In what feels like an NBA deja-vu, the Utah Jazz (33-11) will face the Memphis Grizzlies (21-21) again for the second night in a row.
Last nights game turned out to be nailbiter as Ja Morant and the Grizzlies stormed back from a 21-point deficit to make it a one possession game that the Jazz barely survived.
Tonight we’ll see how the Jazz and the Grizzlies adjust in what feels like a in-season playoff series. In reality, this is great for the Jazz to simulate playoff action this year. Utah did not get to play with Bojan Bogdanovic last playoffs and, in a way, it’s their first time being able to play with him in a playoff-style game. Will Snyder have found something that he can exploit? Will the Grizzlies find a way to take advantage of a Jazz weakness? We’ll see.
When: 7PM MDT
Where: Vivint Area, Salt Lake City
TV: AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountain, Fox Sports Southeast-Memphis
Radio: KZNS/KTUB, WMFS
What to watch for
How do the Utah Jazz adjust?
Ja Morant went off against the Jazz getting whatever he wanted in the second half. During the trade deadline it was rumored the Jazz were looking for a perimeter defender. What they did was get more shooting with Matt Thomas.
Last night you saw exactly why the Jazz were looking for that type of defender. Ja Morant got to wherever he wanted with little resistance and it nearly lost the Jazz the game.
During the trade deadline the Jazz either chose to stay put with what they have defensively, or couldn’t get a deal done with an impactful defender. Whatever the case, they now have to make do with what they have. That will come down to Quin Snyder.
The Jazz have an excellent system in place on both ends of the floor. But there have been multiple times this season where we’ve seen that system bend and break. Whether it’s from a high level defense that breaks up the action and removes passing lanes or with one of the Jazz’s own players going into a huge shooting slump. (Looking at you Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson.) Tonight the Jazz have a chance to simulate with a team that will try to take advantage of those things with the Jazz. Can Snyder find a way to get Clarkson out of his slump? Can the player still run good actions even when the defense is taking away what they want to do? Tonight is a good opportunity to see what the Jazz might be like in the playoffs.