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Jazz defense expected to make Wizards funk up

Washington Wizards (39-28) @ Utah Jazz (30-36)
EnergySolutions Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
8:30 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports • Radio: 1280 AM / 97.5 FM

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz put a six game win streak on the line in their fifth and final game of their season high home stand. Who they got tonight? The Washington Wizards. The Wizards are the last Eastern Conference team the team will face this season, unless they make it to the NBA Finals. Washington is 39-28 and 5th in the East right now. They are on a four game win streak themselves, having taken care of the Hornets on the road, then the Grizzlies, Kings, and Trail Blazers at home. They start a four game road trip against the Jazz, Clippers, Kings, and Warriors tonight. If there's a statement game they can reasonably make it will be tonight as they go up against the much ballyhooed defense of the Jazz.

Thousands of words have been written about Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, and company. But despite allegations of luck, the Jazz defense after the All-Star break isn't a fluke or a sham. It's for real. And while Washington knows a thing or two about defense -- tonight the Jazz will make the Wizards funk up.

Funk up. Like Jazz funk. Music. Get on my level, Chocolate City.

Anyway. Don't listen to that song all the way though. It is bad for you. Alec Burks will be out again tonight (surprise), but Elijah Millsap has cleared all the medical tests for the NBA's concussion protocol, so he'll be ready to play. (Sorry Ian Clark.) For the Bullets, Garrett Temple is out, meaning possible point guard time for Toure' Murry. Also, Kris Humphiries was doubtful, but now ruled out as well. If Marcin Gortat gets shell shocked again early it could be a fun night for our bigs.

Yes. More like this please. Also, of note, the Wizards are 3rd best in DRB% -- which means they should handle us on the offensive glass right? Well, Detroit was 1st . . . and we know what we did to them. They know it too.

Of course, while the Jazz are very good and big inside, the Wizards have a TON of three point shooters, and as a team are 8th best in the NBA in makes. This is going to be a true test to see where the Jazz are. IS the defense good, or are teams just missing open threes? Are they really getting better, or just beating up bad teams? Are non-playoff teams in the West better than playoff teams in the East? How long can this streak last? Why am I asking so many questions? Why the heck is vocal fry?

Here are some numbers. The distribution of Wizards production with talent flows nicely here. It's pleasing.

2014 2015 Game 067 WAS at UTA - Wizards Players

John Wall is a beast though. Nene and Gortat can be handled. Guys like Bradley Beal, Paul Pierce, Rasual Butler can hit threes. Also Otto Porter sometimes gets lost on defense.

As for the Jazz, well, we know we're doing well right now.

2014 2015 Game 067 WAS at UTA - Jazz Players

Gordon Hayward should be the best player out of all the wings, and hopefully take it to the 37 year old PP. The issue is how will the Jazz defend Wall. I figure it has to be a group effort with Dante Exum, Trey Burke, and others.

Fearless Prediction: The Jazz shut up some people from the East for one more night

Fearful Prediction: Washington's gonna win.