There’s a very good chance that if you are reading this article you are planning to watch the Jazz game tonight. Hot dog! You’ve come to the right place to know what to watch for tonight.
1. Point Guard Play
Gordon Hayward is questionable for tonight. Raul Neto and George Hill are both OUT tonight— Tony Jones (@tribjazz) March 29, 2017
As everybody sits on pins and needles wondering if Gordon Hayward (quadriceps contusion) will play tonight we were alarmed to find that George Hill and Raul Neto, numbers one and two on the PG depth chart as of late, have both suffered right groin strains and are unable to play tonight. That means two things can happen; either we see big minutes from Dante Exum or we see Utah’s ambiguous no-one-is-a-guard/everyone-is-a-guard lineup.
2. The Golden 1 Center
This is only Utah’s second time inside Sacramento’s new Golden 1 Center. It’s pretty fantastic and may serve to be a bit of a distraction for the Jazz. There’s a new visitor’s locker room that they still won’t be used to, a new arena full of new sights and sounds. Here’s to hoping the Jazz can stay focused and improve their road record. Utah is 20-17 on the road this season which is... alright. Slightly above .500 is right about where you’d expect them to be, tbh. With the playoff race as it is this is definitely as a must-win game because it’s one of Utah’s few “should-win” games remaining.
3. Rudy Gobert: Leader of the Jazz?
Rudy Gobert has been playing at his highest level recently and is getting a fair amount of attention from the national media both for his play and for his remarks following the loss to the Clippers last week.
Rudy Gobert: "We've got guys that compete, but some of us don't compete. Some of us just think about scoring.... https://t.co/CKQQ6Uf9m6— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 25, 2017
I get how Rudy would be frustrated after losing a very important game. He gives his all every night, every play. Gobert has taken some heat for his comments, though. Let’s hope that the negative attention he’s receiving doesn’t diminish his play. I don’t think it will; Rudy loves to prove the “haters” wrong. With Gordon Hayward’s status still in the air Rudy will have to lead the team tonight.
4. The Return of the Return of the Return of AB
Alec Burks missed Utah’s last game in order to witness the birth of his first child. When asked if Burks would be back, SLC Dunk alumni and Jazz beat writer Andy Larsen relayed the following:
Yep! Back from the birth of his daughter. Named "female AB", according to AB. https://t.co/mIKObDDhLd— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 29, 2017
I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if AB’s daughter really was named “female AB”. Burks will likely see an increase in minutes tonight as well, what with the aforementioned PG injuries. Will he shine? Will he corner pimp? tune in to find out.
5. Sacramento Revenge Game
The Jazz have won all three games against The Kings so far this year. The first was a 20-point blowout while the next two were decided by a combined two points. If you’ll remember the last one was won by Rudy’s prescient tip-in of an errant George Hill jumper.
If I were The Kings I’d be pretty sick and tired of losing to the Jazz. A season sweep is never easy to pull off even against a non-playoff team. Sacramento recently made one of the most improbable comebacks of the season against the Los Angeles Clippers (thanks, srsly) erasing an 18-point deficit in just under five minutes. Let the be a lesson: no lead is safe. This Sacramento team is ready to play.