Utah Jazz (1-11) @ New Orleans Pelicans (4-6)
Tip Off @ 6:00 p.m. MST
TV : Root Sports
Projected Starting Lineups
PG – Alec Burks
SG – Gordon Hayward
SF – Richard Jefferson
PF – Derrick Favors
C – Enes Kanter
New Orleans Pelicans
PG – Jrue Holliday
SG – Eric Gordon
SF – Al-Farouq Aminu
PF – Anthony Davis
C – Jason Smith
The New Orleans Pelicans have had plenty of time to rest up for tonight’s game against the Jazz. The Pelicans last played on Saturday night at home against the Philadelphia 76ers, in which they won easily, 135-98. In that game, Anthony Davis set his career high in blocks with 8. No starter for the Pelicans played more than 29 minutes in the game.
The Jazz come into tonight after their 3rd straight loss on Monday night at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. The Jazz have had a hard time putting points on the board so far in the season. The Jazz rank 29th in the NBA in scoring at 88.6 points per game and ranks last with a 0.98 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Jazz’s lone win on the season came last week at home to these Pelicans. In that game, Gordon Hayward had 27 points and 10 assists, while Richard Jefferson and Enes Kanter scored 22 and 21, respectively.
If the Jazz want a chance to win tonight, they will have to contain Davis. Last week, Davis played a solid game in their loss to the Jazz, going for 29 points and 15 rebounds. In home games this season, Davis has been a one-man wrecking crew, averaging 21.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 5.8 blocks per game. Nearly 6 blocks per game is an absolutely unbelievable stat for a second year player.
Key Matchup : Derrick Favors vs Anthony Davis
This was the key matchup for the Jazz when they played last week against the Pelicans in Utah. This game however, is more of a key matchup because of how well Davis plays at home. Davis is averaging nearly 6 blocks per game at home this season and if he starts getting a few tonight, it could really hurt the Jazz.
New Orleans feeds a lot off of their crowd. Just like in any arena, we get excited over things like big time dunks or blocks. Davis could get a couple blocks and get the crowd into it, then the Jazz might be in for a fight.
Favors has not played as well on the road as he has at home. He is averaging 12.3 points and 9.8 rebounds so far on the road. Also, his shooting percentages drop on the road. At home, he is shooting 51.4% from the field, while on the road, he is shooting 43.9%. The fact that Davis plays so well at home and Favors doesn’t perform as well on the road makes for tonight’s matchup between the two huge. The Jazz will need Favors to step up tonight to help them on the road. Gordon Hayward plays pretty well on the road, but the Jazz need production out of both him and Favors to give them chances.
The Jazz bench took a hit yesterday, as it was announced that Marvin Williams was going to a specialist to have his broken nose re-aligned. Having this done means that Marvin will not be available for tonight’s game. He will join the team either in Dallas on Friday or Oklahoma City on Sunday. This really hurts the Jazz, as they were already struggling with their bench unit and Marvin was the only player off that bench that was producing.
With that news breaking yesterday, it might mean that Alec Burks could possibly be moved back to the bench to help with some scoring for the second unit. If I was Coach Corbin, I would start Diante Garrett and bring Alec in off the bench in his 6th man role. Garrett gives the Jazz the scoring threat from the point guard position, but he also passes the ball better than Alec does. The offense seems to run more smoothly with Garrett out on the court.
The key for the Jazz off the bench will be stopping Tyreke Evans. He has not had a great start to the season, but he loves playing the Jazz. Last week in Utah, Evans went for season-highs as he went for 19 points and dished out 4 assists.
The Pelicans as a team play pretty well at home. Their record of 3-2 at home is solid as their losses came to the Indiana Pacers by only 5 points, and the surprising Phoenix Suns by 6. The Pelicans are coming into tonight well rested, having not played for 4 days and having their starters only play for an average of 24.6 minutes. The Pelicans also have Ryan Anderson back from injury. Anderson played 27 minutes in their last game against the 76ers, scoring 26 points and going 6-10 from 3.
The Jazz have struggled to start the season, but they have struggled more so on the road. The Jazz are only averaging 85.2 points per game on the road, while shooting 39.7% from the field and only 28% from 3. Out of all 3 games on this current road trip for the Jazz, this game is probably the most winnable of the 3. If the Jazz want to pick up at least one win on the trip, it needs to most likely be done tonight. Can they get it though? It’s going to be pretty tough.
Pelicans 105, Jazz 91