The Ineligibles Ultimate Weekly Utah Jazz Preview

Jazz Logo IV

December 24-30

Season Record: 15-14

Warriors LogoGolden State Warriors at Utah Jazz

Date: Wednesday, December 26
Location: Energy Solutions Arena
TV: Root Sports, 7:00 PM Utah Time

Stats Comparison:

Statistic

Utah Jazz

Golden State

(per game) Stat Rank Stat Rank
Points 99.9 9 99.6 11
Rebounds 43.3 9 45.8 3
Assists 22.8 5 22.5 8
Steals 8.2 12 7.0 25
Blocks 6.8 4 3.4 29
Turnovers 14.9 15 15.5 21
Field Goal % .449 12 .453 9
3 – PT % .370 8 .362 11
Points Allowed 99.2 20 98.4 19
Pts Differential 0.7 14 1.2 12
Data is as of writing date of December 17, 2012

How they match up:

The Warriors always seem to be a match up nightmare for the Jazz . . . and that was when they sucked.  Now they are the surprising talk of the early season as Mark Jackson has this team playing very well.  David Lee is averaging a double-double for the season and Stephen Curry is the team leader in points, assists, and steals per game.  This team seems to be overachieving thus far this season, but I also don’t see much reason why after this long, they would come down off this level.  At 17-9, they are proving to be a contender to lead that second tier of teams in the West.  David Lee is averaging 5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game this season over his career averages.  This latest injury to Mo Williams (thumb injury – out indefinitely) is a game changer for the Jazz. His replacements are solid guys who can manage the team but the 3-point threat is not there and neither is a threat to take someone off the dribble either.  However, I really like the Jazz at home where they always find a way to win games, even the ones they shouldn’t.  But don’t expect anything but a tight game.

Prediction: Jazz win a nail biter 107-105

ClippersLA Clippers at Utah Jazz

Date: Friday, December 28
Location: Energy Solutions Arena
TV: Root Sports, 7:00 PM Utah Time
 

ClippersUtah Jazz at LA Clippers

Date: Sunday, December 30
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: Root Sports, 7:30 PM Utah Time

Stats Comparison:

Statistic

Utah Jazz

LA Clippers

(per game) Stat Rank Stat Rank
Points 99.9 9 102.2 6
Rebounds 43.3 9 41.3 19
Assists 22.8 5 23.1 3
Steals 8.2 12 10.7 1
Blocks 6.8 4 6.3 7
Turnovers 14.9 15 14.6 9
Field Goal % .449 12 .480 4
3 – PT % .370 8 .354 14
Points Allowed 99.2 20 93.8 5
Pts Differential 0.7 14 8.4 2
Data is as of writing date of December 17, 2012

How they match up:

These two teams tussled on December 3.  The Jazz controlled the game throughout, until Chris Paul decided it was time to take over, and then the Jazz had no answer.  Until then, Blake Griffin went on a 30 point tear while adding 11 rebounds.  The Jazz lost the lead in the 4th and kept it close with Randy Foye hitting a clutch three at the end of the game, but a steal and last second shot from the ensuing inbounds just caromed off the rim to end a disappointing night in which the Jazz let one get away.

Playing at home, the Jazz will look for the revenge game and despite the superior athleticism of the Clippers, I like the way the Jazz match up against them.  However, Mo’s injury complicates this match up because I don’t think Tinsley nor Watson can hang with Eric Bledsoe, much less Chris Paul.  And the Clippers have so many weapons in addition to Paul and Griffin such as DeAndre Jordan, Jamaal Crawford, and despite his lackluster season, Lamar Odom is always someone the Jazz struggle to defend.

However, the revenge factor, and the home court advantage will play to the Jazz on December 28 where the Jazz will play another close one. But don’t expect much of the same team two days later in Los Angeles.

Prediction: Jazz lose 112 – 108 in Salt Lake and lose 115 – 102 in LA.

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