Going into San Antonio Saturday night, the deck was stacked against the Utah Jazz. It was the back end of a back-to-back, Donovan Mitchell was sick and the team flew in at 5 a.m. The win streak was assumed over. Instead, a herculean effort from Utah stretched the streak to five, and now they go to New Orleans to take on Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. If the Jazz still hope for the playoffs this season, this is a big game. Utah currently sits four games back of New Orleans, and with DeMarcus Cousins out for the season, the Pelicans might free fall in the standings at some point.
When: Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 • 6:00 PM MT
Where: Smoothie King Center - New Orleans, LA
TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
Radio: 1280 and 97.5 The Zone
Dante Exum - Shoulder - OUT
Thabo Sefolosha - Knee - OUT
Donovan Mitchell - Illness - PROBABLE
Rodney Hood - Leg contusion - PROBABLE
New Orleans Pelicans:
DeMarcus Cousins - Achilles - OUT
Solomon Hill - Hamstring - OUT
Frank Jackson - Foot - OUT
Alexis Ajinca - Knee - OUT
What To Watch For:
Donovan Mitchell’s return
It was a big day for the Jazz’s Rookie of the Year candidate. First it was announced he would replace the injured Aaron Gordon and take his rightful place in the All-Star weekend dunk contest. Then he was announced as probable to return from the illness that cost him Saturday night’s game in San Antonio. We already got the rook’s flu game, unbeknownst to us:
Donovan Mitchell says he threw up before Phoenix, but he obviously dropped 40 points.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) February 5, 2018
Now let’s see what Mitchell can do in his on-the-mend game. Lest I need to remind you, Donovan already had his coming-out-party of sorts against these Pelicans on December 1, racking up his first 40-point game of the season. He followed that up with 24 points in a 108-98 loss to New Orleans January 3.
Facing a trade target
After nearly a month of rampant Nikola Mirotic to Utah trade rumors, the Bulls finally completed the trade, sending Mirotic to.... The Pelicans. New Orleans gave up a first round pick in the deal, something the Jazz were reticent to do. This will be Mirotic’s second game for New Orleans. In his debut, he played 35 minutes and scored 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting and 3-of-8 from 3. He also grabbed 12 rebounds and 4 steals and was a team-high +6 in an 11-point loss.
Most Likely Jazz-Killer: Anthony Davis
Davis is (predictably) on a tear this season, averaging 27 points and 10 rebounds on 56.4% eFG. He’s also shooting 35% from 3, which is terrifying for opponents. This will be the first time this season Davis will go up against Rudy Gobert. Perhaps the Stifle Tower can tamp down some of Davis’ production against Utah (24 pt, 12.5 reb, 2.5 ast, 2.5 stl, 1 blk average in 2 games this season).