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Boston Celtics at Utah Jazz Game Preview: The Streak continues?

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Boston Celtics (15-27) @ Utah Jazz (16-28)
EnergySolutions Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
7:00 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports • Radio: 1280 AM / 97.5 FM

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz will attempt to get three wins in a row for the first time this season by defeating the Boston Celtics tonight. If it happens (and if very well could) then this new Jazz team will finally reach a milestone that they need. Despite how poor this month's schedule was, and how battered the team has been recently, finding these small achievements go a long way towards a) keeping the players focused on the long term plan, while b) giving everyone (players, coaches, front office, owners, and fans) a chance to see the day to day building blocks result in some actual wins.

As always at this time of the season (the weeks leading up to the All-Star break) we can't really judge these teams until we look at the injury reports. The Utah Jazz will be without the services of SG/PG Alec Burks, and SG/SF Rodney Hood. The Boston Celtics will be without Kelly Olynyk (out with a case of the Rudy Gobert-s). Marcus Smart, who had missed the previous game with a death in the family, is expected to return tonight.

The Celtics are on a six game road trip (six games in 10 nights), and played last night (and lost a close game against the Warriors). They did beat the Nuggets and Trail Blazers, but started it all off with a loss to the Clippers. This is thus, a team taking advantage of injuries and stealth to get what they want right now. Tonight is also the third game in four nights, and it's nice to finally be facing these tired teams again. (A hallmark of previous Jazz schedules were many of these games, this season the Jazz are getting the un-tired teams on their road trips.)

Boston is 6-14 on the road, and 4-6 in their last 10. And while they hold the 37-51 All-Time advantage against the Jazz, in Utah they are only 18-26. It could very well be another loss tonight, as their team is, well, non-competitive.

With all of the trades they have recently made it's hard to keep track of who is actually on their team right now. They plan to start Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, Jae Crowder, Brandon Bass, and Jared Sullinger. That's a great line-up for the 1950's era of NBA ball. And frankly, a Marcus Smart, Marcus Thornton, Gerald Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, Tyler Zeller bench is either too old or too young to make a difference.

This should be a solid Utah Jazz win, where Gordon Hayward does his thing, no one will be able to stop Derrick Favors / Enes Kanter / Rudy Gobert inside, and Dante Exum and Trey Burke should fare okay, just as long as Smart isn't going to have a crazy motivation game coming back from a family funeral.

Jazz should win this game. Should is not as strong a word as will.

But what do I know?

Please Jazz win this game, win three games in a row, and finish this month with something to smile about in-between the GSW drubbings.

GO JAZZ GO!