The Utah Jazz may have to win their first round series against the Los Angeles Clippers without one of their best players.
Star center Rudy Gobert sustained a hyperextension and a bone bruise in his left knee on the first possession of Friday’s Game 1, a game in-which the Jazz were still able to win 97-95 after a Joe Johnson floater as time was set to expire on the game clock, leaving his status for the remainder of the series versus the Clippers uncertain.
Despite the uncertainty, in a text to ESPN on Sunday, Gobert said he is hopeful to return before the conclusion of Utah’s quarterfinals series, saying that he is improving as each day progresses. Jazz head coach Quinn Snyder didn’t put a specific timetable for Gobert’s return from the knee aliment today at Jazz practice:
“I don’t think we’re ready to say today, tomorrow, a week, two weeks,” Snyder told to the media in Los Angeles earlier today. “I think it’s literally that wide open.”
If Gobert is unable to go for Utah tomorrow for Game 2, you can expect to see a lot of similarities in terms of Snyder’s rotation that were present in Game 1 once Gobert went out. Derrick Favors will again see an increased role off the bench, while Jeff Withey could be inserted into the starting lineup alongside Gordon Hayward and Boris Diaw in the frontcourt.
George Hill and Joe Ingles will also likely make up the backcourt again, with Rodney Hood and Shelvin Mack to serve as the main backups alongside Joe Johnson, a forward who can do it all on the basketball court.
For the 2016-2017 regular season, Gobert averaged 14.0 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game in 81 games.
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