The Utah Jazz have had quite the eventful week with the flight scare on their way to Memphis, eventually getting there safely and then grinding out a win without leading scorer Donovan Mitchell in the game. The kind of scare that the team went through really puts a lot of other things in perspective, including basketball, but it was really impressive that this Jazz team had the fortitude to still play that game and play well. The Jazz hope to carry that momentum into a game tonight with their league leading 7 game win streak on the line.
The Chicago Bulls come into this game riding a five game losing streak that began with a loss to the Jazz on March 22nd. The Bulls have had moments this season where they have played well under new head coach Billy Donovan, but they have been inconsistent and sit at 10th place in the Eastern conference. It doesn’t help that star Zach Lavine missed his first game of the season on Wednesday and is questionable for tonight. Newly acquired all-star Nikola Vucevic has averaged 22 points and 9 rebounds since being brought in a little over a week ago, but it hasn’t been enough to get the Bulls over the hump and snap the losing streak. The Bulls are on game 4 out of 4 on a Western conference road trip and there is a chance that they will be out of gas and play like it tonight. But they are a well coached team and they play hard so they will be looking to salvage at least one win from this road trip.
The Utah Jazz were able to keep their winning streak intact with their win against the Grizzlies on Wednesday and a big reason for that was Mike Conley. Conley has played really well for the Jazz all season but when he has a game like the one he did against the Grizzlies, it makes the Jazz a really hard team to beat. Conley didn’t just lead the team in points but also lead the way with 7 assists. The Jazz also had two other players end up with 20+ points in Clarkson and Bogdanovic. The Jazz will need to keep that strong team play up again tonight with a hungry Bulls team looking to avenge their loss to the Jazz just last week. Joe Ingles has been dealing with lower leg soreness but is probable to play in this game.
Overall the Jazz are happy that their next two games will be at home and hopefully they can continue their winning ways. It’s not like they are just going to forget about the drama they had with the plane this week and it’s also not like the Jazz haven’t already been playing like a contender this year, but maybe it is one of those defining moments in a season where the team trust gets even stronger than it already is and they this is the start of a truly special(championship) season.
When: Friday, April 2nd, 2021. 7:00 P.M. MT
Where: Vivint SmartHome Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
What to watch for:
Bojan Bogdanovic has been slowly coming out of his slump over the past week or two and although he is still struggling with consistency he looked much more aggressive in the last game. It will be interesting to see if he can keep that aggression up and get his confidence back. The shooting percentages will average out but this Jazz team needs Bojan to be aggressive when he is on the court. Hopefully we see an emphasis by the coaching staff and teammates to try to get Bojan involved so he can fully break out of his slump.