The Wolves will face off against the Jazz for the second time this season.
But this time, Utah will be without perhaps its best player.
After suffering a bone bruise in his right knee, center Rudy Gobert is expected to miss four to six weeks. Gobert was a 2016-17 All-Defensive First Team pick last season, along with being on the All-NBA Second Team.
On the season, Gobert was averaging 14.8 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game.
“He’s obviously a great player and you’re talking about an All-NBA player so that changes things but I think they are a very good team here,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said after Monday’s shootaround in Utah. “They played great against Brooklyn without him. Their defense is terrific. They are very dangerous.”
Without Gobert on Saturday, Utah beat Brooklyn 114-106 behind 24 points and 12 rebounds from Derrick Favors, the man who will do some heavy lifting with Gobert out.
Second Battle Against Ricky Rubio
The Wolves will get the second look at their former point guard Ricky Rubio tonight. Rubio spent six seasons with Minnesota before being traded to Utah this offseason. In his first season with Utah, he’s averaging 14.5 points and 5.8 assists per game.
In his first game against the Wolves on Oct. 20, Rubio finished with 19 points, 10 assists and two steals.
“Obviously it was different to be on the other side playing against Ricky,” Wolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns said. “It was fun to play against him. We’ve got nothing but love for him.”
Tipoff between the two teams is set for 8 p.m. at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The game will air on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO.