March 22, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) controls the ball against the Sacramento Kings during the third quarter at Power Balance Pavilion. The Utah Jazz defeated the Sacramento Kings 103-102. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
The New Orleans Jazz never made the playoffs, partly because they were such a poor home team. The Utah Jazz needs to win tonight in New Orleans as the road team. This is heavy, man.
Tonight the Utah Jazz will strike out to face a Hornets team that is the worst team in the conference. The Hornets may be without the services of Eric Gordon, Jarrett Jack, Chris Johnson, and Emeka Okafor. The Jazz will probably be without Raja Bell, Josh Howard, C.J. Miles, Paul Millsap, and Earl Watson. It's going to be 'one of those games'.
After das jump, what's going on with the Hornets and Jazz
What's going on with the Hornets?
Would you believe that they've won 2 of their last 3 games? They're HOT right now! Well, they are a much better home team lately, having had recent home wins against the Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, and Los Angeles Clippers. The last time we lost at home was on the 9th, to the Los Angeles Lakers. The last one after that was March 24th, to the San Antonio Spurs. The Hornets have a lot of ping pong balls locked up so they are going to be playing fast and free.
Chris Kaman has found the time machine in recent games, and Marco Belinelli and Al-Farouq Aminu have been playing like lottery picks. Most impressive of the bunch has been the continued progress of Jason Smith. He's a more clean cut, All-American, version of the best pick and pop bigs ever.
For the season, the Hornets are 29th in points per game, and 28th in offensive rating. Their pace is dead last in the league, which accounts for being a #10 defense according to opponents points per game; while only being #20 in actual defensive rating.
If Tyrone Corbin was a real coach of the year he'd run this slow-ash team out of their own building with all the gazelles we have on the roster. Instead, I am certain, he'll let us play THEIR pace and slowly grind out a hopeful win.
What's going on with the Jazz
Everyone is injured and we need to win every game. We may see some Enes Kanter tonight, and not just because there are other bigs that score on the other team. But that's a good place to start. Big Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward need to continue being hot with Millsap out. And Devin Harris needs to keep drilling threes.
I have a lot of other posts to write today, so this is the end of the preview.