The Utah Jazz will take on the Phoenix Suns for the second game in a row tonight. A win might be more possible as they will have most of their rotation players available. They’ll still be without Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert who are listed as out.
Jazz announce Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell will both be out vs. the Suns tomorrow.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) January 25, 2022
It was a close game in their last meeting in which the Jazz were playing without 6 of their rotation players. Now they’ll just be down their two best players so it should correlate with a win, right? Hey, one can dream.
There is some interest in this one in terms of lineups. With Mitchell and Gobert out, it means that combinations that haven’t been on the floor before will likely get more time. Joe Ingles likely gets the start and Hassan Whiteside will likely get the start at center. But after that, who knows. Most likely we see another healthy dose of Trent Forrest and Eric Pashcall. Forest playing alongside Conley will be fun to see and we’ll see how it goes.
Just for fun, I looked at some lineups to see if certain things match the eye test and there’s some fun data that I can use to back up my personal biases.
If you look at 3-man lineups on NBA.com, and if you set the minutes to more than 10, some interesting things show up.
First off, look how often Eric Paschall shows up in the best 3-man defensive lineups. It’s a lot. Yes, these lineups show up because these are against second units, but it’s a great sign that what Eric Paschall is doing is passing the eye test. He’s doing all the things Jazz fans have been begging for. Someone that plays with huge energy, stays in front of their man, rebounds the ball. All the things that help a team win.
He’s also doing some great things on the offensive end. For the season, Paschall is shooting 49% from the field and 35% from three. That three point percentage might continue to rise. In the Jazz’s last ten games, Paschall is shooting 44% from three. Will he be an elite three point shooter? Likely not, but Paschall has shown a pretty consistent ability to shoot the three in the mid to upper 30s. If he can continue this trend of shooting, the Jazz have found a real rotation player.
The other player that deserves some more run tonight is Trent Forrest. With Utah dealing with so many injury issues, Forrest has stepped up recently in a big way.
Trent Forrest over last three games, helping fill in for Donovan Mitchell: 11.3 PPG, 65 FG%, 78 FT%, 1-3 3s, 3.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.7 BPG. 3.5 AST/TOV.— David J. Smith (@davidjsmith1232) January 25, 2022
Forrest has blossomed in this short period on both ends of the floor. In short spurts it was hard to see a lot of the impact he had, and at times it has been very rough this year, but without having to look over his shoulder, Forrest has been an impact player for he Jazz. In their last game against the Suns, Chris Paul had 7 turnovers. SEVEN. Guess who was guarding him for most of that game?
Now, there are still some issues, Forrest is not a threat from three, but even when he’s not guarded he is able to get to the rim and score in floater range or draw contact and get to the line. It’s fun to watch and the defensive guard Utah has been looking for might have been there the whole time. Cue the rom com music.
When: Jan 26, 2022 - 8:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Radio: 1280/97.5 The Zone