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Utah Jazz pay the Hoosier state a visit as they face Indiana Pacers

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Can the Jazz bring their mojo from Boston and beat the potentially Oladipo-less Pacers?

NBA: Utah Jazz at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when we used to desperately argue with Pacers fans that Gordon Hayward was better than Paul George? Yeah. Sorry to say, Jazz fans, but we lost that one. However, 8 > 3. Hey, it was true when he was here, okay?

Jazz fans and Pacers fans have historically been amicable. Both fanbases are located in cities and states which fans of larger markets claim are irrelevant. Neither team has won a championship, despite coming close. Both states are “basketball states,” and hey, both states have churches on every corner. * ducks *

Tonight, though, there can only be one winner, and here’s what ESPN’s prediction looks like:

That’s probably about right if Oladipo plays. The Pacers are a solid team, boasting a 10-6 record, though only 2-2 in their last four home games. It all depends on which Jazz team shows up. The team we saw dismantle Boston twice should handle them. The team that got punked by Philly? Not so much.


Game Info:

When: 5 p.m. MT, Saturday Nov. 17

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

TV: AT&T SportsNet, NBA League Pass

Radio: 1280AM/97.5 FM

Injuries:

Utah Jazz:

None reported

Indiana Pacers:

Victor Oladipo - Knee, day-to-day


What to Watch For:

Victor Oladipo vs. Donovan Mitchell (maybe)

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Since the Hayward and George eras, respectively, the Utah Jazz and the Indiana Pacers have both acquired dynamic, explosive shooting guards. Donovan Mitchell is averaging 21.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists — yes, really, those of you who are decrying him for hogging the ball — per game. Oladipo is posting averages of 21.4/6.6/4.7. These guys play a very similar style of ball, and both are incredibly fun to watch. It’ll be a prizefight if Oladipo can play AND is healthy. Otherwise, former rookie of the year Tyreke Evans, who has experienced something of a renaissance over the past couple of seasons, will get the nod.

Tricky or Bricky Rubio?

NBA: Utah Jazz at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky stayed fairly consistent from the the Philly game to the Boston game. Against Boston, Ricky Rubio scored 20 points, shooting 6-13 from the field and 6-7 from the line. Against the Philadelphia 76ers, he totalled 13 points on 4-9 shooting, missing 5 free throws, which makes the difference between those two games.

It’s too early to write Rubio off—he proved that last season—but the Jazz need production from the point guard spot, and it appears that Ricky Rubio is still the guy going forward.

Speaking of point guards, you may have noticed that the other Jazz heartthrob, Raul Neto, is available again. He could make things interesting.

Battle of the Balding International Men of Mystery

NBA: Utah Jazz at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

If Donovan Mitchell and Victor Oladipo don’t prove to be the bellwethers for tonights game, my money is on these two. Both of these starting small forwards are deadeye three-point threats, and many of their teams’ runs depends on them getting hot.

Poll

Who Wins Tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Jazz by 1-10
    (174 votes)
  • 17%
    Jazz by 10+
    (44 votes)
  • 11%
    Pacers by 1-10
    (29 votes)
  • 4%
    Pacers by 10+
    (11 votes)
258 votes total Vote Now