Almost gametime folks! The Utah Jazz (11-9) look to get back to winning after dropping their last game to the Miami Heat -- a nice comeback that just fell short. In their way will be the Denver Nuggets (7-11), a team that has lost their last two games and are generally not a great road team. Of course, Utah isn't that good at home. So the Jazz will attempt to protect a 5-4 home record against a 4-5 road Nuggets squad. Sheesh.
Both teams are not just teams still trying to figure things out, but these two regional rivals kinda don't like each other. Yes, there's a lot of playoff history here, but it's more than just that. Heck, even the fans get into it with the owners and/or players of the other team. There's no love lost.
The Nuggets and Jazz play completely different styles. Utah is the slowest team in the NBA. Denver is the 5th fastest. Denver has trouble being efficient (19th best offense, 22nd best defense); while Utah is efficient (7th best offense, 7th best defense). There are some similarities between the two clubs as well. Both put in work on the glass. And on both ends of the floor. Denver is really great here, being 2nd best in ORB% and 2nd best in DRB%. That's going to be the struggle for the Jazz for sure. Denver's ability to play defense will be the counter point there, of course.
But I guess as we're all used to by now, it's going to be about which players are actually playing that makes the biggest difference. For Denver they will be missing starters Gary Harris and Nikola Jokic. Danilo Gallinari, Darrell Arthur, and Will Barton are all probable. As we know, starters George Hill, Rodney Hood, and Derrick Favors are all in some state of distress, while bench scorer Alec Burks is out. Favors is out for sure, we know that. Hill is doubtful. And Hood is questionable, and as we move towards gametime, is still listed as a game time decision. If he plays: great. If he doesn't, that sucks.
However, both teams still have solid guys who are going to fight tonight. We love the concept of Emmanuel Mudiay vs. Dante Exum. Also there's still Rudy Gobert going up against Jusuf Nurkic and Kenneth Faried. And at the end of the day, Utah has Gordon Hayward. And Denver does not. Hopefully that's all the difference that matters tonight.
- PG: E.Mudiay vs. D.Exum (Shelvin Mack? Who knows anymore?)
- SG: W.Barton vs. Joe Johnson
- SF: D.Gallinari vs. G.Hayward
- PF: K.Faried vs. Boris Diaw (Trey Lyles? Who knows anymore?)
- C: J.Nurkic vs. R.Gobert
I'm not going to be watching this game live, so don't yell at me if the team starts slowly!
GO JAZZ GO!
Who's going to win tonight?
This poll is closed
Jazz by 11+ points
Jazz by 6-10
Jazz by 1-5
Nuggets by 1-5
Nuggets by 6-10
Nuggets by 11+