Will Nikola Jokic Play Tonight? Denver Nuggets vs Utah Jazz: Injury Update, Lineup and Game Predictions

Published 01/17/2021, 1:30 PM EST
Jan 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) controls the ball as Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) guards in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


The Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets are in the same boat when it comes to their defense, but are equally adept at nailing their offense. This matchup will be a fascinating one as both had wins in their last outings and have extremely talented stars leading the team.

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The Jazz has started their season on the right foot, leading the Northwest Division with an 8-4 record. On the other hand, the favorite underdog team of last year has had a disappointing start with a 6-6 record.

Denver Nuggets injury update and lineup prediction

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Their last game against the Golden State Warriors was a comfortable 114-104 victory. Their lead scorer Nikola Jokic finished with 23 points and could overcome the fiery Stephen Curry. The Nuggets rely largely on Jokic and Jamal Murray’s offensive prowess.

With little or no help from the supporting cast, they have lost half of their games. If they want to stand against such elite and competitive teams this season and land a place in the playoffs, they need to show up with more aggression. Their big man Jokic is averaging a triple-double with 24.2 points, 10.4 assists, and 11.2 rebounds.

Only if their big man drops big numbers consistently can the Nuggets stand a chance. Only Michael Porter Jr. and Greg Whittington are out for this matchup. Thus, the predicted lineup would be Gary Harris, Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, and Will Barton.

Jan 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) dribbles the ball up court as Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins (22) guards in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Jazz injury update and lineup prediction

The Utah Jazz is just on fire, winning the last four games consecutively. The way Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell are stepping up to lead them is commendable. They will look to continue the streak they have and continue to climb up the Conference table, or at least maintain their current position.

Mitchell is the primary scorer for the team, averaging 23.6 points, and 4.8 assists. However, their supporting cast is a little more helpful with four other players scoring in double digits.

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With Joe Ingles, Derrick Favors, and Juwan Morgan out for the game, the predicted lineup remains to be Mike Conley, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Donovan Mitchell, Royce O’Neale, and Rudy Gobert.

Jan 12, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) throws a pass beside Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaac Okoro (35) in the fourth quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Game prediction

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The Jazz team has shown so much progress over the last few games, and the Nuggets have the home advantage. Expect this to be a neck to neck game with Utah most likely to come out victorious.

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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