The Utah Jazz (5-4) take on the Orlando Magic (3-5) tonight in game four of five on their Eastern Conference road trip. Utah has looked good, but finally dropped one by letting the Charlotte Hornets come from behind and finish them off in the fourth quarter. Our guys, despite the loss, are playing at a very high level. And it's remarkable with how many rotation players are out. The loss of George Hill is a huge problem as he was the engine that drove the team to such a solid early season wins. Shelvin Mack was not up to the task of filling in his shoes. So tonight head coach Quin Snyder is starting Dante Exum, the soph's first start of the season. Not to be outdone, super coach Frank Vogel is sending Aaron Gordon to the bench, and starting Jeff Green. The chess match has already begun.
These two teams play slowly, but one of them is doing that AND also playing defense. We expected Orlando to have trouble on offense, but not also on defense. That's the case this season so far. Orlando can't make a shot, and they rarely get to the free throw line. They don't seem to pressure the ball that much, but at least on offense they aren't turning it over. A slow game. A measured game. It relies on efficiency. The beginning of that on offense is not being sloppy. Orlando is not sloppy.
Utah has been taking good care of their defensive glass so far this season. They should be challenged tonight for two very important reasons. The first is that Orlando is going to miss, so there are more chances for an offensive rebound. The second is that Orlando's bigs are legit, Vucevic, Ibaka, Biyombo, Gordon, Green, and so on. It's going to take an effort tonight to dominate the glass against that group of hungry animals.
This is never not going to amuse me. #1 -- The Magic have a huge fanbase / presence online. #2 -- that one pocket of Florida is still in our court. Love those fans.
- PG: Dante Exum vs. Elfrid Payton
- SG: Rodney Hood vs. Evan Fournier
- SF: Gordon Hayward vs. Jeff Green
- PF: Derrick Favors vs. Serge Ibaka
- C: Rudy Gobert vs. Nikola Vucevic
- Joe Johnson vs. Aaron Gordon
- Trey Lyles vs. Bismack Biyombo
- Shelvin Mack vs. D.J. Augustin
- Joe Ingles vs. Mario Hezonja
- Raul Neto vs. C.J. Watson
Injuries / Absences:
- PG: George Hill (UTA, OUT)
- SG: Alec Burks (UTA, OUT), Jodie Meeks (ORL, OUT)
- PF: Boris Diaw (UTA, OUT)
GO JAZZ GO!
Who's going to win?
This poll is closed
Jazz by 11+ points
Jazz by 6-10
Jazz by 1-5
Magic by 1-5
Magic by 6-10
Magic by 11+