The Utah Jazz play their 10th game of the season this afternoon, it will be their 8th road game. It's something to hang your hat on, really. That a team can come together, despite injuries, and go out there and show the world that they are for real. I think that the Utah Jazz have done a little of that, even if this last road trip was not as successful as the one to start the season. No one will fault you for losing to the Detroit Pistons, they are doing things this year. But the Jazz have taken care of every other team they've played on the road this season before this trip started -- collecting wins against the Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, and Denver Nuggets. I think they can hold their head up high with a four point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and one point loss to the Miami Heat. Taking a beating against the Orlando Magic, a game where the Jazz were missing three starters on the second night of a back to back that was the third game in four nights is totally acceptable.
Still, zero wins are infinitely worse than having two wins. And if things don't go right tonight against the Atlanta Hawks they will return to Utah with the same number of wins they had a week before. The "Good News" is that Rudy Gobert and Rodney Hood will elect to play tonight, deciding to be hurt, but not injured. Gobert missed the last two games, and Hood missed the last one. That, in addition to already being down starting point guard Dante Exum made the team look very weak, indeed. The "Better News" is that the Atlanta Hawks will be playing tonight without Jeff Teague. He has an ankle sprain and will sit out. Kyle Korver, Thabo Sefolosha, and Mike Muscala are all listed as probable by the NBA's Media thingy. Either way, it's not like the Jazz have capitalized on missing players. They played the Cavs without Kyrie Irving, and the Magic without Victor Oladipo.
If the Jazz were to get a win today that would be great. If not, I kind of understand. This is also the 3rd game in four nights for the Jazz, and they are playing a Hawks team that is 8-3, and second best in their conference. They are clicking on offense right now, so much so that their rebounding problems almost don't matter. Paul Millsap and Al Horford would be hard to handle if both Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert were at 100%. Tonight they will look to take turns drawing one of our bigs out. Both Hawks starting bigmen are taking more than three three pointers a game. For reals.
Starting will be 2013 NBA Draft class non-lotto pick Dennis Schroder. Seeing him go up against Trey Burke will be fun. But it's really a total 2013 Draft party as Rudy Gobert, Mike Muscala, and Tim Hardaway were all picked on the same night. That may just be trivial, really.
Similarly, a poor Eastern Conference road trip in November will always be relegated to trivia a few months into the season when our team is both healthy and clicking.
For Jazz fans it's always nice to see Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap. But I think most of us would rather see a win tonight instead.