Tonight the Utah Jazz will face the M*A*S*H unit formerly known as the Indiana Pacers. It will be game 2 of 5 for the Jazz on this road trip, and will be Utah's chance to get their second win on the road this season. Last season the Jazz managed to win only 9 games outside of the #801 (Holla'), so this would help demonstrate that last season was last season, and this year is a whole new ball game.
These two franchises were well put together and tough outs in the playoffs back in the 1980s and 90s. The fortunes of both have been much different of late. The Pacers *are* a potential NBA Finals team, but injuries decimated them before this season even started. The Jazz *are* a lotto team, and have been for a number of years now. While Indy has been in the playoffs each season SB Nation has been sending me out to cover the Draft. (As an aside: SB Nation sends bloggers out to the NBA Draft all the way up to the NBA Finals, and everywhere in-between except for Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz practices.) This season the 1-6 Pacers look like they are headed to the lotto as well.They sit in 14th in the East, their lone win coming against the last place team, the Philadelphia 76ers.
By comparison the young, healthy (knock on wood) Jazz appear to have not just a more intriguing future, but also present.
- Trey Burke vs. Donald Sloan
- Alec Burks vs. Solomon Hill
- Gordon Hayward vs. Chris Copeland
- Enes Kanter vs. Luis Scola
- Derrick Favors vs. Roy Hibbert
The Pacers announced that Roy Hibbert is going to play. That's good news because they are missing the other four guys from their starting lineup: George Hill, C.J. Miles, Paul George, and David West. The Jazz have the advantage here because they are healthy, and that while all of the Pacers players *are* legit NBA players -- I don't think they can hang with Burke, Burks, and Hayward outside. Kanter and Favors vs Scola and Hibbert will be fun, especially after we saw the Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe get offensive board after offensive board. That was the game for Detroit. And for Indiana's starters to do something tonight, it'll have to be their game as well.
- Ian Mahinmi (IND) -- he'll have to be involved in a big way if the Jazz can get Hibbert in foul trouble early. And I'm not worried about Ian. Not even against his theoretical understudy from France, Rudy Gobert (UTA). Gobert is too good right now.
- Lavoy Allen (IND) is an energy guy, but will be completely neutralized by Trevor Booker (UTA).
- The rest of INDY's bench is basically starting right now.
- Dante Exum (UTA) continues to shine, finishing last night's game while Trey Burke (saddled with bs foul calls) sat.
- Joe Ingles (UTA) will get to play against the NBA player who best resembles his game tonight, in Larry Bird.
- Uh, redundant? Well, let's go for it anyway. The Jazz will be without Rodney Hood -- plantar fasciitis
- George Hill (IND) -- OUT
- C.J. Miles (IND) -- OUT
- Paul George (IND) -- OUT
- David West (IND) -- OUT
- C.J. Watson (IND) -- OUT
- Rodney Stuckey (IND) -- OUT
- Roy Hibbert (IND) -- Will play tonight, but was previously day-to-day
Please Gordon, don't hurt 'em.
GO JAZZ GO!
Who is going ot win tonight?
This poll is closed
The Utah Jazz (3-4)
The Indiana Pacers (1-6)