Utah Jazz (5-19) at Denver Nuggets (13-8) -- Game Thread

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Game #25 -- Utah Jazz (5-19) @ Denver Nuggets (13-8)
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
7:00 pm (MT) -- TV: ROOT Sports, RADIO: 1280 AM / 97.5 FM

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NBA Regular Season Game #25:

Utah Jazz (5-19) @ Denver Nuggets (13-8)

December Game Streams / Denver Stiffs (SBN) / Jazz vs Nuggets coverage

Remember all those rings Melo and AI won? Oh yeah, it was just magazine covers.

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Some things are more important than sports. Our greater connection and responsibility to each other as the human race, for example, should be something bigger than sports. Sometimes it is, other times it is not. You may not have heard about what happened today in Colorado, but I am certain that hundreds of lives were changed by the events that took place there. I've only been on this Earth for three and a half decades (dang, I'm old) but bad things like this have a way of bringing people together. It's sad that sometimes we need a bad thing to happen in order to remember that we belong to one another and should live in harmony, and not in competition. But that's just really my point of view on this subject -- and are my own words. They do not reflect the type of blog we run here, nor is it indicative of some greater corporate culture or idea from SB Nation, or VOX Media or whatever. Some things are more important than sports.

But sometimes sports can help expedite the healing process.

For some people in Denver tonight the last thing they want to do is think about another situation where bad things happen. (1927, 1999, 2012, 2013) Luckily for them they're going to be watching the home Nuggets face off against the worst defensive team in the league (#30 in DEF RTG, #27 in opponents PPG). It may be a nice distraction for them.

Speaking of distractions, tonight is the Randy Foye revenge game . . . part deux.

Eye of the tiger. PJ pants of the Victoria Secrets cheetah print collection. Well, the first time around, he scored 7 points (3/10 shooting, 1/5 from downtown), had 2 rebounds, and 1 assist, in 30:33 minutes. Sounds about right for Randy Foye if you ask me. If Alec Burks dominates him I fully expect some Jazz radio guys to go into full Cognitive Dissonance mode, because well, it's in the handbook. With my luck tonight Foye will go for 30 tonight, so, uh, you're welcome Alec.

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Player Statistics:

Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG TO A:TO SPG BPG PER USG% AST% TRB%
1 Ty Lawson 1 19 34.7 19.3 3.7 8.0 2.8 2.9 1.2 0.2 22.0 25.2% 37.5% 5.7%
2 Wilson Chandler 3 4 15 28.6 10.7 4.5 1.5 0.9 1.7 1.0 0.6 13.7 16.2% 8.1% 8.3%
3 Randy Foye 2 21 25.6 10.2 2.2 2.2 1.2 1.8 0.8 0.5 12.3 18.0% 12.8% 4.6%
4 J.J. Hickson 4 5 21 24.7 10.5 8.2 1.0 1.7 0.6 0.6 0.8 16.5 21.1% 6.5% 17.7%
5 Kenneth Faried 4 3 21 24.4 10.0 8.5 0.9 1.0 0.9 0.7 0.7 19.8 17.9% 5.9% 18.5%
6 Andre Miller 1 21 20.1 6.2 2.7 3.6 1.1 3.3 0.5 0.1 14.2 15.0% 26.1% 7.0%
7 Nate Robinson 2 1 21 19.8 11.0 2.0 2.5 1.1 2.3 0.9 0.0 17.3 25.7% 21.4% 5.5%
8 Timofey Mozgov 5 21 18.8 8.4 6.1 0.5 1.6 0.3 0.2 1.3 18.2 20.0% 4.0% 17.2%
9 Darrell Arthur 4 21 18.0 5.7 2.8 0.9 0.7 1.3 0.5 0.6 10.3 15.5% 7.3% 8.1%
10 Jordan Hamilton 19 17.6 8.8 3.8 0.8 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.3 17.4 16.8% 7.1% 13.0%
Injured Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG TO A:TO SPG BPG PER USG% AST% TRB%
x Danilo Gallinari 3 4 0 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
x JaVale McGee 5 5 15.8 7.0 3.4 0.4 1.6 0.3 0.2 1.4 11.0 25.5% 4.4% 11.4%

This is Lawson's team. He plays the most, he scores the most, his USG+ AST rates are more 60% cumulative. He's their little engine. He was a game time decision, and the decision is in, he's playing. The rest of their squad is all about balance. So be on notice. Not on this list is guard Evan Fournier, who probably spent last night with Rudy talking about not playing basketball professionally (Evan is playing only 12.1 mpg, despite being one of 2 actual shooting guards on the squad).

What about our boys?

Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG TO A:TO SPG BPG PER USG% AST% TRB%
1 Gordon Hayward 2 3 24 36.4 16.7 5.1 4.6 3.0 1.5 1.3 0.5 15.0 24.6% 22.3% 8.1%
2 Derrick Favors 4 5 22 31.8 13.6 9.4 1.3 2.1 0.6 1.2 1.3 18.8 20.3% 7.3% 17.1%
3 Enes Kanter 5 4 23 29.2 12.6 6.2 0.9 2.0 0.5 0.3 0.7 13.7 21.6% 5.7% 12.2%
4 Trey Burke 1 12 28.0 12.8 3.7 4.6 1.3 3.5 0.8 0.1 16.1 23.5% 29.2% 7.6%
5 Richard Jefferson 2 3 24 28.0 10.1 3.0 1.8 1.7 1.1 0.7 0.2 10.6 17.9% 10.6% 6.1%
6 Alec Burks 2 1 24 27.0 12.5 2.8 2.5 1.8 1.4 0.8 0.3 14.2 23.4% 16.7% 6.1%
7 Marvin Williams 3 4 14 26.1 10.2 5.1 1.4 0.9 1.6 0.9 0.4 15.8 16.8% 8.9% 11.2%
8 Jerermy Evans 4 3 11 21.7 8.3 5.7 1.3 0.9 1.4 0.8 1.0 20.2 16.0% 10.5% 15.2%
9 John Lucas III 1 19 19.7 5.4 1.2 1.6 0.7 2.3 0.3 0.0 6.2 16.2% 12.8% 3.5%
10 Diante Garrett 1 2 15 15.9 4.0 1.2 3.1 1.3 2.4 0.9 0.0 11.5 16.2% 31.6% 4.3%

Unlike the Nuggets, we're fully healthy (hooray for us!), but we don't have a really dominant player right now like they do. Trey Burke is getting better with every game, but he's going to face off against some tough customers in Lawson, Miller, and Robinson at times during this game. But unlike the injured Nuggets, the Jazz aren't really a one man team. Both benches are not remarkable, but we are more top heavy in talent than they are. Maybe that's because we're more of an early rebuild team, while they are in playoff mode and, ahem, more balanced.

I may need to stop putting John Lucas up in these because he's not playing. I'll figure it out.

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Projected Starters:

  • Point Guard: Trey Burke vs Ty Lawson
  • Shooting Guard: Gordon Hayward vs Randy Foye
  • Small Forward: Richard Jefferson vs Wilson Chandler
  • Power Forward: Marvin Williams vs Kenneth Faried
  • Center: Derrick Favors vs J.J. Hickson

Yes, it's going to be a fun game. A game we need, not just as Jazz fans, or Colorado citizens. But as a collective of the same species still struggling to survive, on this tiny planet, orbiting a small star, on the outside of the universe.

GO JAZZ GO!

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