Dec 16, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers (15) dribbles the ball while defended by Utah Jazz small forward Richard Jefferson (24) and power forward Derrick Favors (15) in the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Utah Jazz vs Miami Heat


 

Utah Jazz (16-33, 10-14 home) vs Miami Heat (35-13, 15-9 road)

Tip Off @ 7:00 p.m. MST

Season Series 2 of 2 (Heat 1-0)

Overview

The Jazz are back on the court again tonight after they took a thumping in Dallas last night, 103-81. Most teams would say that it is good to get to play another game the next night after a loss, because you have to forget about it quickly and you get another chance to fix mistakes. Only problem is that the Jazz are facing another team who is rolling on the road as of late in the Miami Heat.

The Jazz and Heat have already met once this season in Miami. The Jazz got rolled by the Heat in that game, but Alec Burks set his then career-high with 31 points. However, the Heat were able to put up their best shooting performance statistically in franchise history in that game.

The Jazz are a new team nowadays, learning to live and die by the 3. In 2 of the last 3 games, the Jazz have set new franchise records for 3 pointers attempted in a single game. Last night, the Jazz took 35 shots from beyond the arc, only to connect on 12 of them. Marvin Williams was the only Jazz player with a good percentage from 3, as he hit 5 of 8 from downtown.

Key Matchup: Derrick Favors vs Chris Bosh

Favors played last night after missing the previous 3 games due to injury. Favors played well defensively, but turned the ball over and had a hard time scoring. Tonight he will have to show his defensive presence and try and take Bosh out of the game.

In the last game against the Jazz, Bosh scored 20 points while shooting over 60% from the field. He also managed to grab 6 rebounds. Favors tends to struggle defensively when it comes to guarding big men that stretch the floor out to the 3 point line. One of the main reasons, to me, that he has been better defensively this season, is the move to the center spot instead of the power forward.

When Favors plays center, in most games, he gets to protect the paint and help on opponents driving to the basket. When he was playing power forward, most the league is going to a stretch 4 lineup and it brings Favors out to the 3 point line. With his guy out to the 3 point line, and Favors wanted to stay close to the basket, Favors usually plays about a foot outside the paint hoping to kind of play in the middle. His guy gets wide open for a 3 and Favors can’t recover in time to get to his man, because he wants to first help on the guy driving to the basket.

Bosh will space the floor tonight for the Heat. He will float out to the 3 point line and Favors will have to recover. If he doesn’t recover in time, Bosh is hitting 36% from 3 this season and could hurt the Jazz if he gets quite a few open looks.

Conclusion

The Jazz are playing on the second night of a back to back situation that they have been in 13 times this season. In 13 games this season on the second night of a back to back, the Jazz are 3-10. On the other side of the court, the Heat have had 2 days of rest coming into tonight. The Heat have played 9 games this season after having 2 days rest, in 9 games they are 7-2.

Lebron and Wade will most likely get their points. Bosh has been averaging nearly 20 points per game in his last 10 games. If you make Bosh struggle, I’m not saying the Jazz win, but it makes it a closer game than if he gets to add 20 more points to James and Wade’s totals.

The Jazz actually have a winning record in Utah against LeBron since he joined the Heat. James has visited Utah 3 times since the big 3 was formed and the Jazz have won 2 out of 3. Both Jazz wins came in dramatic fashion with both games coming down to the wire. I don’t expect that tonight however.

Heat 109, Jazz 94

Tags: Preview Utah Jazz