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Game Preview: Maccabi Haifa at Utah Jazz

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Utah Jazz face off against another international foe.

NBA: Preseason-Sydney Kings at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The 1-0 Utah Jazz tonight play one more game against an international basketball team as they face off against Maccabi Haifa of the Euroleague.

Game Info

When: Wednesday, October 4th at 7:00 p.m. MT

Where: Vivint SmartHome Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain

Injuries

Utah Jazz: Donovan Mitchell (Hamstring), Raul Neto (Quad)

Maccabi Haifa: None.

What to watch for

Can Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert play at a high level against a little bit stiffer competition?

NBA: Preseason-Sydney Kings at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

In their first start together since who knows when Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert looked great on the defensive end. They stifled the Sydney Kings offense to start the game. On the offensive end Rudy Gobert feasted with alley oop after alley oop. Derrick Favors on the other hand sort of slipped into the background. This is Rudy Gobert’s team after all, so it shouldn’t be odd that Derrick Favors takes more of a backseat when Gobert is in the game.

Derrick Favors shot 50% while in the game scoring 6 points on 3 of 6 shooting. We didn’t see a big opportunity for him to space the floor. Better teams will clog the paint with bigger players, Sydney didn’t have players who could match up with Derrick Favors or Rudy Gobert. NBA teams will. Favors will need to show some consistent outside shooting to allow them to have the spacing to let Rudy Gobert dominate when rolling to the rim. The good news from the Sydney Kings game is Derrick Favors was a +16 when he was on the floor.

Is Rodney Hood the primary scoring option?

NBA: Preseason-Sydney Kings at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Honestly, I could copy and paste what we said last game. Rodney Hood scored 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting. He looked good when spotting up. Off the dribble was a different story though. With Ricky Rubio, Rodney will get his opportunities spotting up and he better be ready for Ricky to get the ball to him. It will be interesting to see when a team lays off of Ricky Rubio and what that does for Rodney Hood and Joe Ingles on the perimeter. But after one game, Rodney Hood looks like he could be Utah’s leading scorer.

The main question with Rodney will be, can he be consistent?

Can Ricky Rubio ... *gulp* ... shoot?

NBA: Utah Jazz-Media Day Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

For every brilliant pass Ricky made last night against the Sydney Kings there was an equally terrible shot. Ricky Rubio was 0-4 with 3 points (all earned at the line). What is disconcerting is this was against the weakest competition Ricky is going to face: the NBL Sydney Kings. It’s just uphill from there. Hopefully it was first game jitters and we’ll see post All-Star break Ricky who was draining threes at a 35%+ clip. Otherwise, the Utah Jazz are going to have trouble scoring points with no spacing.

Most Likely Jazz Killer: No Idea

Basketball: Maccabi Haifa at Los Angeles Lakers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

I’d be lying if I said I knew anything about Maccabi Haifa. I really was hoping there was a past NBA guy that I recognized that I could be like, “I know something about this guy.” But really, the Jazz should win this one easily unless they spend more than half of it working out the end of their roster trying to figure out who they’re going to cut before the end of preseason.