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Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans preview: start time, injury report, how to watch

Lauri Markkanen and the Utah Jazz look to stay hot against a really good Pelicans team Thursday

Utah Jazz v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images
Lake Hale Lake Hale is a staff writer for SLC Dunk, covering the Utah Jazz since 2022. He currently is a communications major at Utah Valley University and has been watching Jazz games since he was 9 years old

The 13-18 Utah Jazz face the 17-14 New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday evening. The winner of this game doesn’t get to keep the Jazz name, but they do get the satisfaction of a good team win. The Jazz have gotten hot as of late; they’ve won 6 of their last 8 and Lauri Markkanen continues to look like an All-Star caliber player. The Pelicans are trying to right the ship after losing 3 of their last 4. This game is intriguing for a lot of reasons, let’s preview a couple of matchups, look at the injury report, and talk about what we want to see in this game.

Preview:

The Jazz have played well recently, Collin Sexton as a starter has played significantly better, Coach Hardy’s rotations seem to gel a bit better, and Lauri Markkanen is just one of the better players in the league. Lauri on Tuesday scored 31 points on elite efficiency while getting 12 rebounds, and a +20. The shooting is obviously special, he might be one of the best shooting 7-footers of all time if this is his new normal. Lauri is a mismatch the second he steps on the court, the Pelicans will throw a few different defenders at him on Thursday. I’d expect to see Brandon Ingram and Herb Jones to be the primary defenders on Lauri, he has height and weight on both of those players. I wouldn’t be shocked to see another great Lauri Markkanen game tomorrow.

New Orleans can score the ball a myriad of different ways, Zion Williamson is a force in the paint, and CJ McCollum, Trey Murphy III, and Brandon Ingram can all get hot at any time. The Jazz will need a strong defensive effort from our backcourt, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a little bit of Taylor Hendricks in a game like this. Sexton isn’t a perfect defender, but his effort has been contagious, look for Collin’s effort to play a big role in the game tomorrow night.

Matchup of the Game:

Lauri Markkanen vs. Zion Williamson

I’m not sure this is gonna be a matchup where they guard each other but this is best on best. Lauri’s shooting vs. Zion’s bully ball is going to be fun to watch.

Injury report:

Utah Jazz

Simone Fontecchio is a game-time decision but is expected to play.

New Orleans Pelicans

Larry Nance Jr. is also a game-time decision.

How to watch:

Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Smoothie King Center in New Orleans

Game starts @ 6:00 MST

The game can be watched on Jazz+ or heard on 97.5 FM