Utah Jazz (14-29) vs Washington Wizards (21-21)
Tip Off @ 7:00 p.m. MST
The Wizards have been playing some pretty good basketball as of late, and it has come on the road. The Wizards have won 8 of their last 10 road games to help them get back to .500 on the season. They opened their 4 games in 5 nights on the road stretch last night when they beat the Phoenix Suns, 101-95. The Wizards have allowed fewer than 100 points in their last 10 wins.
The Jazz are coming into tonight on a 2 game losing streak. Both losses came handily to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Gordon Hayward came back from injury in the Jazz’s last game, but Derrick Favors had to miss the game due to an injury. The Jazz showed how much they missed Favors in the post as they struggled with Minnesota’s big men all night.
Key Matchup : Trey Burke vs John Wall
Trey has been a huge part of this offense. Before he came into the lineup from injury, there was no flow to anything and everyone looked kind of lost out there. Trey came in and has really ran the offense greatly. He has gone up against some pretty high-caliber point guards so far in his rookie year, and for the most part, has really competed well with them. Tonight he has another tough matchup.
Wall is being considered by most to make the All-Star team for the Eastern Conference. Wall is one of the fastest point guards in the NBA. He can get the ball in transition and explode down the court. Wall is averaging 20.1 points and 8.6 assists per game on the season. If you can keep Wall out of fast break opportunities as much as you can, you have a better chance at containing him. I think Trey will hold his own tonight, but my worry is when John Lucas III checks in and gets matched up on Wall. It may be for only 2 minute spurts, but Wall could take advantage of Lucas easily.
In 6 of the last 7 games against the Wizards in Utah, the Jazz have came away with a win, including 3 in a row. However, these are not the same Wizards of the past. The Wizards currently sit 5th in the Eastern Conference and have a better road record than a home record. However, in their last 10 games on the road, their 2 losses came when the Wizards had a chance to improve over .500 on the season.
If the Jazz get Favors back tonight, it will change how I feel about the result. Favors is listed as questionable at the moment, but Corbin hopes he will go tonight. If Favors gets back, I think the Jazz can get a win. However, at the moment with Favors being iffy to go tonight, I think that hurts the Jazz’s chances. Unless Kanter steps up, the Jazz might have their hands full.
Wizards 104, Jazz 95