Game two of three on the road has the Utah Jazz jumping against the Washington Wizards. Both teams are fighting for home court in the first round, the Wizards are #3 in the East and the Jazz are #4 in the West. So at least on paper this qualifies as a potential NBA Finals preview. This is the first game of two between these two squads, the second is in Utah in late March. And it's the first game against his old team for Trey Burke. Revenge game on tap? I don't know. Utah should have their hands full with the starting guards for the Bullets without having to worry about guys off the bench. It should be a tough game.
The Wizards are for real. They had won 18 of their last 21 games going into the NBA All-Star Break. In their first game after the break they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 120-112. It isn't a good look, period, to lose to Philly. It's worse still for an East contender. And even more insane because it was such a random loss for a team that had been KILLING IT since Christmas. Those three losses in their last 21 games were to the Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Philly loss is 100% a motivational loss. I expect the Wizards to be ready and focused tonight. (This afternoon?)
The Jazz are trying to prove to people that they are for real as well. They are finally healthy and capable of winning on the road. In fact, they've been pretty darn good on the road this year and sport a 16-11 record outside of the #801. It's even better against the East. But this game is going to be a real test because the Wizards are nigh indefatigable at home, with their ridiculous 24-7 record. (Only CLE's 25-6 and GSW's 26-3 are better.)
Washington is almost a Top 10 fastest team out there with the 9th best ORTG and 11th best DRTG in the land. They put up a lot of points, but aren't scored on with any ease on the other end. They are the 5th best team in the league at making their shots from downtown, and are ridiculously efficient on offense. Their only weakness seems to be their slightly below average handle on turn overs, but if you play at a fast pace and get a lot of transition opportunities there is a risk of being less precise. Defensively they do force a lot of turn overs, which is kind of what jump starts their offensive pace. They don't do a great job in protecting their defensive glass though. So that's a give and take between the fast break and crashing the boards.
Utah is going to have their hands full with Wall and Beal. Those town average close to 50 ppg and 15 apg, while taking over 10 threes a night.They are stars. The Jazz perimeter defense will be challenged early and often.
Alaska, really? Wow.
- PG: George Hill vs. John Wall
- SG: Rodney Hood vs. Bradley Beal
- SF: Gordon Hayward vs. Otto Porter Jr.
- PF: Derrick Favors vs. Markieff Morris
- C: Rudy Gobert vs. Marcin Gortat
Injuries / Absences:
- SG: Danuel House (WAS, NBA DLeague Conditioning Stint)
- PF: Chris McCullough (WAS, GTD), Joel Bolomboy (UTA, NBA DLeague)
- C: Ian Mahinmi (WAS, Probable)
GO JAZZ GO!
The Utah Jazz are 14 wins away from 50 on the season. Do they get one game closer to that total tonight?
This poll is closed