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NBA Live Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Utah Jazz, 7:30 PM EST

NBA: Utah Jazz at New York Knicks Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets close out their homestead on Monday night against the Utah Jazz. Brooklyn remains in a fight to stay north of that play-in series, while the Jazz are somewhat comfortably sitting in 4th place in the West.

The Nets of course are still without Ben Simmons, who has no timetable to return. But who needs Ben Simmons when you have the world’s best: KD.

Brooklyn enters Monday night 4 games out of 6th place in the East. Every game counts from here on out.

WHO: Brooklyn Nets (37-34) vs. Utah Jazz (45-26)

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. est

WHERE: NBA TV (national), YES (local), WFAN-FM/AM (radio)

Game preview.

Player to watch: Rudy Gobert

It’s the strangest thing. By all metrics that are available to us, Gobert grades out as a damn good player. He’s won the Defensive Player of the Year three times in the past four years, has been an All Star three straight years and is one of the best defenders and rim protectors in the league. However, people don’t like him so he’s a perfect target for slander and gets a lot of the blame when the Jazz flame out in the playoffs. A lot of their failures aren’t his fault, but when you get the max contract, people come looking your way first.

In the meantime, he’s put together another great season. He’s first in rebounds and blocks, and is holding opponents to only 42 percent when he’s guarding them. It’s up to Snyder and the rest of the Jazz to play to his strengths and minimize his weaknesses when things get tough.

In the game last night, Julius Randle got into a tiff with Gobert, but nothing came of it.

For more on the Jazz, check out SLC Dunk.