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Utah Jazz at Detroit Pistons Game Thread: Can Utah make Motown sing the blues?

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Utah Jazz (2-4) @ Detroit Pistons (2-3)The Palace of Auburn Hills • Detroit, MI4:00 pm MT • TV (ROOT Sports); Radio (1280 AM / 97.5 FM)

USA TODAY Sports

Game Previews (SLC Dunk / Detroit Bad Boys / Scouting the Pistons)

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Wow. I just wrote a very long and detailed game thread, which was probably my best game thread in two seasons. And then it just got wiped. I am besides myself. And so is a can of diet root beer. (It's the closest I will get to drinking)
*sigh*
Okay, let's start again . . . from the beginning . . .

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I couldn't help but make a music joke, not with such a musical team like the Utah Jazz, who are going for their third win of the season against the Detroit Pistons, where so many great musical styles, movements, and performers are from. I don't expect there to be much music played tonight, unless you like grinding industrial sounds. Both teams boast talent inside, the Pistons have Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, and Josh Smith -- all guys who are playing quite well right now. The Jazz have a little less on the individual brilliance level, but have much greater depth with Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Trevor Booker, Rudy Gobert, and hey, let's throw Jeremy Evans a bone too.

It's not just the size that changes how this game will sound, it's the tempo. The Jazz would want to push the pace, but their opponents have dictated their tempo for them. While the Pistons have to play slow because their heavy hitters are their biggest. The Pistons are 29th in the NBA in pace, and the Jazz, sadly, are hardly any better at 27th. That similarity aside, these two teams are quite different in make-up and on court execution.

Detroit is big, burly, and they have a middle of the road offense and defense (22nd ORTG and 17th DRTG). Utah has one of the best offenses in the league (7th ORTG), but their defense is not very good at all (29th). The Jazz offense is a mixture of opportunity and efficiency as they are #2 in the NBA in ORB% (at 30.0%), and #8 in the NBA in eFG% (.517). The Jazz also get to the line pretty well (#14 in FT/FGA ratio), but tend to be sloppy with the ball (#22 in TOV% at 15.7%).

Detroit isn't pretty at all on offense, surviving off of offensive rebounds (#12, 27.8%), but really shooting poorly so far this season (#29 in eFG% at .455). Furthermore they don't really get to the line much with respect to how many shots they are forced into (#24 in FT/FGA), but still manage to get there 24.8 times a game. (The Jazz only get there 22.2)

On Defense Utah protects their glass (#7 in DRB% at 77.5%), and doesn't send the other team to the line -- but that's because they other team is usually making all of their shots anyway, shooting a blisteringly high .537 eFG% (#27 in the NBA). Detroit does not have any weakness on defense besides not pressuring the ball -- both teams are low in forcing turn overs.

So if you sim this game by the stats, well, it's not going to be the most fun game ever ... unless you like 2nd and 3rd chance points. Well, hopefully there aren't many. If Detroit's main offensive weapon so far this season has been getting second and third chance points, hopefully the Jazz' team rebounding on the defensive glass will prevent that from happening. Also, let's be frank here -- the Pistons will not continue to miss so many open jumpers. At some point they'll start to make them, and other teams are shooting .380 3PT% against the Jazz. So, yeah. We'll see what happens.

STARTERS:

Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG TO SPG BPG FG% 3PT% FT% PER
PG Trey Burke 1 6 31.0 10.2 2.5 4.0 2.7 1.2 0.5 33.3% 23.3% 76.9% 8.8
Brandon Jennings 1 2 5 25.2 10.6 2.4 5.6 2.0 0.6 0.0 39.5% 41.7% 84.2% 17.1
SG Alec Burks 2 1 6 32.0 14.0 3.3 3.0 2.5 0.7 0.2 40.3% 41.2% 93.1% 13.6
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 2 5 36.6 13.4 5.2 1.0 1.2 0.6 0.2 38.8% 32.1% 60.0% 9.9
SF Gordon Hayward 3 2 6 34.8 18.0 6.3 5.3 1.8 0.7 0.3 48.0% 34.3% 100.0% 23.7
Josh Smith 3 4 5 35.8 14.2 7.8 4.4 2.2 1.2 1.6 32.1% 0.0% 48.6% 12.1
PF Enes Kanter 4 5 6 23.0 11.2 5.8 0.3 1.8 0.2 0.0 47.5% 22.2% 77.8% 13.1
Greg Monroe 4 5 3 30.7 17.0 12.0 3.0 1.7 0.7 0.0 54.1% 84.6% 28.6
C Derrick Favors 5 4 6 29.8 16.3 7.8 1.5 1.8 1.0 1.5 60.0% 76.9% 25.7
Andre Drummond 5 5 27.0 10.8 10.4 0.4 1.2 0.4 1.8 45.3% 33.3% 15.5

Very even, eh?

BENCH X-FACTORS:

  • D.J. Augustin (DET), this point guard splits time with Brandon Jennings, and plays 25.4 mpg off the bench. In that time his shot hasn't been falling (.370 / .273 / .846) except from the line. He does still manage to help his team out with 12.4 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.4 rpg. He will pose a challenge for Dante Exum.
  • Caron Butler (DET), is a vet's vet Matt Harpring level forward now, who comes off the bench and still plays too much (27.2 mpg), and is averaging 9.6 ppg, and 4.8 rpg. He is shooting great, .474 / .421 / .800, and will have his way with Joe Ingles or whomever checks him on the bench. He would have had his way with Rodney Hood too.
  • Trevor Booker (UTA) basically gives the Jazz another Kanter, as Booker is averaging 10.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg (Kanter is giving the Jazz 11.2 ppg, and 5.8 rpg). Except this guy comes off the bench, is full of energy, can create his own shot, and hit threes.
  • Rudy Gobert (UTA) is a tree. That's it. He gets all the defensive rebounds. Is super long. Finishes around the rim with ease. And he will make Joel Anthony look old.

Injuries:

  • Jodie Meeks (DET) -- Out: His back injury has him still about a few weeks away from returning, and hasn't played a single game this season
  • Cartier Martin (DET) -- Questionable: Is recovering from plantar fasciitis, and hasn't played a single game this season
  • Luigi Datome (DET) -- Questionable: Has a hamstring problem and also hasn't played a single game this season
  • Rodney Hood (UTA) -- Out: He is out with plantar fasciitis on his right foot, the one he hurt last summer with an Achilles tendon injury.

The Jazz aren't out three wing players like the Pistons are; but Hood has played in every game this season for Utah, and was playing 15+ mpg in those contests. He will be missed. I don't know if anyone besides Meeks would have even gotten playing time tonight if they were healthy. With Hood not dressing Toure' Murry will, for the first time this season. The combo guard moved from SG to PG in the NBA-DL, and then played that almost exclusively during his rookie season with the New York Knicks. With Hood out I think we may even get a chance to see him if Joe Ingles or Ian Clark have trouble early.

Bottom line:

Regardless of who wins this game the important thing will be to see our team coming together and displaying game by game improvements. The Dallas Mavericks hurt us bad, and I want to see this Jazz team come out there and play like it's an 82 game season, and not a 6 game season, and have Dallas on their mind still. If Utah wins, that's cool too. But I am more interesting to see how this team plays on the road, out East, against a team that is about as good as them. Detroit wants to make the playoffs in the East. I don't know if they are that much better than the Jazz. We'll see tonight.

GO JAZZ GO!

Poll

Who is going to win tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Utah Jazz (2-4)
    (64 votes)
  • 3%
    Detroit Pistons (2-3)
    (2 votes)
66 votes total Vote Now