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Utah Jazz vs. Detroit Pistons Game Preview

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Game #44: Pistons (23-21) @ Jazz (19-24)
Location: Vivint Smart Home Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
Time: 7:00 p.m. (MT)
TV: ROOT Sports • Radio: 1280 AM / 97.5 FM

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz player at home (remember what that's like) tonight, hosting the Detroit Pistons. Detroit is the 3rd best team in a tough central division that also features a 30 win Cleveland team and a 25 win Chicago team. Detroit is eyeing a return to the NBA Playoffs this year and are holding onto a three way tie for the 6th seed out East. They are also eyeing a sweep of the Utah Jazz, if they can get it done tonight. The Utah Jazz have flat out owned Detroit for about a decade, but that dominance appears to have ended. Motown won game one of the season (their second game in a back to back) 92-87. And it was an awful game at times for the good guys. Utah is 57-34 over Detroit historically, and a dominant 34-11 at home. But I just don't know if the team is going to get it done tonight.

The big reason for my apprehension seems to be the way the Pistons have been playing of late. Detroit is an up and down team, but outside of a nearly season four game losing streak, have bounced back after every loss or two. Detroit has lost two in a row, and it's about time they got another win, if the pattern holds. Thankfully, this is the last game of a four game trip for them, so they "should" be tired. But it is a four game trip spaced out like our last road trip was, only one back to back, and lots of space in-between. I will say that on paper I like it when you are playing a team that has recently lost to the Pelicans and Nuggets though. But they may be looking at this game as their "wake up" game.

One thing Detroit has no problems with is injuries, only back-up guard Jodie Meeks is out -- in direct comparison Utah will once again be without Dante Exum and Alec Burks, and nobody knows what's up with Derrick Favors anymore. I think that Reggie Jackson, Brandon Jennings, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are solid guards, but I'm not in fear of them like I am in fear of Andre Drummond. I know Drummond is easier to handle with both Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors out there. The game against the Knicks on the last trip had the Jazz get decimated inside on their own defensive glass by Robin Lopez and Derrick Williams. If we're having trouble with them I can only imagine things being that much harder against Drummond's Pistons -- the #1 offensive rebounding team in the league.

This should be a tough game. But a game Utah has to win if they are going to make the playoffs this year. You just can't drop every home game you play.