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Game Preview: Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz

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Dennis Smith Jr. and the 3pt-shooting Mavs visit the paint-packing Jazz.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

There is at least some joy in mudville. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve watched this at least 87 times. Here’s to number 88, or, more appropriately, number 45:

Jazz Twitter hit a low point, as it does after nearly every loss, after the debacle in Phoenix last weekend. It’s not that the problems besetting the Jazz aren’t there anymore—only 5 FGA for Rudy Gobert, 13 FTAs and 21 TOV is not good—but a win always feels good.

Now the Mavs, whose tank job so far would bring a tear to General George S. Patton’s eye, visit Aunt Viv, where Utah is 3-0.

Game Info:

When: Monday, October 30, 7pm MDT

Where: Aunt Viv, (Vivint SmartHome Arena) Salt Lake City, UT

TV: ATT SportsNet Rocky Mountain

Radio: 1280 and 97.5 The Zone


Utah Jazz:

Dante Exum (left shoulder)

Dallas Mavericks:

Dorian Finney-Smith (knee)

Seth Curry (tibia)

Josh McRoberts (knee)

What To Watch For:

Jazz turnover-prone offense vs. Mavs turnover-forcing defense

So, here’s the proverbial irresistible force (Ricky Rubio passing to invisible men) meeting a somewhat moveable object. (Mavs being good at picking other teams’ pockets) This is a problem the Jazz have to solve if they want to win. 13th isn’t that great, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Dennis Smith Jr. vs. Donovan Mitchell

NBA: Summer League-Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Smith Jr. was one of my favorite prospects in the draft. He’s explosive, he’s athletic, and he’s doing pretty well so far this season, averaging 13.2 points, 6.6 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. Quin Snyder has been forced to play Donovan at the point so far, and this matchup should produce some highlights.

Most likely Jazz-killer:

Yeah, Dirk is good. He can spread the floor and take Rudy Gobert out of the paint more than we’d like. We know this. But if the Jazz are killed tonight, it’ll be by hot 3pt shooting. The Mavs, while a losing team, have four shooters who get significant minutes averaging +40% 3PA, namely Wesley Matthews, Yogi Ferrel, JJ Barea, and Dennis Smith Jr. If a couple of those guys get hot, the Jazz are in trouble.

Oh, it’s also Jeff Withey’s revenge game, so there’s that.

NBA: Preseason-Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports