Utah Jazz (10-24) vs Milwaukee Bucks (7-24)
Tip Off @ 7:00 p.m. MST
Tonight’s game is a matchup of the two teams who have the worst records in their respective conferences. The Bucks come into tonight coming off a 94-79 victory in Los Angeles over the Lakers. Like the Jazz, the Bucks have played better as of late because of the insertion of their young rookie into the starting lineup. Giannis Antetokounmpo, from Greece, was put into the starting lineup for a couple weeks now and is averaging 10.0 points and 7.7 rebounds as a starter. In the game against the Lakers, he had 8 points and 11 rebounds.
The Jazz also come into tonight after a victory, a 83-80 win over Big Al and the Charlotte Bobcats. The Jazz’s rookie, Trey Burke, came through once again in the win. Trey finished the game with 21 points. When Trey scores 20 or more points, the Jazz are 5-1 this season. Trey is averaging 16.7 points and 5.4 assists over his last 7 games.
A matchup between two teams that are well out of the playoff race can be pretty dull on paper, but this game could be pretty exciting.
Key Matchup : Derrick Favors vs Larry Sanders
There aren’t a lot of huge matchups on the board in this game. However, this matchup intrigues me a bit. Both these players are defensive big men, and Sanders is coming off a big game.
In the Bucks win over the Lakers, Sanders had 7 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocks. Playing well in his last games will give him confidence heading into tonight, and the last time he seen the Jazz, his stat line was even better. Last season, Sanders missed the first meeting between these two teams in a Jazz 16 point win. The final matchup of the season, Sanders ended up with 8 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, and 6 blocks in a 1 point Milwaukee victory.
Favors is getting better every game, and personally, I think he is doing better because he was moved to the center position instead of the power forward. Favors comes into tonight after battling with Big Al in their last game. He ended the night with 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks. The other stat that he had that wasn’t very exciting, he finished the game with 6 turnovers.
Neither one of these two guys are big offensive players, but can score when they get the opportunity. Both guys are big on the defensive end, which brings me to think that neither one will have much of an impact offensively, unless they get their points off putbacks or fastbreaks. It still should be exciting to see how much they can impact the outcome of the game with their defense.
In the win over the Lakers, the Bucks had 3 guys get over 11 rebounds and outrebounded the Lakers 51-39. They also dominated the paint, winning that matchup 42-26.
The Bucks have some guys who can play, so the Jazz can’t take them lightly because of their record. Brandon Knight is coming off a big game as well, scoring a career-high 37 points in that game. OJ Mayo, Ersan Illyasova, and John Hensen (injured), could all give the Jazz some problems if they get going.
I still don’t believe the Jazz will lose this game. They have more talent on the board than Milwaukee does. Enes Kanter coming off the bench will be matched up with Miroslav Raduljica and that should be a matchup Kanter should take advantage of. The Jazz have been playing better the last few games at home, and are riding a two game home winning streak into tonight. With 8 of their next 12 games at home, and a handful against teams with weak records, the Jazz have an opportunity to take advantage of this home stand and pick up some more wins.
Jazz 103, Bucks 93