Tonight was another major blow for the #TankNote contingent of the Utah Jazz fan base. Hopes were high for the tankers among us at 10:06 A.M. that maybe the Jazz could pull off a rare loss against the San Antonio Spurs tonight after the team injury report couldn’t even fit into one tweet.
UPDATED Jazz Injury Report (as of 3/29):— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 29, 2023
*OUT - Lauri Markkanen (left hand contusion)
*AVAILABLE - Simone Fontecchio (left foot - turf toe)
*AVAILABLE - Micah Potter (G League - Two-Way)
OUT - Jordan Clarkson (left hand - fourth finger sprain)
Then a cherry on top showed up at 3:51 P.M. when it was announced that Kelly Olynyk was also going to be missing tonight’s game. However, it turns out that Talen Horton-Tucker and the rest of Team 49 had other plans, and those plans involved coming out of San Antonio with another tick in the win column.
THT was awesome tonight. Naysayers out there will rush to throw an asterisk next to his career-high 41 points, citing that the Spurs were not exactly fielding the most competitive roster. I would posit that it is impressive to drop 41 points on 60% shooting in an NBA game, period. THT has turned into a really nice player right before our eyes, benefitting from increased minutes resulting from the Mike Conley trade and the Collin Sexton injury. He has taken the opportunity and run with it, averaging 15 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds per game in the month of March, including a 37/10/8 night against the Hornets.
Fans also got their first look at Luka Samanic, who looked like a pretty nice player in his 25 minutes tonight. He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but he filled up the stat sheet with 9 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal. He was a +14 tonight, second only to Walker Kessler’s +20 during his 20 minutes. Will Hardy played Luka at the three for some stretches which created some massive lineups. We know that the Jazz are looking to prioritize positional length moving forward, we’ll see if this lineup sees any more time this year.
The Jazz have the fourth toughest remaining schedule in the NBA according to Tankathon, if the injury report continues to look the way that it did for this game there is a chance that they may not win another game this season. We’ll see how things shake out as the team heads to Boston for a showdown with the Celtics on Friday night.