Losing Thabo Sefolosha for season could be the final blow to Jazz's slim playoff hopes

Already dealing with the long-term absence of Rudy Gobert, the Utah Jazz received some more unfortunate injury news on Saturday afternoon. 

According to a report from Shams Charania of The Vertical, the Jazz will be without swingman Thabo Sefolosha for the remainder of the season. The veteran is expected to undergo surgery to repair the MCL in his right knee. 

Sefolosha was injured during Friday's loss to the Charlotte Hornets, and the Jazz was worried it could be a serious injury. Unfortunately, their fears were confirmed.

This is yet another setback in what has been an injury-plagued season in Salt Lake City. Along with the current absence of Gobert, the Jazz have been without both Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson for lengthy stretches this season. And those are just the injuries that have happened during the regular season. Dante Exum was also hurt during the preseason, suffering a shoulder injury that will likely keep him out the entire season.

Sefolosha will be a tough loss for the Jazz the rest of the way. Utah has been much better this season when the veteran has been on the floor. With him on the court, their net rating is plus-4.9 points per 100 possessions -- the best mark for any consistent rotation player. And when Sefolosha sits, the Jazz have been outscored by 4.6 points per 100 possessions. 

Currently sitting 4.5 games out of the playoffs in the Western Conference, this could be the final blow that confines the Jazz to a return to the lottery after finally making it back to the playoffs last season. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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