After a crazy double overtime loss in OKC last night, the Jazz have the misfortune of having to play again at home today against the young Dallas Mavericks in their last meeting of the season. While the Jazz won the first two handily - (113-104) in Dallas and (117-102) at home, they received their second worst loss in franchise history in Dallas on November 14th, a 50 point shellacking that I’m definitely spending too many words rehashing. Since then, the Mavs look like a completely different team, having traded away four of five starters from that night (DSJ, Wes Matthews, Harrison Barnes, and DeAndre Jordan), and now are starting the hodgepodge of Jalen Brunson, Tim Hardaway, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Maxi Kleber alongside the Luka revelation. While this team is no longer a threat to make the playoffs, Luka and other young teammembers will have ample space to grow and minutes to develop.
Despite the unfortunate scheduling, the Jazz should try to give this game their all, despite how gassed some of the players were getting last night - the Jazz won’t play until Wednesday of next week. The Mavericks also had a loss at home to the Nuggets (112-101), where Luka did not play due to right ankle soreness, their third loss in a row. The Mavs have gutted their team to build around Luka, Porzingis, and their 2019 draft pick, and look to have a bright future ahead of them, but the Jazz should look to avenge that earlier loss and show who the better team is right now.
When: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 • 8:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
TV: Fox Sports Southwest – Dallas, AT&T Sports Net – Rocky Mountain
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
Dante Exum – Left Ankle Sprain – OUT
Tony Bradley – Right Knee Surgery – OUT
Luka Doncic – Sore Right Ankle – QUESTIONABLE
Kristaps Porzingis – Torn ACL – OUT
JJ Barea – Achilles – OUT
What to watch for
Donovan tied his season high in points, and his 10th 30 point game on the season, with a few emphatic highlights along the way. Hopefully he’s not too tired from the long night and can put up another stellar show. Watch his highlights here:
A Balanced Scoring Attack
In the first game out of the All Star Break, the Jazz put up 147 points, with four players with 20+ points and season highs (or tied) for Faves, Spida, and Rudy. The Mavericks with Luka out will also look for a balanced scoring attack - Tim Hardaway Jr is really the only one who can put up points in a hurry, but any of Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Dwight Powell, Courtney Lee, Jazz alumni Devin Harris and Trey Burke, or heck, good old Dirk Nowitzki might randomly go off for ten to twenty points. The Jazz have a decently deep bench, but it will be important for Kyle, Royce, Georges, and Neto, who played fewer minutes last night, to step up and possibly take on more of the load.
Go Jazz Go!