Game Thread: Cleveland Cavaliers at Utah Jazz -- No Gordon Hayward, but Derrick Favors is here!

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Game #38: Utah Jazz (12-25) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (12-23)
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
January 10, 2014 -- 7 pm MT
TV: ROOT Sports -- RADIO: 1280 am / 97.5 fm

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January Game Streams -- Fear The Sword -- Cavaliers vs Jazz coverage

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I mean, ahem, the Utah Jazz will be without Gordon Hayward tonight. Hayward has been playing very well lately and is most likely our teams' Most Valuable Player this year. His role with the team was as a primary ball handler, and the guy we went to during closing moments of the game. His left hip flexor will keep him out, and he will be a game-time decision for Monday's game against the Denver Nuggets. And I guess I know what post I have to do on the weekend now explain what a hip flexor is. Of course, Peter has you covered on the interesting bits.

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In his stead the janguar-ian Alec Burks will start in his place. But Trey Burke and Alec Burks will have to step it up if we're going to combat their guard attack. Of course, at the end of the day this game is going to be won in the paint. I expect to see more Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter out there to deal with their roster of bigs: Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, stretch "four" Earl Clark, and of course, Anthony Bennett. This game is a lot more interesting now.

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Assumed Starters:

Point Guard:
Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG TO A:TO SPG BPG PER USG% AST% TRB%
Kyrie Irving 1 2 32 37.6 22.0 2.9 6.1 2.9 2.1 1.1 0.4 20.3 30.0% 34.4% 4.6%
Trey Burke 1 25 30.6 13.2 3.4 5.3 1.9 2.8 0.7 0.1 14.4 23.1% 29.7% 6.2%

This is an advantage for Cleveland if all their doods are healthy, Jarrett Jack should also be available giving them a sizable advantage at the PG spot.

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Shooting Guard:
Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG TO A:TO SPG BPG PER USG% AST% TRB%
C.J. Miles 2 3 31 19.2 10.1 2.3 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.4 15.9 22.5% 9.0% 6.3%
Alec Burks 2 1 37 27.0 12.1 3.1 2.6 1.8 1.4 0.8 0.3 14.0 22.9% 16.9% 6.6%

This is going to be fan service.

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Small Forward:
Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG TO A:TO SPG BPG PER USG% AST% TRB%
Luol Deng 3 23 37.4 19.0 6.9 3.7 2.6 1.4 1.0 0.2 17.4 24.7% 19.3% 10.3%
Richard Jefferson 3 37 27.2 10.0 2.9 1.8 1.4 1.3 0.6 0.3 11.7 17.1% 10.6% 6.2%

IF you thought the PG match-up was unfair . . . of course there's a chance Earl Clark starts here over Deng. I don't know. It could be a policy they have where Deng's trade clause included actually giving him breaks.

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Power Forward:
Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG TO A:TO SPG BPG PER USG% AST% TRB%
Tristan Thompson 4 3 35 32.3 11.9 9.8 0.9 1.7 0.5 0.5 0.4 14.1 18.4% 4.5% 16.4%
Marvin Williams 3 4 27 27.1 9.8 5.3 1.3 1.0 1.3 1.1 0.6 14.7 16.7% 8.0% 11.2%

This is where the whole "stretch four" =/= a real power forward thing happens when you continue to start a small forward there. Yikes. Release the Enes Kanter!

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Center:
Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG TO A:TO SPG BPG PER USG% AST% TRB%
Anderson Varejao 5 35 25.4 8.4 9.7 2.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 0.9 16.8 13.8% 11.2% 18.3%
Derrick Favors 5 4 35 31.6 13.5 8.9 1.3 2.0 0.7 1.1 1.4 18.5 20.2% 7.1% 16.0%

Okay, wow. Here we have an advantage, I think. Andy is super active and really doing well with his all-around game this year. Check out that AST%! But Favors is Favors.

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If you are going on just the starters against starters our goose is cooked. But it's a team game where a really bad team on the road that's also really bad against the West is trying to incorporate a very new piece into what they are doing. The Jazz are at the disadvantage with no Hayward, but he's not the whole team, right? RIGHT?

GO JAZZ GO!

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