Utah Jazz (0-3) @ Brooklyn Nets (1-2)
Tip Off @ 7:30 p.m. EST
TV: Root Sports
Projected Starting Lineups:
PG – Jamaal Tinsley
SG – Gordon Hayward
SF – Richard Jefferson
PF – Derrick Favors
C – Enes Kanter
PG – Deron Williams
SG – Joe Johnson
SF – Paul Pierce
PF – Kevin Garnett
C – Brook Lopez
The Brooklyn Nets and the Utah Jazz entered the season with very different expectations, according to the national media. The Nets have been projected to be one of the best teams in the league with a newly loaded roster. While the Jazz have been projected to be one of the worst teams in the league. So far, after the first week of the season, both teams have struggled.
The Jazz enter tonight’s match up looking for their first win of the season, after losing 3 heart breakers at the the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, and Houston Rockets. Not that the Jazz haven’t been in those games, however. The Thunder game was a missed 3 point attempt at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. The Suns game was an Eric Bledsoe 3 with 0.7 seconds left to pull off the victory, and the Rockets game was a second half crumbling by the Jazz, as they blew a 19 point first half lead.
The Nets are coming off a horrible blowout loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday night. They also lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but beat the Miami Heat in a thrilling one point victory. So far, the Nets are looking to find their chemistry with the addition of their new teammates. However, if and when they do get their chemistry together, this could be a very dangerous team.
When you look at this game, there are key matchups across the board for the Jazz. I want to mainly focus on the bigs. How will Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter match up against Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez. It should be a battle as Favors and Garnett match up very well. Both players are very good defensively. As for Kanter against Lopez, Kanter could have his hands full as he has not played spectacular on the defensive end. If the bigs of the Jazz can dominate the boards, it will keep them in this game.
The Jazz really need to get guys like Trey Burke, Brandon Rush, and Marvin Williams back from injury. The only thing that is really helping this second unit is the play of Alec Burks. Besides Burks, there hasn’t been anyone else who can score the ball. Getting those 3 guys back from injury would help this bench tremendously.
The Nets bench, on paper, looks better than the Jazz. They have Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko, Reggie Evans, and Andre Blatche to shoulder scoring and rebounding off the bench. If the Jazz starters can keep this game close, the key factor will be how the bench plays for the Jazz. Key match up off the bench will be Alec Burks against Jason Terry. Two scorers going head to head.
The Jazz will be looking for their first win of the season tonight, but it will be tough to get. I think the bench play of the Nets will be too much for the Jazz to handle. That will be the difference maker in the game tonight. However, I do expect the Jazz to be in this game with good production from the starting unit.
Nets 97 – Jazz 90