The Utah Jazz are taking it easy on Royce O’Neale, giving him the second night of their back-to-back off against the New Orleans Pelicans. O’Neale was questionable leading up to the Jazz’s Saturday night contest with a right ankle sprain, but Andy Larsen confirmed that the forward would sit against the Pels.
Royce O’Neale is out tonight due to an right ankle sprain.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) November 28, 2021
O’Neale’s presence has been invaluable on the defensive end. The 28-year-old leads the team in defensive box plus/minus, as calculated by Basketball-Reference. The former Baylor Bear has made more modest offensive contributions, scoring 7.6 points per game.
The Jazz have a couple of options to replace O’Neale in the starting lineup. Joe Ingles has made three starts this season, all in the backcourt, but could be in line for his first start of the season as a forward. Rudy Gay could also work his way into the starting lineup, which would be his first start since last season.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the Jazz lined as -12.5 favorites at home after dropping a 98-97 decision to the Pels last night.