The 11-18 Utah Jazz face the 11-17 Toronto Raptors this evening. Despite their records being nearly identical, the ESPN analytics department is giving Toronto a 67% chance to win the game. Toronto is coming off two losses in a row, the Jazz are coming off their shorthanded win against Detroit on Thursday. Toronto has essentially been the same team since their Kawhi led championship team in 2019. Pascal Siakam remains a good option when he wants to defend, OG Anunoby somehow continues to not get traded, despite being on the block every year of his career.
The biggest difference in the Toronto teams of yesterday is the new and improved Scottie Barnes, the top 5 pick is in his 3rd year out of Florida State and has taken a major leap this season. Scottie is averaging 20.3 points per game, 9.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists, with 1.5 steals and blocks a game! He’s also improved his efficiency from the 3-point line from 28% on 2.9 3’s a game to 38% on 5.2 3’s a game. High chance Will Hardy’s assistant has already watched some tape on Scottie this season, the Jazz will have to have a solid defensive game plan to not let him wreck us.
Coming off of the win against the Pistons I feel confident in saying this Jazz team will do anything to compete. Sexton has played significantly better since starting than he did coming off the bench. Collins made a few tough plays down the stretch on Thursday and got to the free throw line twice in the clutch. Kelly Olynyk looked like last years Kelly on Thursday when he facilitated the whole game as a point forward but also dominated as a scorer with 27 points on 16 shots. The Jazz have some momentum, they’re playing really hard at the moment. They can absolutely get a win in Toronto if they continue their trend.
Matchup of the game:
Walker Kessler vs. Jakob Poeltl
Neither are the best player on their team, but they both play a big role in anchoring the defense as well as doing just a few things on offense to help win a game. Jakob averages 2.8 offensive rebounds a game, I won’t be surprised if there are a few key moments where Walker will need to box Jakob out to get an important rebound. I look forward to watching these two similar players go at it.
Jordan Clarkson is closer to being back from his hamstring injury and is a game-time decision.
Talen Horton-Tucker is also a game-time decision.
Keyonte George is out for the game but is back traveling with the team and should be playing again soon.
Christian Koloko the backup center in Toronto is a game-time decision but will most likely not play.
How to Watch:
Game: Utah Jazz vs. Toronto Raptors
Where: Scotiabank Arena in Toronto
When: Saturday the 23rd @ 5:30
How: You can watch on the Jazz+ app, Direct TV sports net Northwest, NBA league pass, KJZZ, or listen on 97.5 FM.