The Minnesota Timberwolves will head into this game on the back of a 102-114 loss against the Dallas Mavericks. The loss put an end to a four-game winning streak and saw the team fall below .500 again.
The Utah Jazz, on the other hand, are coming off a 112-102 win against the Charlotte Hornets. Snapping a two-game losing streak in the process, the Jazz found themselves at 21-9 on the season after the result.
Fixture - Minnesota Timberwolves vs Utah Jazz | 2021-22 NBA Season.
Date & Time - Thursday, December 23rd, 2021; 9:00 PM ET (Friday, December 23th, 2021; 7:30 AM IST.)
Venue - Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT.
Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
Following their loss against the Dallas Mavericks, the Minnesota Timberwolves' record for the season falls below .500 yet again at 15-16.
The Timberwolves' failure to remain consistent and put together a series of wins has plagued them since the start of the season. Although the side have managed to put small streaks together, they tend to go on losing runs just as easily.
However, the reasons for the loss in Dallas are a lot easier to explain in this regard. With the recent COVID outbreak affecting a number of teams, the Minnesota Timberwolves have not been exempt from these issues.
Although the side enjoyed the performance of their leading duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, along with a solid contribution from Malik Beasley, the effort was in vain as the team came up short in Dallas.
Key Player - Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns will continue to be the key player for the Minnesota Timberwolves as they head to Utah for this game.
Towns has been the most dominant performer for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. Whether it is on the scoring end or on the rebounding front, Karl-Anthony Towns has been a pillar for the side as he continues to put up big numbers.
Towns was recently named the Western Conference Player of the Week. Leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 4-0 week, Karl-Anthony Towns' overall performance for the side played a big part in their success.
Supported by D'Angelo Russell on the scoring front, Towns will have to be dominant against Utah. With Anthony Edwards still out due to COVID protocols, the big-man will have to establish himself against the might of Utah's Rudy Gobert if the Minnesota Timberwolves are to have any chance of preventing a losing slide.
Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Lineup
G - D'Angelo Russell | G - Leandro Bolmaro | F - Malik Beasley | F - Jaden McDaniels | C - Karl-Anthony Towns
Utah Jazz Preview
The Utah Jazz look like a team that have finally returned to their old winning habits. Although the side is coming off a short losing streak, the achievements of the Jazz have often been overlooked in light of the dominance of the top two teams in the West.
The Utah Jazz' 21-9 record is extremely impressive. While factoring in the tremendous combined performances of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert at this point in the season, Utah's one-two punch is pushing the team to new heights.
Although their game against the Hornets saw some disappointing mistakes, such as the 17 turnovers and the poor shooting from the field, the overall contribution from the team helped the side walk away with the win.
The Utah Jazz also happen to be one of the few teams in the league that haven't been plagued by the outbreak of the virus within the ranks of players and coaching staff. With the majority of their roster healthy, and the entirety of their starting rotation available, the Jazz could look to make a push for a winning streak in this period.
Key Player - Rudy Gobert
The Utah Jazz will look to Rudy Gobert to be their key player in this game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Playing alongside Donovan Mitchell, the duo of Mitchell and Gobert do wonders for this Utah Jazz team. With a solid inside-outside presence, Gobert's role on the rebounding glass along with his task as the defensive anchor make him the perfect partner for a scoring savant like Mitchell.
Gobert has put up some great numbers this year. Finding himself in the running for MVP earlier in the season, the Frenchman's contributions are truly impressive. With an average of 15.4 points and 15 rebounds per game, Rudy Gobert is also the league leader in rebounds per game and second in blocks per game.
Tasked with shutting down Karl-Anthony Towns, Gobert will be key to Utah's success in the game.
Utah Jazz Predicted Lineup
G - Mike Conley | G - Donovan Mitchell | F - Bojan Bogdanovic | F - Royce O'Neal | C - Rudy Gobert
Timberwolves vs Jazz Match Predictions
The Utah Jazz should emerge as winners in this game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Jazz walked away with an emphatic win in the previous meeting between the two teams. Gobert managed to contain Towns to 22 points and outrebounded him in the game. But the difference maker in that game was Donovan Mitchell, who led the scoring effort for the Utah Jazz.
While considering the current state of the Minnesota Timberwolves roster along with the Jazz' homecourt advantage, the Utah Jazz are favorites to win this game.
Where to watch Timberwolves vs Jazz game?
The Minnesota Timberwolves vs Utah Jazz game will be locally broadcast on AT&T SportsNet. The game will also be available on the NBA’s League Pass platform. Fans can also listen to the game by tuning into KZNS.