The Jazz currently sit 1.5 games back of the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers. If they lose either of the next two games, they will be out of the playoffs. It is worth noting that they have the tiebreaker over the Lakers.
The Jazz are 42-38 on the year, while the Timberwolves are a disappointing 30-50. These two teams just recently squared off. They took the floor on Friday, where the Jazz won the game with the huge help from Al Jefferson. Jefferson scored 40 points, had 13 rebounds and six assists. Those numbers all led the team. It would be an understatement to say that the team was carried by Jefferson on Friday night.
This brings us to pregame on Monday night. They tip off at 8:00 PM EST time tonight. This game will come down to two key things for the Jazz to pull of the season sweep of the Timberwolves.
The first is to play the way they have played the past three times these two teams took the court. It is unrealistic to expect Jefferson to match his career high two games in a row, so they are going to need production from Paul Milsap and Mo Williams, as well as guys off the bench like Derrick Favors. If they can get a combined 35 points from these three guys, they are going to get to look to be in good shape.
The second key is for them to shut the Timberwolves down. In the previous matchups, the Jazz have held the Timberwolves to a two-digit score. I have a feeling this Jazz team can hold the Timberwolves to 90 points or below in this one. They are going to have to contain Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love primarily, but they cannot forget about J.J Barea, who is a scoring threat.
By the end of the night, I will take the Jazz to keep their playoff hopes alive in a 103-93 win over the Timberwolves.