The Utah Jazz are right in the middle of an all-out race out West for the final few Play-In spots in the conference. They have a big game scheduled on Monday against the No. 3 seed Sacramento Kings, and a loss could see them fall out of the Top 10 in the West. The bad news for Jazz fans is that they will need to battle the Kings without their best player after they were dealt an unfortunate Lauri Markkanen injury blow ahead of Monday's contest.
Lauri Markkanen injury status vs. Kings
The Jazz initially had Markkanen listed as questionable to play due to a back injury. The official diagnosis is a sore back, and while it doesn't sound too concerning, it is serious enough to force him to sit out Monday's game. This is after Utah decided to downgrade the All-Star forward to out just a few hours prior to tipoff.
This is a tough blow for the Jazzs, who are in dire need of a win after having lost four out of their six games in March thus far. They are currently tied in the standings with Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers, and a loss on Monday night will have a major implication on their chase for a Play-In spot.
With Markkanen out of the picture, Utah is going to be extremely shorthanded against the mighty Kings. Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton have both also been ruled out due to respective injuries, which means that the likes of Talen Horton-Tucker, Kelly Olynyk, and Walker Kessler will need to step up in a major way to give that Jazz a fighting chance against Sacramento.