Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley Among 5 Jazz Players out vs. Spurs

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2020

FILE - In this Saturday, March 7, 2020, file photo, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) talks with guard Donovan Mitchell, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, in Detroit. Both players have tested positive for the coronavirus.  Gobert's test result forced the NBA to suspend the season. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

The Utah Jazz will be short-handed when they face the San Antonio Spurs on Friday afternoon, as Donovan Mitchell (foot), Rudy Gobert (rest) and Mike Conley (knee) are among the five players who have been ruled out:

Of note, Utah (43-25) has already clinched a playoff spot as it sits fourth in the Western Conference, a half-game up on both the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets.

When healthy, Mitchell is the go-to option for the Jazz, and he is averaging 24.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists a night. He can hit from the outside, attack the lane off the bounce and facilitate if needed when opposing defenses collapse on him.

Mitchell helped lead Utah to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons and was a driving force in its 41-23 record before the 2019-20 campaign was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That was the fourth-best record in the Western Conference, which easily put the team into playoff position as part of the NBA's 22-team return format near Orlando, Florida.

Gobert and Mitchell were among the players who tested positive for COVID-19 around the time the league went on hiatus on March 11.

Gobert is averaging 15.1 points, 13.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game this season.

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Conley, meanwhile, has been bothered by injuries in recent years. He averaged just 52 appearances over the four seasons prior to 2019-20. Then with the Memphis Grizzlies, he was limited to just 12 games in 2017-18 as he dealt with Achilles and heel issues.

This season, he has appeared in just 45 of his team's 68 contests, missing nearly all of December due to a hamstring injury.

With Mitchell, Gobert and Conley out, the Jazz are going to have to rely on Joe Ingles, among others, to step up. Emmanuel Mudiay, Jordan Clarkson and Tony Bradley could be among those to see bigger roles on Friday.