Despite the loss, such has been the dominance of the Jazz this season that they were the first team to claim a playoff berth after the Portland Trail Blazers lost on Sunday. The Western Conference leaders have had the best record in the NBA for most of the year and will be thoroughly deserving of their top seed in the West should they keep it.
The Utah Jazz will hope to get lucky against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the third time of asking. The Jazz blew a 17-point lead on Saturday against the team from Minneapolis. Despite having the second-worst record in the league, the T-Wolves come into this fixture having won four of their last eight games, which has been enabled by having all three of their stars fit.
Utah Jazz vs Minnesota Timberwolves - Injury Report
After hurting his ankle in their comeback win against Indiana, Donovan Mitchell has since missed the Utah Jazz' last four matchups and will be re-evaluated this weekend. In that time, the Jazz have lost twice without their talismanic guard. However, they will be reluctant to rush him back into the lineup with the playoffs just around the corner.
Rookie center Udoka Azubuike (ankle) also remains sidelined.
The Timberwolves will be happy to have their three stars - D'Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards - having a serious run of games together. Over their last ten matchups while all on the floor, the three have combined for over 67 points a night and won five games.
During this time, Anthony Edwards has had to move to the guard position with Malik Beasley (hamstring) sidelined until at least early next month.
Utah Jazz vs Minnesota Timberwolves - Predicted Lineups
Joe Ingles has stepped into the Jazz' starting lineup while Donovan Mitchell has been sidelined. Although the Aussie had an unusually quiet night on Saturday, he has averaged 16.3 points during this time and shot the three-ball at 50% on 9.5 attempts per game.
The rest of Utah's starters will remain unchanged from the lineup that has dominated the league this campaign.
Rudy Gobert is still in the hunt for the Defensive Player of the Year award and has averaged over two blocks a match over his last 9 games. He will be joined in the frontcourt by Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O'Neale. The former led all Jazz scorers against the Timberwolves with 30 points. Mike Conley leads the side from the point guard position and has 10 assists per game in his last three outings.
The Minnesota Timberwolves should also remain unchanged from their win at the weekend. Anthony Edwards has flourished into one of the most exciting young players in the league and is the runaway leader for the Rookie of the Year award. He has been joined in the backcourt by veteran guard Ricky Rubio. D'Angelo Russell comes off the bench, averaging 18.8 points in his last ten games.
Moving into the frontcourt, Karl-Anthony Towns is back to his dominant self since returning from injury. He has been putting up over 25 points and 10 rebounds per game recently. Alongside him are Jaden McDaniels and Josh Okogie for the T-Wolves.
Utah Jazz vs Minnesota Timberwolves - Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Mike Conley Jr. l Shooting Guard - Joe Ingles l Small Forward - Bojan Bogdanovic l Power Forward - Royce O'Neale l Center - Rudy Gobert
Point Guard - Ricky Rubio l Shooting Guard - Anthony Edwards l Small Forward - Josh Okogie l Power Forward - Jaden McDaniels l Center - Karl-Anthony Towns