The Utah Jazz are doing a lot of things right now. One of them is finally playing the way we expect them to. The second, and probably most awesome thing, is that they are getting healthy. Third? Killing teams with defense. I could go on and on, but in the short term the Jazz are starting a back-to-back set, while completing a six game home stand. The Jazz lost to the Detroit Pistons, before reeling off four wins in a row against the Charlotte Hornets by 29, the Minnesota Timberwolves by 23, the Chicago Bulls by 9, and the Denver Nuggets by 4. Each game had a smaller and smaller final margin, but the end result is that the Jazz are looking for their 5th win in a row. As for the back-to-back set, it's tonight at home against the Bucks, then tomorrow night on the road at the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are a mess who have lost 21 of their last 23 games, but the Bucks aren't terrifying anyone right now either.
Milwaukee has lost the last 13 games in Utah, and are 29-17 in the #801. Utah has the all-time lead, 48-43, and swept the season series last year. Also, Utah is healthier right now, missing only Dante Exum (who they've missed all season long), Alec Burks (who is on the mend), and Tibor Pleiss (who is back down with the Idaho Stampede again). The Bucks are without O.J. Mayo, Greivis Vasquez, John Henson, and Damien Inglis (NBADL). Unlike last game where the incidentals were pretty equal, tonight the Jazz have a number of advantages. And the Jazz, on their own, are rolling right now.
- PG: Michael Carter-Williams vs. Raul Neto
- SG: Khris Middleton vs. Rodney Hood
- SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Gordon Hayward
- PF: Jabari Parker vs. Derrick Favors
- C: Greg Monroe vs. Rudy Gobert
- Jerryd Bayless vs. Trey Burke
- Rashad Vaughn vs. Joe Ingles
- Chris Copeland vs. Chris Johnson
- Miles Plumlee vs. Trevor Booker
- Johnny O'Bryant III vs. Jeff Withey
Injuries / Absences:
- O.J. Mayo (SG/PG) -- OUT, sore left hamstring
- Greivis Vasquez (PG/SG) -- OUT, rehab on right ankle after surgery
- John Henson (C) -- OUT, sore back
- Damien Inglis (SF) -- ASSIGNED, NBADL
- Dante Exum (PG/SG) -- OUT, rehab on left ACL
- Alec Burks (SG/PG) -- OUT, rebab on fractured left fibula
- Tibor Pleiss (C) -- ASSIGNED, NBADL
The marquee match-up tonight? I'm going to go with Monroe vs. Favors (or Gobert). I feel like with the injuries Milwaukee will have to go small, meaning more time for Trey Lyles (hopefully), but also more disadvantages for the Jazz. Monroe has had good games against Utah before. He could have another good game tonight.
Utah should prevail.