Minnesota Timberwolves at Jazz: Odds, injuries and what to watch for

Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives past Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives past Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves take on a Northwest Division foe for the first time in 2020-21 as they try and improve their record to 2-0.

The Minnesota Timberwolves won ugly in their season opener, defeating the Detroit Pistons by 10 points on Wednesday evening.

Winning ugly won’t be easy in the next three tilts, as the Wolves hit the road to take on a trio of surefire playoff teams who currently stand with a combined record of 5-0.

It all starts on Saturday night as the Timberwolves travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Jazz, who defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in their opener with ease, by a final score of 120-100. Each team has had the last two days off.

The Jazz are looking to be the second team in the Western Conference to improve to 2-0, along with the LA Clippers. The Wolves are doing the same, and it’s safe to say that a win in Utah on Saturday night would be an upset.

Minnesota Timberwolves odds against the Utah Jazz

The Jazz are favored to win by eight points over the Wolves on The Action Network. We’re still a bit early in the season to know for sure whether or not home-court advantage matters much, either in the line-setting or in light of the actual result.

Either way, Utah has been sitting at home enjoying the holiday over the 48 hours while the Wolves had to fly out west.

TV and streaming info for Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz

  • Television: Fox Sports North
  • Radio: 830 WCCO
  • Stream: Fubo.tv offers streaming options

What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz

The Jazz have one of the league’s best starting units, with superstars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert joined by Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanović, who are both finally healthy and appear ready to contribute.

Utah also starts lockdown defender Royce O’Neal, and Jordan Clarkson, Joe Ingles, and Derrick Favors offer strong depth off the bench as well.

The Jazz ran the Blazers out of the gym early on Wednesday, leading by 21 points by halftime. They shot 19-of-50 (38 percent) as a team from beyond the arc, and suffice it to say that the Wolves will suffer a similar fate as Portland if they shoot the deep ball as they did for three quarters against Detroit.

The matchup between Karl-Anthony Towns and Gobert is always a fun one to watch; Gobert had 20 points and 17 rebounds last time out while Towns put up 22 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists.

The battle between Conley and D’Angelo Russell will also be fun to watch. Conley is a strong defender, while Russell … is not. Can D’Lo keep pace nonetheless and will the Wolves need to resort to zone once again to slow down their opponent? It would be a dangerous approach against a strong outside shooting team such as the Jazz, but don’t be surprised if Ryan Saunders gives it a try at some point.

There’s also the storyline of Ricky Rubio‘s return to Salt Lake City, who had spent two years in Utah before he signed in Phoenix last offseason.

Injury Report for Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz

Jaylen Nowell is still out with a calf injury for the Wolves. As of Thursday night, two-way guard Jordan McLaughlin was listed as questionable as he continues to work through health and safety protocols.

The Jazz have Favors listed as probable due to right knee soreness.

Next. Predicting how many games the Wolves will win.... dark

We’ll be back after the game with player grades. Enjoy Wolves-Jazz!