Game Preview: Utah Jazz (16-31) vs Toronto Raptors (25-22)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Game #48: Toronto Raptors (25-22) @ Utah Jazz (16-31) ESA, Salt Lake City, Utah February 3, 2014 -- 7:00 pm MST TV: ROOT Sports -- RADIO: 1280 am / 97.5 fm

After an embarrassing loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in LA on Saturday night the Utah Jazz return home to the ESA to take on the Toronto Raptors. The Jazz and the Raptors have played once already this season.

Last Meeting Against the Raptors

Remember this:


We hadn't even got a win on the season yet when we last played the Raptors. Moni recapped the game with these gifs.

Too-easy2_medium

and this

Too-easy_medium

Yucca recapped the game like this:

Three things that went well

1. As mentioned earlier, Gordon Hayward's line. 10-18 shooting, 4-4 from the line, 24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals. Keep it up, Gordo.

2. They hit their free throws. Amid all the gunk going on, at least they finally had a nice night from the line. 20-24; 83%.

3. They are becoming great at helping other teams get out of their funk. There's a treasure in heaven being laid up for such selflessness.

Three things that went poorly

1. The defense was horrifying.

2. Every shot is contested by three opponents, and yet nobody seems to be open.

3. They shot less than 20% from three. Ugh.

And the Utah Jazz broadcasting recapped our starters like this (via moni)

Stat-highlights_medium

Which prompted this comment on Moni's post

Screen_shot_2014-02-03_at_2

So much lultz with our last game against Toronto. As we can clearly see Favors and Kanter really struggled starting together (I kid, I kid). Seriously though we are in a much better place than we were seven games into the season. Thank goodness our point guard is more relevant, that we would notice if it wasn't Trey in the Starting Lineup graphic.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors are in the middle of a long west coast road trip. On Saturday the Raptors lost narrowly to the Portland Trailblazers 106-103.  The Blazers were up 16 points with under eight minutes to go in the fourth. DeMar DeRozan put on a show scoring 30 of his 36 points in the 2nd half (14 in the 4th).  DeRozan also had 12 assists to go along with his 36 points.

DeRozan might be looking for revenge tonight against Gordon Hayward. DeRozan was not selected to the U.S. pool of national team members, Hayward was. DeRozan averages 21.7 ppg while Hayward averages 16.9 ppg but also 4.9 apg and 5.5 rpg.

The Raptors prior to their loss against the Trailblazers had won five of their last six games.  The Raptors are 13-12 on the road.

Utah Jazz

The Jazz have lost five of their last eight games and two in a row. The Jazz's 15 point loss against the Clippers was rather ugly. The Jazz attempted the most three point shots in franchise history, the Jazz made 10 of their franchise high 30 attempts. The offense looked pretty bad as they shot just 38.8% from the field and 67% from the line.

Derrick Favors missed the last two games and is doubtful for tonight's game. The Jazz are 10-13 at home overall and are 2-2 in their last four home games.

Key Matchups

The most exciting matchup has to be DeRozan against Hayward. Hayward has not looked too good lately, maybe tonight he will get out of his slump. Hopefully not awful 4th quarter TOs like against the Warriors. Hayward did have nice game against Toronto the last time they played. De Rozan unlike Hayward is not in a slump. It will be interesting to see what the Jazz try to do to slow down DeRozan.

DeRozan and Hayward's nba.com players comparison

Screen_shot_2014-02-03_at_3

Valanciunas vs Kanter will also be great.  Coming from the same draft class these two will always be compared. NBA.com's player comparisions

Screen_shot_2014-02-03_at_3

Prediction

Good Luck to the Jazz tonight!  I think Jazz will play hard but if Favor's is not playing they will come up short against the Raptors.

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