Utah Jazz (21-39, 7-23 road) @ Washington Wizards (31-29, 15-15 home)
Tip Off @ 5:00 p.m. MST
Regular Season Series 2 of 2 (Jazz 1-0)
After putting forth an excellent effort on Sunday night against the Indiana Pacers, the Utah Jazz came out the next night and dropped an egg against the NBA’s league worst Milwaukee Bucks. Not only did the Jazz lose to the Bucks, the Jazz gave up 114 points to a team that was only scoring 93.7 points per game on the season. There was no effort coming from the Jazz in this game, but could have been somewhat expected. The Jazz battled the Pacers the night before, who may be the most physical team in the entire league. Playing such a physical game, then traveling, then playing the next night is tough on any team.
Tonight, the Jazz have no easy task as they match up against the Washington Wizards. The Wizards are in a position that a lot of people are not used to seeing them in. With a record of 31-29, the Wizards find themselves sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference. With 22 games left on the schedule for the Wizards, they play 16 of those games against teams from the East, which is a good thing for them. Also, 14 of those remaining games are against a team with a record under .500. The schedule is very favorable for a Wizards’ team that hasn’t seen success in quite awhile.
Key Matchup: Trey Burke vs John Wall
In the games right after the All-Star break, Trey Burke went up against some pretty good competition, and he held his own really well. However, in the Jazz’s last game against the Bucks, he, as well as pretty much everyone else on the team, did not play very well at all. Trey finished the game with seven points and five assists, while also finishing with a +/- of a -22. I think everyone can agree that a -22 is pretty bad. Tonight, Trey doesn’t get any kind of a night off as he is going up against a guy who finally found his way into the All-Star game this season.
John Wall is having a great season. Wall was named as an All-Star reserve for the Eastern Conference, he participated in the Sprite Slam Dunk competition, and was named as the Dunker of the Night during the competition. This season, Wall is leading the Wizards with 20.0 points and 8.7 assists per game. The main headache that Wall can give to opposing point guards is his quickness. Wall is one of the quickest, if not the quickest, point guards in the league. When Wall gets the ball on a fastbreak, he can get down the court and to the hoop in about three or four strides. Trey definitely has his hands full.
Wall plays better at home too. Trey will have the tough task of trying to slow him down, but will need to have some big time help from Derrick Favors protecting the paint. If the Jazz come out with tired legs, like they showed last game, John Wall might have a career night.
Monday night was actually a pretty good night if you are a “tank” fan. The Jazz lost to the Bucks, and the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings both won. I, personally, am not a fan of the “tank”. I would much rather watch the Jazz play as hard as they can every night and win. This season, the Jazz seem to just play to the level of their competition. Prime example, the Jazz played as good as any team in the league against the Pacers, then they played probably worse than any team in the league against the Bucks.
I can see the Jazz coming out and playing pretty well, but I don’t see them pulling out a win on the road. The Wizards have played pretty well at home, and the Jazz I don’t think have much confidence after the last game. I see the Jazz playing well for two and a half to three quarters before the Wizards start to pull away.
Wizards 104, Jazz 94
Tags: Utah Jazz