The Jazz come into this one with a 7-1 record after Jordan Clarkson’s awesome performance against the Atlanta Hawks. Clarkson scored 30 points after going through one of the biggest slumps he’s been in as a Jazz man. The Jazz may need him to do it again because Donovan Mitchell has been listed as questionable.
Jazz injury report:— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) November 6, 2021
OUT - Elijah Hughes (non-COVID related illness)
OUT - Rudy Gay (right heel recovery)
QUESTIONABLE - Donovan Mitchell (right ankle sprain)
QUESTIONABLE - Royce O’Neale (right ankle sprain)
OUT - Udoka Azubuike (G League - on assignment)
The Heat have some injury issues of their own. Kyle Lowry may be out with an ankle injury.
#UTAvsMIA INJURY UPDATE: Kyle Lowry (ankle) & KZ Okpala (ankle) are both questionable for tomorrow’s game vs the Jazz. Max Strus (knee) has been ruled out.— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) November 5, 2021
Whatever the case, the Heat have been one of the better teams in the league. Tyler Herro has bounced back this season in a big way. He’s averaging over 20 PPG with 6.1 RPG and 4.0 APG. The Heat are also playing elite level defense led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. As of writing this the Heat have the #2 defensive efficiency according to NBA.com. This will be a great test for the Jazz offense to see how they do against a switching defense. Without Mitchell, this is going to be tough. They’ll need their guards to attack the switch and punish the Heat switching defense.
Utah’s defense will also have to show up in a big way. Miami has the #5 offense in the league as well. Whether Lowry plays or not, the Heat are one of the best teams in the league and the Jazz have a chance to see just how good they are.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, November 6th, 2021, 5:30 PM MT
Location: FTX Arena, Miami, FL
TV: NBA TV, ATTSN-RM
What to watch for
Who plays backup point guard?
If Donovan Mitchell plays, this question doesn’t have much weight. But it was interesting that Quin Snyder went with Trent Forrest against the Atlanta Hawks and didn't play Jared Butler. Forrest played fine, and brought nice defensive ability, but it was surprising that Butler got a DNP with Donovan Mitchell not playing.
It’s clear that the most important thing for Snyder in these situations is who will most effectively run his system. Like Mike Conley did the first half of the year he played with the Jazz, Jared Butler has looked hesitant and unsure at times during his time on the floor navigating the Jazz’s system. Will Snyder go with Butler again tonight, or will he allow him a chance to develop?
How do the Jazz stop Jimmy Butler?
The matchup the Heat likely attack will be Jimmy Butler vs Bojan Bogdanovic. Teams have been attacking Bogdanovic this season and the Heat are likely to hunt the matchup with Butler, especially if Lowry is out with an ankle injury. Can Bogdanovic hold up against the multi-year all-star?
Bogdanovic is a give and take. He brings spacing and shooting on offense, but gives up a lot in terms of athleticism and defense on the other end. Bogey does have size, and maybe that’s what he can use if he’s matched up against Butler, but it will be interesting to see what the Jazz do if Bogdanovic starts to get abused. It’s a question the Jazz need to find answers for this year because this won’t be the only time that teams try to exploit one of the Jazz’s few, but glaring, weaknesses.