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SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 23: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz, who was hurt in game one, returned to action against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 23, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

The Utah Jazz announced big man Rudy Gobert will not play against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday after suffering a right knee contusion against the Miami Heat on Friday.

Gobert injured his leg running into Dion Waiters on a play he took exception to. “It feels better than it looked on the video,” Gobert said, per Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News. “I think it was a dirty play, but no matter what the most important thing is to keep getting better and to win tomorrow.”

This is another setback for Gobert after he suffered a knee injury in Utah’s first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers last season. However, he proved durable in 2016-17 and played 81 regular-season games.

Gobert is the anchor of Utah’s interior defense and swatted a career-high 2.6 blocks a night in 2016-17. He also notched career-highs with 14.0 points and 12.8 rebounds per game as a double-double threat every time he stepped on the floor and has followed up with 13.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game thus far this season.

The Jazz don’t have another impact big man who can individually dominate a game down low like Gobert, but they do have other frontcourt pieces to shoulder the load as a group. The Jazz will need to rely on Derrick Favors and Thabo Sefolosha to fill the void in the paint while Gobert is sidelined.

While there is some depth in place, Utah likely needs its rim protector back and healthy to realistically challenge the best teams in the West.   

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