Dec 21, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) gets ready to drive past Charlotte Bobcats forward center Bismack Biyombo (0) during the first half of the game at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Jazz vs Charlotte Bobcats : Preview

 

Utah Jazz (9-24) vs Charlotte Bobcats (14-17)

Tip Off @ 7:00 p.m. MST

Overview

The Jazz showed a lot of fight on Saturday night, but ultimately fell to the L.A. Clippers 98-90 on the road. The Bobcats also played on Saturday night, losing in overtime at Atlanta. This isn’t the same Jazz team that we seen at the first part of the season, and this definitely isn’t the same Bobcats team that we’ve seen in years past.

Charlotte is coming into tonight after losing 3 of their last 4 games. However, there losses have been really close. Over the last 5 losses for the Bobcats, they have lost by a combined average of 3.4 points. Kemba Walker has gone 10 for 37 in their last two games. Gerald Hendersen hasn’t been effective against the Jazz in their last two meetings. He’s gone 6 for 23 from the floor combined in those two games.

The Jazz have an opportunity to do something tonight that they haven’t been able to do all season. Win 2 games in a row in Salt Lake City. The Jazz’s last home victory came on Friday night when Derrick Favors had a putback dunk with 2.1 seconds remaining to beat the L.A. Lakers, 105-103. Favors was big in that game, finishing the night with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Key Matchup : Derrick Favors vs Al Jefferson

The teacher vs the student, a.k.a Favors going up against Big Al, is going to be fun to watch. Big Al spent the last few seasons mentoring Favors, along with Enes Kanter, on and off the court. It is fun to see a reunion matchup for these guys, but you also want to see if the student can get the best of the teacher.

Last game between these two teams, Favors got the win against Big Al, but the stat lines were a little more in Big Al’s favor, but not by much. Big Al finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Favors finished with 14 points and 9 rebounds. On another interesting note, that you can take what you want out of it, Favors finished the night with a +/- of +5, while Big Al finished the night at -3.

Big Al, as we know from his time in Utah, is a double-double machine. So far on the year, he is averaging 17.0 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 45.6% from the floor. Favors is starting to look like a double-double machine, but is not quite there yet. Favors is averaging 13.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 51.9% from the floor.

Conclusion

The Jazz are 4-10 at home so far this year, but have had some pretty tough games there. However, they are starting to look better every game, especially the last two. The Jazz come into tonight averaging 94.4 points per game at home and are shooting 43.3% from the field.

The Bobcats are 6-7 on the road to start the season. They average 94.7 points per game on the road, while shooting 42.3% from the field. Very evenly compared with what the Jazz are scoring at shooting at home. Big Al is playing very well on the road this year, averaging 20.2 points and 12.0 rebounds per game.

The stats go up for the Bobcats in their last 3 games on the road. In the Bobcats last 3 road games, they upped their average to 112 points per game. While the Jazz in their last 3 home games have averaged exactly the same as their season average.

Look for Big Al to try to come out of the gates early and show his presence in his old gym. I think fans will really welcome him back, but would like to see him leave with another loss to the Jazz. I think that is what will happen tonight.

Jazz 95, Bobcats 91

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