportunities for revenge are endless. If only Pat Bev had stayed :(
First Road Game
The Jazz looked amazing on their home floor Wednesday night, and they seemed to be juiced from the beginning from the energy inside Vivint Arena. I’m interested to see how this team performs without that external energy. If they still make those effort plays, 50/50 balls, momentum-swingers, etc. Minnesota is currently favored by 8.5, which is pretty much expected. We’ll see how the Jazz come out in game two, and see how bad Rudy Gobert makes the Jazz pay for sending him away.