The Utah Jazz have lost 3 games in a row in what is supposed to be the easiest part of their schedule. After losing to the improved Philadelphia 76ers, the Jazz face another Eastern Conference foes in the Miami Heat. The Miami Heat are 5-6 and are coming off a win in Phoenix against the Suns.
The Miami Heat are led by Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic. Hassan Whiteside has only played in 6 games this season but is averaging 16.5 points a game and 12 rebounds. Goran Dragic, also knows as Luka Doncic’s summer teammate, is averaging 20 points and 5 assists per game.
When: Friday, November 10, 7 p.m.
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
Radio: 1280 and 97.5 The Zone
Joe Johnson (Right wrist) - OUT
Dante Exum (Left shoulder) - OUT
Rodney McGruder (Leg) - OUT
What To Watch For:
Hassan Whiteside vs Rudy Gobert
Let’s not bury the lede here. This is the matchup du jour. These two giants facing off against each other is worthy of your attention. Rudy Gobert may appear to be having a down season, but he’s at his career averages while being the center of attention on every scouting report. Add that he has had zero spacing to work with and Rudy’s output should be commended. Last game’s outing aside, Gobert’s defense is as strong as ever as he has fortified the league’s 5th best defense.
Hassan has played in only 6 games this year but he looks very much the player that he always has been. This will be a fun one.
The Utah Jazz’s Nightmare of a Starting Lineup
I wrote about this earlier today, but the Utah Jazz’s starting lineup is bad. As in, worst starting lineup in the NBA bad. Thabo Sefolosha said he has worked out at the 4 position in practice but there hasn’t been any other indicators of Utah changing their starting lineup. They should, but good chance it’s not tonight. It will be interesting to see if this starting lineup once again puts this team at a deficit to start the game and requires the bench to bail them out again.
Break the losing streak
The Utah Jazz’s longest losing streak last year was 4 games when they faced the Grizzlies, Bulls, Rockets, and Nuggets early in the season while battling early season injuries to Hill and Hayward. There’s a possibility that they match last season’s losing streak tonight against the Miami Heat who are every bit their equals. A good defense with a terrible offense. Can Utah break its 3 game slide?
Most Likely Jazz-Killer: Goran Dragic
Dragic is averaging 20 points a game this season and Utah has been allowing big games to efficient scorers (see also, Harden, DeRozan). Goran Dragic also has Rubio’s number. He had it in the summer at Eurobasket and that could continue tonight. Who knows, Dragic could be doing Utah a solid and helping them toward better draft position to draft his Slovenian teammate Luka Doncic.