HOUSTON — With just a single day to rest, the Utah Jazz will be entering H-Town short-handed for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Jazz guard Ricky Rubio will miss Game 1 on Sunday at Toyota Center with a left hamstring strain. He injured his leg midway through the first quarter of Friday’s Game 6 close-out victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder and didn't return.
Rubio’s hamstring has bothered him throughout the season, and he could miss up to 10 days following an MRI Saturday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Once the news was announced, Rubio tweeted, “Never too high, never too low.”
His rookie teammate Donovan Mitchell responded with, “We gon hold it down for you Rick!”
Jazz coach Quin Snyder confirmed the strained hamstring following the 96-91 win over OKC late Friday.
“If he could’ve played he would’ve,” Snyder said. “He just wasn’t able. I’m not sure the details yet, because he’s still with us, but he’s done a good job with our medical group with Mike Elliot and his staff with recovery.”
Rubio’s loss could play a big factor in the series as the floor general is enjoying the best stretch of his career in his first postseason appearance. He averaged 14 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists against OKC in the first round, including the franchise’s first postseason triple-double since 2001 in Game 3 with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
“It’s a tough series and it caught up with him a little bit,” Snyder said. “Hopefully, he’ll be all right eventually.”
ROOKIE: Adidas continues its campaign in support of Jazz star Donovan Mitchell to win Rookie of the Year with a large “Rookie?” billboard off the I-15 highway in Salt Lake City. Mitchell first broke out the hoody during a regular season game versus Golden State, taking a shot at Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, for his redshirt season to question his eligibility. Adidas has now taken it one step farther, with the release of the T-shirts in black and white colors.