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Can Utah overcome its kryptonite—the Atlanta Hawks—and win their 6th straight?

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PLEASE DON’T LOSE TO THE HAWKS ... PLEASE DON’T LOSE TO THE HAWKS ... PLEASE DON’T LOSE TO THE HAWKS ...

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz (42-29) are steamroll through the Eastern Conference’s bottom dredges continues tonight as they face the Atlanta Hawks (24-48). The Utah Jazz—fresh off of burying the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden—will look for their 6th straight win tonight. Anyone who remembers last season will be wary of calling tonight an easy win as Utah lost twice to the lowly Hawks last year. Luckily tonight will be different for Utah as most of their starters were not playing in the 4th quarter of last night’s blowout.

Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert were electric last night as they took full advantage of the Knicks’ lack of ****s to give on the defensive end. Donovan Mitchell had 30 points in only three quarters and Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 9 rebounds.

The Jazz have to be careful not to get complacent as the Hawks are a team that appear to be turning the corner late in the season. They may not have the record in their last 10 that says they are, but the Hawks’ young players—Trae Young, John Collins, etc—are looking more and more at ease and playing tough. Trae Young is averaging 22 points, 8 points, and 5 rebounds.

A win would put Utah only 1.5 games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the 4th seed in the Western Conference. Another interesting storyline is if the Jazz beat the Hawks tonight that would allow the Brooklyn Nets to be the ones who could officially end the Los Angeles Lakers playoff hopes on Friday. Helping D’Angelo Russell end Magic Johnson’s Lakers playoff hopes would be spectacular.


Game Info

When: Thursday, March 21, 2019 • 5:30 PM MDT

Where: State Farm Arena • Atlanta, GA

TV: AT&T SportsNet | NBA League Pass

Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone

Injuries:

Utah Jazz:

Dante Exum — Torn Patellar Tendon — OUT

Derrick Favors — Hamstring Tightness — PROBABLE

Atlanta Hawks:

Miles Plumlee — Knee — OUT

Alex Poythress — Ankle — OUT

Omari Spellman — Ankle — OUT


What to watch for

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T LOSE TO THE HAWKS

NBA: Houston Rockets at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

We all know how the Utah Jazz were gaining momentum last season and how one loss to the Hawks was the difference between homecourt and playing on the road to start the playoffs. Utah has to take care of business. Not only to continue to exorcise the demons from last season’s few and far between letdown of losing to the lowly Hawks, but to continue to finish strong to give Jazz fans the home court advantage they deserve.

The Trae Young Experience

NBA: All Star-Rising Stars Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Trae Young is learning like Donovan did last year that being a rookie guard with a high usage rate is a tough gig in the NBA. He’s been playing admirably, but unfortunately he doesn’t have the benefit of strong veterans like Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors and an otherworldly Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. He has the potential to get hot and go off so Utah has to shut him down early as Utah doesn’t want to have test how much juice they got left on the back end of a back to back.