In danger of slipping out of the Western Conference playoff race entirely, Utah is ready to welcome back the most decorated talent to its lineup.
Rudy Gobert, who missed the last 15 games due to a sprained PCL in his left knee, made his return on Friday when the Jazz hosted the Knicks. Utah had gone 4-11 in his absence. He finished with 23 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in 30 minutes of action.
The franchise was leaning heavily on Gobert's All-NBA production after losing All-Star swingman Gordon Hayward to the Boston Celtics in free agency last summer. The French-born center has struggled with injuries, however, playing in just 18 games this season. The emergence of rookie guard Donovan Mitchell has prevented Utah from falling off completely, but the Jazz have ranked in the league's bottom five in offense and defense during Gobert's most recent absence.