The Utah Jazz return home after a week-long road trip last week, one that featured a nicely-timed four-game winning streak. Riding a five-game winning streak overall, the Jazz will host the Toronto Raptors who are on a three-game winning streak of their own. If you think of the Raptors playing the Jazz and immediately get a horrible feeling in your stomach, it’s your body’s response to remembering the last time these teams played each other in Toronto, when the Jazz were outscored 77-37 in the first half. The Jazz have lost their last three games against the Raptors, and 11 of their last 13 against Toronto.
If there’s any time to get a win against the Raptors, it’s tonight. Toronto’s on their second game of a back to back after playing in Sacramento last night. Even though the Jazz have not been able to take actual advantage of ‘rest advantage’ games this season, they are favored tonight by -4.5 in Vegas. The Jazz have moved back up into the fourth seed in the West, and are one game back from the three seed and just two games back from the two seed. A win tonight would be huge.
When: Monday, March 9, 2020 •7:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena • Salt Lake City, Utah
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
What to watch for
Good old fashioned shoot-out
Tonight’s game will feature two of the top three-point shooting teams in the entire NBA. The Jazz (#2) are shooting threes at 38.3 percent while the Raptors (#5) shoot their three-ball clip at 37.2 percent. With the three-ball meaning so much to both of these squads, it’s probably going to be a solid indicator of who wins this game tonight. The Raptors have actually been struggling from three in their last five games at 32.4 percent, so it will be interesting to see if they bounce back or if the Jazz can keep them down.
Jazz offense vs. Raptors Defense
As Jazz fans, were not used to seeing teams that play better defense than our team, at least for the past several seasons. The roles have reversed quite a bit this season, with the Jazz offense getting a boost while defense has taken the back seat. Tonight the Jazz’s 7th-rated offense will take on the Raptors’ 2nd-rated defense, and it should be a fun one. Donovan Mitchell will most likely have Kyle Lowry all up in his grill on night long, and we’ll see how the All-Stars clash tonight in SLC.
The last time the Jazz beat the Raptors, it was due to the grace and mercy of our King Ricky Rubio. One of the better memories from the Juan Stockton Era.
Game Thread Ground Rules
Welcome to the SLC Dunk Game Thread.
Dunkers know how this thing works, but for you lurkers ready to make the jump to Dunker, we have a few guidelines. Remember to follow our community guidelines (no swearing, trolling, excessive use of Jerry Sloan’s name in vain, no personal attacks, no debates about Utah liquor laws, etc.). Remember to have fun. Anyone who dare blasphemes that Tim Duncan was a Power Forward (this means you, Pounding the Rock), Ben Simmons can hit threes, Gordon Hayward should not be booed, Donovan Mitchell is Monta Ellis 2.0, men should never cry, or John Stockton is not the best point guard of all-time will receive an automatic ban. Just kidding. But