The Utah Jazz have been banished to the East Coast, never to return. Okay, they’ll actually cross the Mississippi to face the Timberwolves at some point, and they’ll come back to the friendly arms of Aunt Viv on January 10th to face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but that feels like a long time.
Anyway, tonight the streaking Jazz face the not-so-mighty Brooklyn Nets, losers of six of their last seven. Here’s what we should watch for during the game:
1. Who even plays for the Nets?
Seriously, besides Trevor Booker and Jeremy Lin, I have trouble bringing to mind any of their other players. Here’s their depth chart, per ESPN, for anyone else who needs a refresher:
Ah, now we’re cooking with oil. With this in mind, let’s move on to the next thing to watch for.
2. Trevor Booker
Ah, good ol’ Book. He was fun to have on the team, unless you’re a fan of defense . . . nah, he was still fun to have on the team because of stuff like this:
So, will he dunk on Rudy? I dunno, but it’s definitely something fun to watch for.
3. Randy Foye
Okay, so Randy isn’t really a huge factor in this game or most others, but I list him here because he’s a former Jazzman, and therefore I will be watching him. He’s averaging 5.1 points, 1.8 assists and 2.3 rebounds this season and usually plays somewhere between 16 and 17 minutes per game. Also, he did this the other night:
Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that tonight.
4. Battle of the Backup PGs
Here’s what happened to George Hill the other night:
George Hill had 22 stitches and could put his finger through his lip before the stitches. Sorry if you were eating while reading this— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) January 2, 2017
Ewww. As an aside, I hope nobody reading this is complaining that Hill is “soft” for not playing anytime soon. That’s a pretty bad injury and a total fluke. Furthermore, he’s got to go through the NBA concussion protocol, which can sometimes take some time:
Regarding the concussion protocol. No timetable for George Hill and no pattern. A Rivers 3 days M Williams 12 days R Holmes 18 and counting— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) January 2, 2017
Jeremy Lin, who has usually gotten the better of the Jazz, is also out tonight, so we’re looking at Isaiah Whitehead and Spencer Dinwiddie vs. Shelvin Mack and Raul Neto. Remember Isaiah Whitehead? The Jazz actually drafted him last June, and he’s found a spot in the Nets’ rotation, putting up 6.7 points, 3 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game. Dinwiddie has also been seeing time recently, but has been almost statistically insignificant. I give a slight edge to Utah here. If Mack and Neto can have their way with these two then the Nets are in for a long night.
5. Alec Burks
Wait, who? This, I think, is going to be the thing that gets most Jazz fans to watch the game tonight. We’ve all missed #GovernmentName, and it will be interesting to see what kind of effect he has on the rotations. He’ll almost certainly be on a minutes restriction, but I’m hoping that he gives the Jazz some scoring off the bench, as he did before old, dirty Paul Pierce sidelined him for more than a year.
Should be a fun one, and I predict that the Jazz push their winning streak to five games when all is said and done tonight.