The Jazz start this week off with two home games and then our six game road trip starts. You can't look past these two home games though against the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns. They are both going to be tests for us and there will be plenty of drama too as the Celtics and Suns both have rookie coaches many Utah Jazz fans are more than happy to read more and more about: Brad Stevens and Jeff Hornacek.
Tonight we get the Celtics, and they themselves are on a road trip. Tonight will be game four of four before they fly back, and tonight will be the second night of a back-to-back, and third night in four games for them. That sucks. What sucks more is that they have a ton of people out. Avery Bradley is out with a sprained and bruised ankle. Jared Sullinger is out with a concussion, and there is a protocol to follow here. Vitor Faverani is out with a knee injury, but luckily the MRI came back negative. The good news is that Rajon Rondo will play tonight, so yaaay!
Boston is ahead of us in the chase for ping pong balls, but they are still a pretty fun team to watch. Adding Rondo makes them must-watch.
For this season they play at a medium pace (19th in the NBA), and have a pretty good defense (10th best in Opp PPG, 12th best in Def RTG), but it's on offense where they struggle -- 26th in PPG and 26th in Off RTG. They have lost four games in a row and are 4-6 in their last 10. They are a Jazz-like 8-21 on the road, and more specifically they are 18-25 against the Jazz in Utah all-time. Of course, the C's still old the over-all all-time advantage of 51-36.
Those times are over. And unless the Jazz take them seriously, their losing streak could be over too.
If you look at their squad it's devastated by injury -- but Green, Rondo, Bass, and Wallace were enough to beat us last season, and every season he had Al Jefferson on the squad. Utah has to play well tonight.
Thankfully Favors is a game time decision, and as we all know, that magically solves everything. Always.
|9||John Lucas III||1||2||34||15.9||4.3||1.1||1.1||0.6||1.8||0.4||0.0||5.7||16.7%||11.3%||3.9%|
Well, if he does not play then our defense is going to somehow be worse. Well, I don't know how accurate that statement is. We're 30th in Def RTG, and if we played at a normal page, our Opp PPG would be pretty bad too. Thankfully we play very slow (27th fastest) which masks our defense and calls it only the 14th worst in the league by Opp. PPG. Our offense is a calamity.
The Jazz are also itching for a win, having lost 3 straight, and are only 3-7 in their last 10. At the end of the night someone is going to be feeling lucky. Either the Jazz as they go home to their beds, or the C's as they smile on their flight back east.
I can't predict the final score. But Expect a lot of defensive rebounds tonight.