The Utah Jazz have struggled in recent weeks, losing six of their last seven games and facing a growing list of injured players. The team announced on Monday that standout rookie Walker Kessler had entered concussion protocol and is likely out for the remainder of the season. With just a week left in the regular season, the Jazz are facing matchups against the Lakers on Tuesday and Sunday, but without several key players. The Lakers, on the other hand, are looking to capitalize on this opportunity to potentially avoid the play-in game.
Injuries Pile Up for the Jazz
The Utah Jazz had been one of the surprises of the NBA season, but injuries have taken a toll on the team in recent weeks. The latest setback is the loss of standout rookie Walker Kessler, who has entered concussion protocol and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Kessler had been a key contributor to the Jazz, averaging 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.
But Kessler is not the only player out for the Jazz. The team has effectively shut down Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton due to injuries. With just a week left in the regular season, it’s unlikely that either player will return to the court.
The Jazz are also facing a growing list of injured players, including Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, and Rudy Gobert. Without three of their best remaining players, the team is low on depth, relying heavily on Talen Horton-Tucker, Kris Dunn, and Juan Toscano-Anderson.
Lakers Set to Take Advantage of Injured Jazz
The Lakers are set to face the Jazz on Tuesday and Sunday this week. While both matchups were expected to be tough, the Lakers now have a chance to capitalize on the Jazz’s injuries and potentially avoid the play-in game.
The Jazz are currently 1.5 games behind the Thunder for the 10th seed in the Western Conference, and their chances of making the playoffs are slim. In fact, the team is nearly as close to finishing with the seventh-best lottery odds as they are to making the play-in race.
While the Lakers are not without their own injuries, the absence of key players for the Jazz will make the matchups easier than previously believed. All-Star Lauri Markkanen is still playing, but the team’s depth has taken a hit. The Lakers will need to capitalize on this opportunity to secure their spot in the playoffs.