Tonight the Utah Jazz will host the road weary and injured New Orleans Pelicans. They are likely to be without starting center Omer Asik, and will be playing their 4th game in 6 nights, and the second night of a back to back. They are a 2-4 road team this season, and while they figure to be a much better team than the Jazz this year, I wouldn't be against a tough game. These two teams seem to show up each time they face each other. I wouldn't expect anything less tonight.
Historically the Jazz are 25-16 against NOP, and a commanding 15-5 at home (do the math, they are 10-11 in their gym too). A big part of that was how Deron Williams was just so capable of abusing Chris Paul one on one. There's no advantage there right now, but there could be one with how Gordon Hayward has no equal on the opposite side of the ball. Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, and Tyreke Evans are all more than capable of hurting teams -- but none of them can stop Gordon from driving to the rim, or challenge his shot. Evans, a natural combo guard, is starting at SF for New Orleans. Back in Sacramento he was their point guard. Funny stuff.
Alexis Ajinca gets the start tonight over Omer Asik, but don't be alarmed. Anthony Davis is still ridiculously talented and good. On paper they still have more talent, but I like our chances at home. Trey Burke and Alec Burks play better, it seems. And they will go a lot way towards getting our team going tonight.
There's no sharpshooter off the bench for us like Ryan Anderson. Anderson is just at a different level compared to Steve Novak, maybe Rodney Hood could be Anderson-like in the future, but he's not going to be playing either. Trevor Booker and Rudy Gobert give the Jazz size, which they'll need tonight in their attempts to keep Davis from dominating.
- Omer Asik (C) -- The New Orleans starting center is a question-mark right now. The media notes from the Pelicans prepared last night has him in the starting lineup, but also questionable. An injury site I go to has him listed as doubtful. So did the Pelicans PR department (6 hours ago), and a Pelicans beat writer. So I am thinking doubtful. Asik is a big piece of what they do and a great interior defender. Ajinca and Withey aren't at his level, and they are less tough inside without him. The Jazz should look for the advantage here, and not be sucked into going small and playing into the Pellie's game plan.
- Rodney Hood (SF/SG) -- The Jazz wing is out again, and that's fine. He needs to be fully healthy, and not rush things. He is missed, but when he comes back it will be for the long term.
Anthony Davis and Derrick Favors. D-Fav averaged 16 and 11 last year, with 2.5 blocks against the Pelicans. Davis, on the other hand, cannot seem to finish a game against our squad without getting in foul trouble or injured. It's going to be interesting to see who has more in the gas tank tonight. In his last five games he went up against Carlos Boozer, Gorgui Dieng, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kenneth Faried. If there ever was a time to go up against Davis it would be now.
Ryan Anderson goes for 20+
GO JAZZ GO
Who is going to win tonight?
This poll is closed
The Utah Jazz
The New Orleans Pelicans