After difficult, up and down road trip where the Utah Jazz went 2-3, the Jazz are looking to climb back into one of the top spots in the Western Conference against the Sacramento Kings.
But what used to be an easy game in the past will be anything but easy now. The Sacramento Kings are one of the surprise teams this season and will give the Jazz problems if they don’t come into the game ready to play.
In his sophomore season, De’Aaron Fox has become a potent weapon for the Kings. He’s lightning fast and will try to take advantage of any sort of lazy defense on the perimeter he can. When lanes close, Fox will pass it to Nemanja Bjelica who has been a fantastic find for the Kings.
Bjelica is having a career year for the kings shooting 49% from three and 51% from the field. His shooting is opening lanes for the Fox who takes advantage as good as anyone in the league.
The Jazz will likely continue with their current starting lineup that has struggled to create any sort of lead for the team. If anything, the Jazz should expect to start this game in a hole because that’s what has happened the entire season with this starting lineup. Perhaps in game 18 the lineup will start working.
Either way, the Jazz are in a dangerous spot. Another home loss against a team that they are competing with for playoff position will put them multiple games below .500. Urgency has to start setting in at some point.
When: 7 p.m. MT, Wednesday Nov. 21
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena , Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T SportsNet, NBA League Pass
Radio: 1280AM/97.5 FM
What to Watch For:
Will the Utah Jazz defense show up?
The Jazz vaunted defense has not shown up consistently this year. The thing they could always count on last season has not been there consistently this season.
According to NBA.com the Jazz rank 16th in the league in defensive rating. That’s not terrible, but when most experts predicted a top 5 defense, something is wrong.
Whether it’s the emphasis on freedom of movement, schemes needing adjusted, or just players needing to do their job, something has to improve or the Jazz will continue to play .500 basketball with their average play.
Can the Jazz figure it out? Tonight will be a good test for the Jazz who are back at home and looking to make up for some bad losses and get back to the team they have the potential to be.