The Utah Jazz (36-26) kick off a home-and-home against the New Orleans Pelicans (29-36), who seem to be confused about what their goals are this season. With a great player in Jrue Holiday, stellar contributors like Julius Randle, E’Twaun Moore, and Jahlil Okafor (surprise!), and Anthony Davis still required by the league to play a few minutes, the Pelicans are by no means a bad team. The main point of confusion for the Pelicans is who they are after Anthony Davis’ very public trade request. They’re clearly too good to outright tank, having beat the Nuggets on Saturday, split a pair of games against the Lakers, and lost to the 76ers by one point since the All-Star break, but their currently ranked 9th place lottery slot probably won’t return that great of a player what is considered to be a very top-heavy draft. It’s clear that the Pelicans have players who will still put up a fight, regardless if Anthony Davis is available or not, regardless if they’re really in playoff seed hunt or not. The Jazz better put in effort early and not let the game get close to stretch their four-game winning streak to five.
When: Monday, Mar. 4, 2019 • 7:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T Sports Net – Rocky Mountain, Fox Sports New Orleans
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone, WRNO 99.5FM
Raul Neto – Hamstring – Questionable
Tony Bradley – Right Knee Surgery – OUT
Dante Exum – Left Ankle – OUT (to be re-evaluated on Friday)
New Orleans Pelicans:
Jason Smith – Knee – OUT
Anthony Davis – Illness – Questionable
What to watch for
Donovan Mitchell is an amazing guy. Right before he dropped a career high 46 points on the Bucks, he dropped off a pair of autographed shoes for 102-year old Jazz superfan Roberta Morgan. Watch the heartwarming sequence below:
102-year-old Roberta from Logan, UT never misses a Jazz game. She was the recipient of tonight's shoe giveaway ❤️Posted by Utah Jazz on Saturday, March 2, 2019
Let’s keep in mind that, before last game, his career high in scoring was 41 points against DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. Look for him to take advantage of Julius Randle and Jahlil Okafor in this matchup and continue his streak of amazing play - averaging 29.8 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists in the five games after the All-Star Break. And are there any other superfan grandmas out there who can serve as another good luck charm?
Rudy had a rough go of it last game against Giannis. I won’t rehash how bad of a game it was for him, or how Giannis blatantly shoved him on numerous plays to get to the hole, but I know Gobert will come out with a fire tonight against one of the most high-profile matchups in the game (assuming Anthony Davis plays).
Jrue Holiday, Julius Randle, E’Twaun Moore
The Pelicans fired their former GM, Dell Demps, during the All Star Break on February 15th. Since then, there’s been rumors that the Pelicans will want to blow everything up - or at least considering heavily retooling - after Anthony Davis inevitably gets traded. Look for the Jazz to not only limit the impact of the Pels’ next best few players, but also potentially scout them as additions to the Jazz. While Jrue Holiday might now be very hard to get (especially with his very high salary, making the trade logistically difficult), Randle and Moore are both available at roughly $9M per on expiring contracts.
Go Jazz Go!