Jan 13, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson (3) defends against Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke (3) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz won 118-103. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Utah Jazz take on division rival Denver Nuggets

The Utah Jazz are entering Tuesday night coming off of a big win over the Milwaukee Bucks the night before. The Jazz shot 50% from beyond the three point line, and held Jabari Parker to 14 points in route to the 16 point win.

After a night where everything seemed to go right, can the Jazz repeat with a game Tuesday night against their Northwest Division rivals, the Denver Nuggets?

The Nuggets were off on Monday, however, they are coming off a game on Sunday where they were blown out by the Chicago Bulls. In that game, the Nuggets let the Bulls shoot 52.8% from beyond the three point line, and gave up 31 points to Doug McDermott, and 23 points to Tony Snell.

Gary Harris, who was coming off a huge game in the Nuggets summer league opener, finished with only 9 points and 5 rebounds, and shot 0-of-4 from downtown. Considering how great he played in game one, and how he played very much below that in game two, it is tough to predict what we can expect from Harris when they take on the Jazz. He is, however, a great shooter, and if a shooter gets going, you need to watch out.

That is exactly what happened on Monday night for Rodney Hood. After going 1-of-10 from the three point line on Saturday night, Hood lit up the scoreboard after going 7-of-10 from deep Monday. Hood said after Saturday’s game that he was nervous and rushed things, which was a result of the poor shooting. After Monday’s game, he said that he relaxed a bit, which was the result of the great shooting.

Hood, like Harris, is tough to predict how he will come out and play. If his shot is on, Denver could be in for a long night. However though, shooters are going to shoot, and even if the shot isn’t falling, they try and get back on track by still shooting. Expect Hood to shoot the ball, we’ll just have to wait and see how well he shoots it.

The Jazz will need to see good play from their guard line, as Denver really will be feeding off the play of theirs. If Harris shoots well, the other guard is already playing well too. Erick Green has averaged 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists so far in the summer league. If Jazz fans remember, Green was drafted by the Jazz in the 2013 NBA Draft, however, he was sent to Denver as part of the trade that sent Rudy Gobert to Utah.

On the topic of Gobert, his play so far in summer league has been outstanding. So far in two games, Gobert is averaging 12.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks, including five blocks in Monday night’s game against Milwaukee.

Gobert has really played well so far this summer, which is exactly what we should be expecting from him. As a second year player, going into summer league, you should be dominating, and Gobert is dominating. He is controlling the boards and either blocking, or altering shots. Offensively, in two games, he is a combined 10-of-11 from the field. The only thing that needs to get much better, is his free throw shooting. Gobert has been to the line 11 times so far, and out of those trips has only connected on four.

As mentioned before, the Jazz will need to see good play from their guard line of Dante Exum and Trey Burke. The two have played fairly well so far in summer league, however, they will need to step up in this game, as Harris and Green can fill up the stat sheet for the Nuggets.

Tuesday’s game will begin at 6:30 p.m. MST and can be seen on KJZZ-TV, as well as NBA-TV, and the NBA Summer League app on your smartphone.

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Tags: Dante Exum Gary Harris NBA Summer League Rodney Hood Rudy Gobert Trey Burke Utah Jazz

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