The Jazz (22-21) blew out the Lakers last night behind another 33 points from Donovan Mitchell. This marks his fourth game in a row with 25+ points, a career high. Instead of getting down early to their opposition, the Jazz poured on the gas, cruising to a solid 15 point half-time lead and never letting it go beyond 10 afterwards.
The Bulls (10-32) also played last night, getting destroyed by the Warriors 146 to 109. Even with leading scorer Zach LaVine back in the lineup dropping 29 points in just 27 minutes, the lack of secondary scoring outside of Bobby Portis and their atrocious defense left them grasping at straws against a team that was coming off of two full days of rest at home. They head into Utah on the second night of a back to back, three games in four nights, third game of a five game West Coast road trip, having lost six games in a row. There’s no schedule excuses here.
The only possible excuse is minutes, due to the complete lack of point guards on the roster right now. Thankfully, even though Quin Snyder stuck to an eight man rotation last night outside of garbage time, Royce O’Neale was the only player to get more than 32 minutes (granted, 39 minutes, but 3 of those in garbage time). Against the less-than-stellar Bulls, a few more minutes for Naz Mitrou-Long and Kyle Korver (20 minutes last night) will be in order. The Jazz will just need to limit LaVine, shut down any secondary scoring from Bobby Portis, Lauri Markkanen, and Kris Dunn, and attack the rim against the Bulls’ porous perimeter and interior defense.
When: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 • 8:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago, AT&T Sports Net-Rocky Mountain
Radio: WSCR-AM 670 AM The Score, 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
Ricky Rubio – Right Hamstring – OUT
Dante Exum – Left Ankle Sprain – OUT
Raul Neto – Groin – OUT
Grayson Allen – Ankle – OUT
Thabo Sefolosha – Right Hamstring – OUT
Tony Bradley – Right Knee Surgery – OUT
Denzel Valentine – Left Ankle Stabilization Procedure – OUT
What to watch for
Do the Jazz have any point guard left?
Is that 9 assists to go with his 33 points?
On that corollary, Steph Curry passed Kyle Korver for 4th most 3pt in NBA history in his last game against the Knicks on Tuesday, and passed Jason Terry last night against the Bulls. But Korver himself has the possibility to pass JET tonight if he hits 3 or more three pointers, bringing him to 2,283 plus three pointers made. History in the making.
Do the Bulls have a small forward rotation?
Traded Justin Holiday to the Grizzlies. Chandler Hutchinson, who many hoped the Jazz would draft last year, but was picked up by the Bulls one pick after Grayson Allen, is starting now. Have some highlights?
They’re playing Shaquille Harrison, who managed to start a few games as Phoenix’s point guard near the end of last season, as the backup 3. Have some more highlights.
Jabari has only played once in the last 13 games (in a game where Bobby Portis was hurt and thus the Bulls needed depth at the 4). He didn’t even dress, relegated to the inactive list, for a few of those games. Reminder that he started the season starting, then was demoted to the bench, then the deep end of the bench. Per Chicago Tribune, “In November, Parker averaged 17.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 34.2 minutes per game. In the first three games of December, before his role changed, Parker averaged 16.3 points, 9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 28 minutes.” Reminder that he’s getting paid $20 million, with another $20 million team option for next year that will not be exercised. One has to wonder if his mental attitude is really that bad, and why there ever was a rumor going around that the Jazz wanted him. Hopefully he gets his head on straight, lands in a situation where his deficiencies are minimized, and can at least contribute to an NBA team.