Key #2 – Win the battle of the boards
Thus far on the season, the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves are neck and neck in terms of rebounds per game, and neither mark is all that great. The Jazz are ranked 20th in the league at 44.2 per contest, whereas the Wolves come in just a spot ahead of them with 44.3 per game. In terms of that statistic, it would seem as if it might be a challenge for the Jazz to edge out the Wolves on the boards.
However, a deeper dive reveals that Utah truly should have the advantage on the boards, and winning the rebounding battle against Minnesota will very likely lead to a solid victory. On the season, Utah is sixth in the league in rebound percentage at 52.5 percent while the Timberwolves are 19th at 49 percent. Furthermore, the Jazz are eighth in the league in rebound differential at plus-4 whereas Minnesota is tied for 23rd at minus-3.7.
In other words, while Utah’s style and pace very much affect their rebounds per game number, they still tend to out-board their opponents. The Timberwolves have some solid rebounding individuals in the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns and Taj Gibson, so the Jazz will have to watch out, but they should very well have the edge in this area.
As the Jazz figure out a way to control the boards, I expect them to dominate the scoreboard as well by fighting for extra possessions and second chance points against the overall poor-rebounding Minnesota Timberwolves.