The Minnesota Timberwolves are back in Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Jazz in their home arena for the second time in eight days.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz: Odds, injuries, what to watch for
The Timberwolves are back at Vivint Arena for the second time in just over a week to take on the Utah Jazz.
Karl-Anthony Towns is out once again, meaning he’ll have missed both road games against the Jazz, in addition to the two home games in between. D’Angelo Russell will miss his fourth consecutive game as well, but the Wolves are on track to get Anthony Edwards and Jarred Vanderbilt back on Friday night.
The Jazz sit third in the Western Conference, only two games behind Golden State and Phoenix for the top spot. They’ve won five consecutive games, including a blowout win over the Portland Trail Blazers last time out.
However, they’ll be resting Mike Conley against the Wolves, and Joe Ingles is listed as questionable with a back injury.
It’s important to remember that the Wolves beat the Jazz three times last season. At the same time, Donovan Mitchell missed two of those contests, and the Jazz have dominated both matchups thus far this season.
Minnesota Timberwolves odds at Utah Jazz
With no Towns and no Russell, the Wolves are whopping 12.5-point underdogs on Friday night according to WynnBet. While not surprising that the Wolves are major underdogs, it’s still a massive line that isn’t seen all too often in the NBA.
TV and streaming info for Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz
- Tip-off: 8:00 CT
- Television: Bally Sports North
- Radio: 830 WCCO
- Stream: Fubo.tv offers streaming options
What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz
When the Wolves and Jazz faced off just last week in Salt Lake City, the home team held the Timberwolves at arm’s length for the entire game, with the lead hanging around double digits for much of the night.
It was one of Malik Beasley’s best games this season; he dropped 33 points on 13-of-25 shooting and made seven of his 16 attempts from long-range. It was also a big game from Jaden McDaniels, who put up 16 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. The second-year forward followed that up with a strong showing on Monday against Boston but was much quieter in Tuesday’s loss.
Russell played in last Thursday’s game against the Jazz but will miss this one. However, it’s the exact opposite for Edwards, who didn’t play last time but is expected to be available on Friday night.
The Jazz are a top-five defensive unit and have held opponents to just 32.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc this season. Not having Russell is a big loss for the Wolves and only underscores the need for Beasley to have another strong game. He struggled in both home games this week and desperately needs to get back on track.
The Jazz deplly No. 1 offense in the league, so the Wolves will have an uphill battle to keep pace with Mitchell and Co.
The Wolves Towns-less frontcourt will be challenged to combat Rudy Gobert, although the return of Jarred Vanderbilt should help.
The Wolves and Jazz are the two teams that attempt the most 3-pointers, so expect to see plenty of long-range firing on New Year’s Eve. Of course, the Jazz make 36.4 percent of theirs, the seventh-best mark in the league, while the Wolves only make 34 percent, which is No. 23.
Injury report for Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz
The Wolves are without Towns, Russell, and McKinley Wright IV due to health and safety protocols. The team has updated their list of available players to include Edwards, Vanderbilt, and Taurean Prince after all three had previously been listed as questionable due to return to play reconditioning.
The Jazz have ruled out Conley due to rest. Ingles is questionable with a back injury. Eric Paschall continues to be out as well.
We’ll be back after the game with player grades. Enjoy New Year’s Eve basketball, and here’s to 17-18!