The Utah Jazz travel to the mile high city to face the Denver Nuggets for the second time this month. The last time these two teams met, the Jazz were just starting to turn heads with their potential. The Jazz came away with their fifth straight win and what many considered to be the most impressive win of the still early season. Fast forward two weeks and the Jazz are still winning and in an even more impressive way. The team has vaulted themselves into the conversation as a dark horse contender for the season and are playing about as well as any Jazz fan could have hoped for at this point in the season.
The Jazz face a tough test again today in the Nuggets though. The Nuggets are the only team in the last 11 games that Utah hasn’t beaten by more than 10 points. As great as Rudy Gobert is, and has been, Nikola Jokic always seems to present problems for him and he has been playing at an MVP level this season. Plus the Nuggets will be out for revenge after the Jazz showed them up in the last meeting.
Denver is coming off a loss to the Spurs Friday night but before that they had won five straight games. Denver also will have the services of their star guard Jamal Murray, who is adept at picking apart the usually stalwart defense of the Utah Jazz.
This is an interesting matchup for the Jazz. Nothing is guaranteed in the NBA but if they can snag this game then the next four games are very winnable and we could be looking at a streak of 16 games or more. On the other hand, the streak has to end sometime and nobody would fault the Jazz for losing to a very good Denver team on the road. The Jazz will be without Donovan Mitchell and Derrick Favors for the third straight game so we shall see if they can if they can keep playing as a team and the momentum alive.
When: Sunday, January 31st • 1:30 PM MT
Where: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
TV: AT&T SportsNet - Rocky Mountain, NBAtv
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
What To Watch For
Two things to watch for in this game are Rudy Gobert and Bojan Bogdanovic. Rudy because it’s always interesting to see how he fares against Nikola Jokic, especially defensively. Jokic is a beast offensively who has drawn comparisons to Larry Bird this season. Gobert is a beast defensively but the fact that Jokic has range and can pass makes this id a difficult matchup for Rudy. If Rudy can at least make things difficult for Jokic and slow him down a little bit then Utah will have a better chance, but if Jokic goes off in this game then it is going to be a long day.
It will also be interesting to see how Bojan Bogdonavic follows up after his 32 point performance on Friday night. The Jazz need all the scoring punch they can get with Donovan being out if they want to give themselves a good shot at winning this game. Is Bojan back to being himself offensively or was Friday night a fluke?