The Utah Jazz will take on the Los Angeles Lakers once again on Monday and it looks as if they will have a bit more of their core rotation available than the they did when they lost to the Lakers in overtime Saturday.
Rudy Gobert (right knee contusion) and Mike Conley (right knee soreness), both of whom did not play in Saturday’s loss, were listed as probable on the Jazz’s injury report Sunday night and are likely to return to the lineup on Monday.
Derrick Favors (right knee soreness), who has missed the last two games, was listed as questionable, so his availability is less likely. Additionally, Ersan Ilyasova, who started at center in Gobert and Favors’ absence — Ilyasova played 31 minutes in the overtime loss — is questionable (left hamstring tightness) to play.
Donovan Mitchell will be out at least the next three games with a right ankle sprain, and will be re-evaluated next week.
Though the Lakers injury report had not yet been submitted by Sunday evening, the Lakers are going to be without LeBron James for the foreseeable future. There has been speculation, though, that Anthony Davis could make his return Monday, after not playing since Feb. 14 with a right calf strain and tendinosis.
On Thursday, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said that Davis was unlikely to make his return against the Jazz, but said that it wasn’t “out of the question,” after Davis had been cleared for full-contact activity.
“Whenever it is that he returns, it’s not going to be a full return to playing 30-something minutes a night,” Vogel said. “Especially with the nature of practice and how shorthanded we are, he’s going to have to use some games to try to get himself back in shape. So the first two games he’s back will likely be short-minute performances.”
If Davis is able to play Monday, the return of Gobert to the Jazz lineup will be welcomed news, but with Favors and Ilyasova unlikely to return, that will put some pressure on Juwan Morgan who would be the most likely to receive backup center minutes behind Gobert.
“Everybody’s got to be ready to contribute and everybody can do that in different ways,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said after Saturday’s game. “Sometimes it’s difficult when you’re seeing how combinations interact.”
Though the consecutive games against the Lakers had been looked at as possible end of season tests for the Jazz, both teams’ depleted rosters have made the games less about the matchup and more about getting players healthy.
With the game nationally televised on ESPN, the return of at least two of the Jazz’s All-Stars and the possibility of the return of Davis could make things a little more interesting than initially expected.