The Utah Jazz suit up to play game 75 of an 82 game schedule. It's been a strange season where the team has been forced to use 16 different starting lineups. The Jazz are 1-2 without Gordon Hayward. And they are 3-3 without Derrick Favors. Without a doubt they are the leaders of the Jazz this season, as they are in their 5th year in the league. The two lotto picks are now paying off the dividends of putting in the development time (and court time), and they show that a) it's a long road, and b) it's worth it in the long run. This idea of "patience" should be the motto for next season. This season brought so many good things to the floor that we are hungry for more and more. But really it's about patience. And that should be the rule for this game as well. The Denver Nuggets only have 28 wins, and have lost five of their last seven games -- but if you overlook them you will lose to them. And that's precisely what happened to the Jazz five nights ago when they got blasted in the mile high city.
Be patient. Focus on this game. And fix yesterday's problems.
Utah has molded itself to be one of the best defensive clubs in the NBA. Denver, on the other hand, is playing hyper ball, scoring 105.2 ppg over their last 10 games. Both teams hustle and get on the glass. But the Jazz get into their offense, while the Nuggets go ahead and get out there in transition. Furthermore, everyone on defense can shoot the three, except for Kenneth Faried.
The Nuggets will be without Darrell Arthur and J.J. Hickson tonight, J.J. will be in uniform -- but despite being available will only be used if absolutely necessary. Danilo Gallinari didn't play in their last game, the second of a back to back, but should be good to go tonight. Denver has been off since Sunday, and three days off usually resolve most bumps and bruises. The Jazz continue to be without Alec Burks. Rodney Hood is out, following the NBA's concussion protocol. Derrick Favors is questionable, and while he missed the last two games it's going to be nice to have him. You know, if we have him tonight. He will be evaluated again closer to tip off. Grant Jerrett is also still assigned to the Idaho Stampede, so I know, game changer.
If we just assume these guys will all be out (save for Danny Boy), you still have to favor the Jazz. They are at home, and still have Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert, Trevor Booker, Trey Burke and company. Those guys do well at home. Denver is still scary with Ty Lawson, Wilson Chandler, Faried, Randy Foye, Jameer Nelson, Will Barton, Jusuf Nurkic and company. You really don't want to lose to the Nuggets twice in a week though. So please Jazz, take care of this game.
This isn't the best preview. And sadly, it's not the worst one I'll ever write either. Hopefully the Jazz also don't mail it in . . .