Coming off a 98-95 OT win over the Detroit Pistons, the Jazz are clearly not tanking—but they’re not playing good basketball, either. The good news for them the other night was that Detroit is also not playing well. I mean, only 193 points in 53 minutes of basketball? Yikes.
Anyway, the Jazz have gone
north northeast to Toronto for a contest against the Toronto Raptors, who are 3-3 in their last six games, with wins against the injured Spurs, Pistons, and Hawks and losses against the Warriors, 76ers, and Timberwolves. The Dinos are 32-14, but it’s not unfair to say that they’ve hit a bit of a lull.
For the Utah Jazz, the whole season has been a lull. Or a train wreck. Or a crazy battle against Captain America, Bucky, and Ant Man in which only Spida Man wins.
When: Monday, Jan. 26, 2018 • 5:30 PM MST
Where: Aire Canadae Centre, Torontoe, Ontarioe, Canadae
TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
Radio: 1280 and 97.5 The Zone
Dante Exum - Shoulder - OUT
Rodney Hood - Leg contusion - OUT
Thabo Sefolosha - Knee - OUT
None. Must be nice.
What To Watch For: Former Utes on the Floor
The Raptors have drafted two players from the University of Utah in the past two years, big man Jakob Poeltl and guard Delon Wright. Poeltl is averaging 6.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season, an ORTG of 123, and a DEFRTG of 104. In other words, he’s probably going to be a backup center in the league for awhile, but not a star.
Delon Wright is averaging 8.8 points, 3.1 boards, and 2.6 assists, as well as an ORTG of 117 and a DEFRTG of 105. He was sidelined by injury for a bit, but he’s been valuable off the bench for the Raps this year.
Most Likely Jazz Killer: Linas Kleiza
I swear, every time we play these guys we get dump-trucked by this guy, and—wait, he’s not in the league anymore? Oh. Good. Let’s try that again.
Most Likely Jazz Killer: Kyle Lowry
Yep, this recently-selected All-Star guard is going to be tough for the Jazz to defend. He’s quicker than every Jazz player but Donovan Mitchell, who still has some work to do on defense, and Dante Exum. We all know what happened to Dante. It’s been a long time since the Jazz haven’t had to worry about being torched by middling guards, (Ish Smith, anyone?) let alone a guy like Lowry.
On the bright side, win or lose, those of us in Utah can watch this game and still have most of our Friday night left for other things.
GO JAZZ GO!