The Utah Jazz are the hottest team in the NBA. They go for their 11th straight victory tonight against the Dallas Mavericks, who they beat handily just two days ago. For the Jazz, there’s no better way than to show the basketball world their legitimacy than a dominant win on ESPN on Friday night. The national TV games are a rare treat this year for the Jazz, so they really need to ball out tonight. Since securing the best record in the NBA after their win on Wednesday, Jazz fans have been stepping up their trash talk on Twitter - and loss on national TV would be rough.
At this point of the day, both Donovan Mitchell (concussion) and Derrick Favors (back) remain questionable, and their status for tonight’s game is up in the air. Without these two the other night, the Jazz had very little problems as other players stepped up massively. It’s obviously not sustainable without Mitchell and Favors, so it will be interesting to see if they can’t go tonight, how the Jazz play in their second game without them.
When: Friday, January 29th • 8:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: ESPN, AT&T SportsNet - Rocky Mountain, Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
What to watch for
When will Bogdanovic get going?
This hasn’t been the start to the season that Bojan Bogdanovic expected. Coming off a career year last season, it looks like the wrist surgery might take more time to recover from than expected. Bogey was an absolute monster for the Jazz last season, averaging 20 points per game on 44/41/90 shooting splits. His points per game have nearly been cut in half this season, along with significant decreases in minutes and shooting percentages. It was a normal occurrence last season to see Bojan drop 20+, and he’s only done that a few times this season. I keep waiting every game for Bogdanovic to go off. I know he’s got a 30-point game up his sleeve, and I can feel it coming soon. Will it be tonight?
Rudy Gobert’s Encore
Rudy Gobert had his best game of the season against the Mavs on Wednesday, dropping a crazy stat line of 29 points, 20 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals. He became the first Jazz player since Karl Malone in 1991 to post such a line. Without Derrick Favors in the lineup, Rudy ate all night long.
Keep an eye on Derrick Favors’ status throughout the day. If he can’t go again tonight, that means more workload for Rudy, which might mean Gobzilla lining up at the buffet again.
Who steps up tonight?
During this 10-game win streak, just about every single player on the roster has stepped up in different games and made huge contributions. That’s what has made this Jazz team really though this season. Most nights Donovan is getting his 25-5-5, and the rest of the players have stepped up in different games when needed. Some nights it’s Mike Conley. Other night’s it’s Jordan Clarkson going full flame-thrower. Some night’s it’s Joe Ingles going vintage Joe with 7 threes and 9 assists. The Jazz have gotten huge games from so many different players this season. Who will it be tonight? Georg Niang coming off the bench dropping 18?