Tonight the Utah Jazz start off their five game road trip up in my old stomping grounds against the Detroit Pistons. I'd advise you to play nice with the people over at Detroit Bad Boys, they are good people. Even if their team has recently been trounced by the Jazz. Sure, the last few seasons since the Deron Williams trade haven't been as one-sided, but overall the Jazz are 53-33 against Detroit, and 22-22 in Detroit. That's amazing when you factor in that the Jazz usually don't even show up for some road games. So if I was a Pistons fan I would be worried because history isn't on their side.
They have a new head coach (and boss) in Stan Van Gundy, and he has had them play Lockout season Utah Jazz ball -- one of the slowest paces in the league, missing a lot of shots, and surviving on offense by getting offensive rebounds. They started the season off with three straight losses, a double header on the road against the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves, and then another loss at home to the Brooklyn Nets, by 12. Ouch. They turned it around with two wins in a row, against the New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks (both times 98-95). Detroit hasn't topped three digits once this season, but will be looking for their third win, against the Jazz. Or maybe they are looking at their own road trip, which starts tomorrow night in Chicago? I don't know.
I do know that they have a bunch of players who are doing damage inside, as Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond are both averaging double doubles. They, along with Josh Smith, and Caron Butler off the bench, have both talent and ability. But I still take our inside stable of bigs over theirs any day.
I suppose that the team that determines pace will win, but that's just me.
The Jazz aren't world beaters, and are still looking for their first road win of the season. It better happen on this road trip, and many Jazz fans look at the Pistons and ask "why not tonight?" They are even going to be wearing home colors!
Yep, and former Detroit Piston and Utah Jazz player Mehmet Okur had this to add:
@BrianZettler All jazz tonight boys..— mehmetokur13 (@MehmetOkur13) November 9, 2014
So, there you have it. Memo thinks we should win. I'm sure the Pistons will make sure that it's a little harder for Utah than just conceding over twitter. They are more hurt (no Jodie Meeks, Tony Mitchell, or Luigi Datome vs. just no Rodney Hood for the Jazz). But they are at home. And they do have a done of guys who will gang rebound.
Personally, this could be the night where their three point shooting wakes up, against a team that has been notoriously burned by open threes. The Jazz must use their wing advantage here to try to draw early fouls through penetration, and expose their strong, but shallow, front court depth.
Rodney Hood will not be available, so the Jazz are missing 15 minutes somewhere. Expect Ian Clark, Joe Ingles, and others to try to do what he does -- which is space the floor, and take open threes. Another character who could make up some of the difference will be Toure' Murry who will be active for the first time this season. I don't know if he will be getting in the game, but it's going to know that we have another guy out there who can pass and defend.
Oh, and Trey Burke is returning to where he last left a 20 and 12 game, and possibly his mojo. This is going to be special for him and something he had circled on his calendar early. Detroit isn't home, but the University of Michigan star hasn't been playing great in Utah during the regular season. Perhaps tonight is the night the season turns back around in his favor?
It's gotta be Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, and Trevor Booker going up against Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, and Josh Smith. It's not just a 1v1 here, but a battle of talented, versatile bigmen.
Stan Van Gundy will make funnier faces than Quin Snyder, but just barely.