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Jazz host Luka-less Mavericks

Seems like Utah keeps playing teams that are missing their star player

NBA: Utah Jazz at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz have bounced between wins and losses the last few games as they attempt to climb the standings into more stable playoff spots. Tonight the Jazz host the Dallas Mavericks who will be making the trip without star guard and MVP Darkhorse, Luka Doncic.

Perhaps it’s for the best that Doncic doesn’t play as the last two star guards Utah faced — Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard — put up a combined 108 points in those two games. Of course, there’s always a chance the Jazz go for their “let lesser-known player go off in place of sitting stars” tendency, but the Mavericks will also be without Maxi Kleber and Christian Wood so they’ll be running low on guys capable of going off for huge nights.

While Luka will sit tonight, the Jazz could be getting a boost to its rotation. Kelly Olynyk is available for the first time in eight games. His return will not only give the team back Olynyk’s potential production (12.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 41.3 percent 3-point shooting), but give more depth to the center rotation.

Speaking of the center rotation, even though Olynyk is capable of returning tonight and seems likely to play, he may not return to the starting lineup despite being the starter in all 39 games he’s appeared in this year. Will Hardy told media members that rookie center Walker Kessler would “likely remain in the starting lineup” which likely precludes Olynyk starting unless Hardy wants to play Olynyk at power forward (according to Basketball Reference, Olynyk has played 19% of his minutes at PF so it is a possibility)

In the eight games Kessler has served as the fill-in starter for Olynyk he’s averaged 11.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.

Game Info

When: January 28th, 2023, 7:00 PM MT

Where: Vivint Arena | Salt Lake City, UT


Radio: 97.5/1280 The Zone


Utah Jazz

  • Kelly Olynyk (Left Ankle Sprain) - QUESTIONABLE

Dallas Mavericks

  • Luka Doncic (Left Ankle Sprain) - OUT
  • Maxi Kleber (Right Hamstring Tear) - OUT
  • Christian Wood (Left Thumb Fracture) - OUT