Tonight the Utah Jazz (15-5) will take on the Detroit Pistons (5-15) in a game that almost didn’t happen.
Shams Charania reported that Detroit’s game with the Denver Nuggets was postponed at the last minute because of an inconclusive Covid test.
Denver-Detroit postponed just minutes before tip-off due to an inconclusive coronavirus test result for Detroit, which is leading to additional contact tracing, sources said. https://t.co/ndKX87sNO2— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 2, 2021
Because Utah had just played the Nuggets and were about to play the Pistons it put the Jazz game at risk. But last night Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the game will still continue with the Jazz after players were re-tested.
The Detroit Pistons are departing Denver for Salt Lake City, where they're expected to be able to play their scheduled game with the Jazz on Tuesday, sources tell ESPN. Pistons stayed in Denver, retesting players after postponement vs. Nuggets tonight.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 2, 2021
This is good for the Jazz who could use a chance to play one of the worst teams in the league as they try to get Donovan Mitchell back into the flow of the offense. Mitchell, as you may recall, missed two games because of concussion protocol and did not play well against the Denver Nuggets. Whether that is recovery from the injury, a mini-slump or a likely combination of both, it’s not certain. But a game against the Pistons should help.
When: Tuesday, February 2nd • 8:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T SportsNet - Rocky Mountain
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
What to watch for
Can Donovan Mitchell get back on track?
Mitchell has had a solid season for the Jazz but has had some up and down moments. His last two games have been some of the worst games of the season, which can be attributed to his concussion. Against the Nuggets Mitchell shot 3/12 and had 5 turnovers, for example.
Now, against a bad Pistons team, we’ll see if Mitchell can find his groove again. In the two games that Mitchell missed Utah went on a tear. For the Jazz to be championship contenders Mitchell has to find a way to mesh with the flow the Jazz had while he was out.
Mitchell is absolutely the Jazz’s best offensive player. He can do everything on that end. The difficult thing for him will be knowing when to play within the flow of the offense and when the Jazz need him to break free and score. If he’s not scoring efficiently, he needs to learn how to still manufacture points efficiently within the offence. Whether that’s with playmaking, getting to the line etc. The Jazz offense breaks down when Mitchell is freelancing and not scoring efficiently. That’s why a game like tonight helps, Mitchell can play against an inferior team and hopefully find that flow again.
Will we see any lineup changes?
The Jazz have some players showing real promise in Miye Oni and Juwan Morgan. Both have shown they can have strong positive impacts on the game. A lot of what they do can be seen on the defensive end where they’ve helped the Jazz continue their winning ways when players like Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors have missed time. Do we see them get some run?
Oni provides another solid wing defender and has proven his value against high level players like Jamal Murray. Morgan has come in as a backup center in place of Favors when he’s missed games and has shown real promise as a stretch five who defends at a high level.
Snyder seems set on his rotations, and only seems to adjust because of injury, but it’s something to watch for as the Jazz could really use their defensive impact.