Utah Jazz: 3 reasons Rudy Gobert is key to finishing off Grizzlies

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Utah Jazz big man can stomp out the visitors’ comeback hopes in Game 5.

Nine months ago, the Utah Jazz franchise faced a similar situation. The No. 6 seed Jazz held a 3-1 lead over the No. 3 seed Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. They seemed like the more dominant team.

Then, they started to relax just a bit. The Nuggets pounced, and the Jazzmen infamously became one of 13 teams in league history to have ever blown a 3-1 lead.

This year, it’s a bit different. While No. 1 seed Utah again owns a 3-1 lead in this series against the No. 8 seed Memphis Grizzlies, this year’s squad is favored to win the series.

With Bojan Bogdanovic out due to a wrist injury at this point last postseason, it was amazing the Jazz even obtained a 3-1 lead. Now, they’re the heavily favored team. Per the ESPN.com Basketball Power Index, not only do they have over a 72 percent chance to win Game 5, but they also have a league-best 27.4 percent chance to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.

At 7:30 p.m. MT Wednesday in Salt Lake City, two-time All-Star center Rudy Gobert will be the key factor in Utah’s quest to permanently dispose of Memphis and advance to the Western Conference Semifinals for the first time since 2018. Here are three reasons why the Jazz should see a giant performance from the 7-footer to take Game 5…