Utah Jazz (7-21) @ Atlanta Hawks (14-12)
Tip Off @ 5:30 p.m. MST
Projected Starting Lineups
PG – Trey Burke
SG – Gordon Hayward
SF – Richard Jefferson
PF – Marvin Williams
C – Derrick Favors
PG – Jeff Teague
SG – Kyle Korver
SF – Demarre Carroll
PF – Paul Millsap
C – Al Horford
Both teams come into tonight’s game after picking up a win on Wednesday night. The Jazz took down the Orlando Magic on the road, 86-82, led by Trey Burke’s career night of 30 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. The Hawks are coming off an impressive shooting performance against the Sacramento Kings, where they shot 60% from 3 point range on their way to a 124-107 victory. They were led by former Jazz-man, Kyle Korver, who finished the game with 28 points on 10-15 shooting from the floor and 8-10 from 3 point range.
Along with Korver, the Jazz will meet a few guys tonight that used to lace up for the Jazz. Tonight’s game gives us a reunion with the Junkyard Dog, Demarre Carroll, and a guy who spent 7 seasons in Utah, Paul Millsap. All 3 former Jazz-men are having very nice seasons for the Hawks.
Millsap is averaging 16.5 points per game to go along with 8.1 rebounds per game. Millsap, who never was much of a 3 point shooter in Utah, is averaging 2.1 3 point attempts per game, and on the season is averaging 49.5% from downtown. Korver, who was more of the 3 point shooter while in Utah, is on fire. Korver currently holds the longest streak in NBA history for consecutive games with a made 3 point shot at 95 straight games. Carroll is playing great this season as well, averaging just under 10 points per game and 6 rebounds per game.
The Jazz have won 4 out of their last 6 games on the road with wins coming @ Phoenix, @ Sacramento, @ Denver, and @ Orlando. The Hawks have a home record of 10-4.
Key Matchup : Derrick Favors vs Al Horford
There really is key matchups all over the place in this game. Trey Burke has to go up against Jeff Teague, who is leading the Eastern Conference in assists. Gordon Hayward has to defend Kyle Korver and try to chase him around all game and stop him from beating us with the outside shot. Marvin Williams has to stop Millsap from wanting to take out his former team. However, Favors might have the toughest task tonight.
Al Horford is averaging 18 ppg, 8.5 rpg, and 1.6 bpg which all are leading the team. Horford is also shooting the ball 56% from the field on the season. At home, his averages go up just a little bit to 19.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, and 1.8 bpg. Horford shoots the ball at 58% from the field at home.
Favors is averaging 13.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg, and 1.6 bpg which is pretty similar for the most part to Horford. On the road, Favors averages go down a little bit. On the road, Favors is averaging 13.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, and 1.5 bpg. All of this points to Horford having an advantage at home. Not necessarily.
In the last 4 road games for the Jazz, Favors is averaging nearly 17 points per game and nearly 4 blocks per game! When Favors can protect the paint like he has over the last 4 road games, it makes the Jazz a lot tougher to beat.
Favors is from Atlanta. He will have extra motivation playing in his home town. Horford is good, though. Favors will have his hands full, but it should be an exciting matchup to watch.
This entire game has extra motivation for a lot of players. Guys like Millsap, Korver, and Carroll are playing their former team. Whenever you play your former team, it gives you the extra motivation to try and beat them. Same goes for Marvin Williams, who the Jazz traded for before last season. He spent a lot of time in Atlanta and will be wanting to play well against his old team. As mentioned before, Favors is from Atlanta and should have a lot of friends and family in the crowd watching. He will want to play really well for them.
I think this will be a really good game. The Jazz have been getting nice contributions from everywhere lately. In the last 3 road games, the Jazz have had a guy score 30 or more points. First it was Gordon Hayward, then Alec Burks, then Trey last game. I know Marvin and Derrick will have extra motivation tonight, but I don’t know if it’s 30 points worth of extra motivation.
I see another closely contested game tonight. It should be a fun one to watch, but I think this is a game the Jazz might let slip away.
Hawks 99, Jazz 94