The Utah Jazz (4-6) have to win a game eventually, right? Their last win came Oct. 28 on the road over tonight’s opponent, the Dallas Mavericks (3-7). Since then, Utah has dropped four straight, and the last three haven’t been that close. Donovan Mitchell wasn’t available the last time out against the Toronto Raptors after suffering an injury late in the game in Denver. Alec Burks returned from his injury in that game, however, continuing his strong start to the season with 22 points and 3 assists. Mitchell is probable to make his return tonight.
On the other side, the Mavericks are coming off of a whooping of the Washington Wizards last night, 119-100. That means the Jazz are getting them on the back end of a back to back, which should mean advantage Utah. Luka Doncic was the leading scorer in that one for Dallas with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Former Jazz man Wesley Matthews added 22 points on 7-of-14 from the floor. Matthews is averaging 18 on the season and the trend so far for Utah has been big games from former Jazz players, so keep an eye on that.
When: 7:00 p.m. MT, Tuesday Nov. 7
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: 1280AM/97.5 FM
Raul Neto - Hamstring - OUT
Donovan Mitchell - Ankle - PROBABLE
Dirk Nowitzki - Ankle - OUT
Devin Harris - Hamstring - OUT
What to watch for
This is a game Utah should absolutely win, but it won’t be a gimme. Dallas is stocked with young talent that is playing well. The Jazz saw that first hand in their last matchup, where second-year pro Dennis Smith Jr. went off for 27 points on 12-of-19 shooting and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. That’s a little over Smith’s average of 17 points per contest, but it shows what he’s capable of.
Rookie Luka Doncic, however, is stuffing the stat sheet on a consistent basis, averaging nearly 20 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1 steal a game. Historically, it is extremely rare for rookies to lead teams to real successful seasons, but it can make them dangerous on a game-to-game basis. Doncic is an all-world talent just getting his feet under him in the NBA. The Jazz would be foolish to overlook his team.
BONUS: Throwback threads
Tonight we finally get to see those gorgeous throwback purple uniforms in regular season action. Maybe the Jazz break their losing streak, maybe they don’t. Regardless, they’ll look sharp doing whatever they do.