This game against the Charlotte Hornets (15-24) could be Utah’s chance to get their first back-to-back road wins of the season as the Hornets have a losing record at home (10-11) this year.
When: Friday, January 12th, 5:00pm MDT
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte North Carolina
TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
Radio: 1280 and 97.5 The Zone
Rudy Gobert - OUT (Knee)
Raul Neto - OUT (Head/knee)
Dante Exum - OUT (Shoulder)
Derrick Favors - Probable (Ankle)
Cody Zeller - OUT (Knee)
What to Watch For:
Kemba Walker vs Donovan Mitchell
This looks to be an epic showdown of two of the best under-the-radar guards. Kemba Walker has thrived in the relative obscurity of Charlotte, averaging 20+ points per game in his last two seasons and in this current season. Mitchell is a rookie trying (and succeeding so far) to make himself a household name.
While Mitchell lines up at the two-guard spot and Walker at the one, it’ll be interesting to see if Quin Snyder decides to put Mitchell on the UCON product, who is coming off a 41-point performance in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks. It would be a tough matchup for Mitchell, as Walker’s quickness, savvy and shooting have allowed him to be a prolific scorer despite his lack of NBA length.
Dwight Howard vs Jazz frontcourt
If Derrick Favors proves unable to go, it’ll once again be up to Ekpe Udoh and whatever other scraps are left on the roster to contain the glass-eating Dwight Howard.
Though not the force that once gave coaches horror movie-like nightmares, Howard is still a presence in the paint to be reckoned with. He averages 12.1 rebounds per game and is fifth in the league in both total rebounds and offensive rebounds (3.5 per game).
Snyder has managed to make things work with the Udoh-led frontcourt on multiple occasions, but he’ll have to work his magic again if Utah doesn’t want to get destroyed in the rebounding department.
It’s possible the eight-year Jazzman will not see the court due to his ankle injury (or if you subscribe to the theory, his “trade deadline fever”). But it’s still worth keeping an eye on Favors because he’s been in trade rumor mill for what feels like an eternity. And it’s obviously had an impact on him mentally.
If he does step foot on the court, it’ll be interesting to see if the rumors hurt his performance or compel him to put up career performances as a middle finger to the whole world.