It’s unclear if Mike Conley will play in this one. He’s played in recent back-to-backs because the Jazz have done a good job of keeping his minutes low. In a lot of the Jazz wins, Conley has been around 25 MPG but last night he notched 31. My guess is he’ll play but we’ll see him in the low 20s in minutes.
Whether Conley plays or not, the Jazz have a good chance in this one. The Wizards are cratering. They’ve lost 7 of their last 8 games and Utah will definitely be looking to improve on their last game.
And that’s really the big story for this. Utah’s defense could not get stops against the Spurs and the Spurs had guys that went off. Keldon Johnson was 10/13 from the field. That’s a blistering number on a high number of shots. But the troubling thing is we’re seeing those kinds of nights from guys pretty regularly. For example, in the game before against the Los Angeles Clippers, Eric Bledsoe went 8/10 from the field with 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Is this just a trend or is this a sign of weakness for the Jazz? Likely a little of both?
The Jazz have a historically good offense right now. As of writing this article, the Jazz have an offensive rating of 117.8. Second place in that category is the Charlotte Hornets at 113.7. It’s bonkers just how good the Jazz offense is. What’s interesting is the Jazz sit at 7th in the league in defensive rating. So overall, they’re doing a good job. You just wonder how much of these numbers are coming from them pounding on bad teams but then staying close with the good ones? Cleaning the Glass, who cuts out garbage time, also has the Jazz with the number 1 offense and the #5 defense. Games like tonight, where the Jazz will likely blow out the Wizards are great for fans but are they masking issues that will show up in the playoffs? I for one am hoping to see more from this Jazz team on the defensive end tonight to be sure that we’re looking at isn’t fool’s gold.
Yes, Donovan Mitchell missed time last night because he’s dealing with some type of flu-like symptoms. He’ll likely play tonight also. But having no Donovan Mitchell to save them for extended periods last night meant the Jazz had a chance to win in other ways and they couldn’t do it. The defense just wasn’t there all night. It could have been a fluke, but there are some trends here that are troubling. Utah needs to figure them out soon and tonight against the Wizards would be a great time to start changing their trajectory on the defensive end.
When: 7 PM MT
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: ATTSN-RM, NBCSWA