Over the Jazz’s last three games the team has finally started to look like the top defense in the league from last season and are trending in the right direction. After a disappointing start to the season, the Jazz have climbed to the 13th best defense and 10th best offense. During the Jazz’s three game win streak they’ve had the 9th best defense in the league with the 5th best offense! (according to NBA.com)
The Jazz should do well tonight as they match up well with the Mavericks. Rudy Gobert can stay in the paint to protect the rim while he guards Deandre Jordan and the Utah guards are usually able to take advantage of the smaller Mavericks backcourt of players like Dennis Smith Jr. and JJ Barea.
This is an important opportunity for the Jazz to also make up for lost ground in the playoff picture. Yes, it’s early to talk playoffs, but considering how difficult the Western Conference is, every win matters and the Jazz can’t afford to drop games to below .500 teams. If the playoffs started today, the Jazz would be on the outside looking in.
The Mavericks are coming off two strait wins against the Thunder and the Bulls. Against the Thunder Luka Doncic led the way with 22 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds. Doncic has been nothing but fantastic for the Mavericks in his rookie season and is a very likely winner of the ROY.
When: 6:30 p.m. MT, Wednesday Nov. 14
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: 1280AM/97.5 FM
Raul Neto - Stars assignment for rehab - OUT
Dirk Nowitzki - Ankle - OUT
Wesley Matthews - Hamstring - PROBABLE
What to watch for
Does Deandre Jordan show up?
Last time against the Jazz, Deandre Jordan’s effort wasn’t impressive. He didn’t put much pressure on the Jazz offense and was running through the motions. He’s also purportedly been a disappointment with his selfish play.
Does he show up tonight?
Jordan is a big time athlete and has the chance to be a serious problem for any opposing center when he wants to be. He’s a rebound machine that can catch lobs with the best of them. You would think he’d be a perfect match with the Mavs’ young star, Luka Doncic but it hasn’t been the case so far this season.
But the season is early and the Jazz don’t want them figuring anything out tonight. Count on Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz to try and take the effort out of the game for Jordan early to get an easy victory. They’ve done it twice already and have the blueprint to do it again, it’s just a matter of execution.