The Utah Jazz (6-1) will begin their short southern U.S. road trip against the Atlanta Hawks (4-4). The Hawks are on the second game of a back-to-back, having lost 117-108 to the Brooklyn Nets last night. Atlanta has lost three of their previous four games, while Utah has won two straight.
The Hawks have another level they can reach, and the Jazz will need to be careful to take this game seriously. These Hawks aren’t the bottom-feeding version of the team from previous years. This team is just coming off an Eastern Conference Finals run, and they’re hungry to prove that it wasn’t a fluke. Trae Young will always be a threat, but it’s not just him. Atlanta has players up and down its roster who can go off any given night. Case in point, last night DeAndre Hunter went 10-11 for 26 points. Some nights it’s Collins or Capela. Sometimes it’s Bogdanovic or Huerter, Reddish or Gallinari. The Jazz will have their hands full defending this team.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, November 4th, 2021, 5:30 PM MT
Location: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
LOCAL TV: ATTSN-RM
RADIO: 97.5/1280 The Zone, or listen on the Utah Jazz app
Injury report:— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) November 3, 2021
OUT - Rudy Gay (right heel injury recovery)
QUESTIONABLE - Donovan Mitchell (right ankle sprain)
QUESTIONABLE - Royce O’Neale (right ankle sprain)
PROBABLE - Jared Butler (non-COVID related illness)
PROBABLE - Hassan Whiteside (left ankle sprain)
As we get closer to tipoff, expect updates from the Jazz official Twitter account on the statuses of the questionable and probable Jazz players.
John Collins is also questionable for the Hawks due to a foot injury.
What to watch for
When will the shooting return?
The Utah Jazz are shooting only 32% from three this season, good for 24th in the league. That comes after being top 4 in each of the last two seasons, both over 38%. Only Mike Conley and Joe Ingles have shot well from outside, while Bojan Bogdanovic, Donovan Mitchell, Jordan Clarkson, and Royce O’Neale are all shooting well below their regular percentages. This trend will not last. The Jazz will find their shot again. The question is, when? We’ve seen that the Jazz can manage to win even if the shot isn’t falling, but they’ve mostly had easier opponents. A road game against a team like the Hawks will be tough to win if Utah can’t hit threes.
Utah’s dominance at the center position
Rudy Gobert has been at his best to begin this season, and as always, he’s a significant reason the Jazz are winning. In past years, Jazz fans have feared for the team in minutes with Gobert on the bench. This year, however, Hassan Whiteside has been a delightful surprise. His play in the backup center position has been nothing short of stellar, averaging 7.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in only 16 minutes per game. Between the two centers, Utah has strong rim protection and elite rebounding for 48 minutes a game.
Tonight they’ll face a tough matchup as Clint Capela has historically given Gobert issues. Capela is a big athletic center that protects the rim on defense and attacks it on offense. If Utah can handily win the center matchup, that will project very favorably for a win.
- The Utah Jazz are 55-51 vs. the Atlanta Hawks all time.
- The Jazz won the two matchups last season by a total of 45 points.
The Jazz just participated in a D Mitchell vs D Mitchell duel.— Calvin Chappell (@CHALVIN2018) November 4, 2021
Tomorrow they will have the B Bogdanovic duel.
Saturday will be the J Butler duel.
Predict the score
This poll is closed
Jazz win by 10 or more
Jazz win by less than 10
Hawks win by less than 10
Hawks win by 10 or more