The Utah Jazz close out their road trip against a much improved Washington Wizards team tonight. While the Jazz will be looking for their 7th straight win, they will have to do it against a team that currently sits at 5th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 15-11. The Jazz were not able to defeat the Wizards in both games that the two teams played last year. That makes this game a quality win if the Jazz can pull it off, especially considering that the new look Wizards have looked like a dark horse Eastern conference contender at times this season.
Although the Wizards have been playing better overall so far this season, they are in the midst of a mini slump, losing three of their last four games. Their last game was a win against the Detroit Piston, 119-116, after a last second three-pointer by Wizards newcomer Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma was one of the major pieces acquired by Washington in a trade headlined by Russell Westbrook over the summer and has been a big help offensively to take some of the pressure off of star Bradley Beal; averaging just over 13 points and 8 rebounds. The key in this game for the Wizards will be to try and slow down the offensive juggernaut that the Jazz have become over the last six games. Donovan Mitchell has been averaging 29.7 points during the Jazz win streak and shooting an efficient 54% from the field. If the Wizards can manage to slow Mitchell and the Jazz down, then they should have the offensive arsenal to compete in this game.
The Jazz come into this game with their play finally starting to catch up to the expectations people had of them before this season started. In the Thursday night victory against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Jazz looked maybe as dominant as they have all season and ran away from a team that they struggled to beat a year ago. Donovan Mitchell has broken out of an early season funk and is looking like he is headed for his third straight all-star game. Rudy Gobert has been consistently dominant on the glass all season long and it will be tough for the Wizards to counter what he brings tonight. The key for the Jazz in this game will be to get good bench production. The Wizards are talented, but they are not as deep as the Jazz and if the bench continues to perform as well as they have during the six-game win streak then the Wizards will not be able to keep up.
The Jazz look to close out this week with a perfect 3-0 record and a seven-game win streak as they go back home for a season-long six-game homestand. Let’s hope that the Jazz pounce early and continue playing as well as they have been recently.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, December 11th, 2021, 5:00 PM MT
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
Radio: 97.5/1280 The Zone, or listen on the Utah Jazz app