After three days off our Utah Jazz (27-16) are finally back out of storage and will be playing in an NBA Game. Really! Tonight is the first night of a back-to-back set, where our boys will tip off @ the Dallas Mavericks (14-27) and then fly home to host the Indiana Pacers (22-19). I don't know what's going to happen with the Mavs this season, but right now they are 13th in the Western Conference, and honestly? They are 1.0 games ahead of being 15th. They've had a bunch of key injuries this season as well, but right now are relatively healthy - missing just one starter. That's kind of where the Jazz are as well, with Rodney having that bone contusion. It should be a much closer game than the record states.
The Jazz / Mavs series has been . . . fun? All-time the Jazz are up 93-71 and are on a two game win streak. That includes winning their last game IN Dallas (but overall in their gym the Jazz are only 32-49). Last season the Mavs won the season series 1-2. This season Utah has already won two of the four games these two teams will play. A 97-81 win in Utah back in November. Followed by a 103-100 victory, again in Utah, in December. A win tonight clinches the season series, but I don't think that these two teams are going to need to get down to tie-breakers to figure out which one is better this year.
Utah is, on paper, coming into their prime. Dallas is past theirs. Their team is last in the NBA in PPG, and 25th in ORTG. They play the second slowest pace in the league, and are focused on defense. Well, kinda focused. Their DRTG is 22nd, so that's better than 25th. Their slow pace helps them out, they give up the 4th least points per game as a result. But I don't think you can say that they are locking teams down. They are very active in forcing turn overs, and absolutely dominant on their defensive glass. This alone keeps you in a lot of games.
What doesn't is that they do not get to the free throw line that frequently, and they send teams to the line quite a bit. Also, they really don't pose much of a threat on the offensive glass. (One place some teams have attacked Utah from, successfully.)
Dallas will take threes, and frankly, who they are starting tonight tells that tale. So it's not going to be easy for Utah tonight. Especially with the team likely to start the game off with some level of rust.
Seriously? There are really those many Mavs fans in Montana? The Jazz really haven't done a great job marketing the team outside of the Zion Curtain.
- PG: George Hill vs. Deron Williams
- SG: Joe Ingles vs. Seth Curry
- SF: Gordon Hayward vs. Harrison Barnes
- PF: Derrick Favors vs. Harrison Barnes
- C: Rudy Gobert vs. Dirk Nowitzki
Yes, yes. Rich Carlisle is going small. Let's not lose our minds about this.
Injuries / Absences:
- SG: Rodney Hood (UTA, right knee hyperextension and bone contusion, probably OUT)
- PF: Joel Bolomboy (UTA, NBADL)
- C: Andrew Bogut (DAL, right hamstring strain, OUT)
GO JAZZ GO!
Who's going to win tonight?
This poll is closed
UTA by 11+
UTA by 6-10
UTA by 1-5
DAL by 1-5
DAL by 6-10
DAL by 11+