Brooklyn Nets at Utah Jazz Preview
The Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz are currently at opposite ends of the spectrum entering their matchup tonight in Salt Lake City. The Nets are hanging onto the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference with a 4-5 record after having lost their last game.
The Jazz are fifth in the West at 7-3 and enter tonight’s game on a three-game winning streak. They’ve also protected their home court well, going a perfect 5-0 at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Last time they played was late last season, with Donovan Mitchell leading the Jazz to a 114-98 win over the Nets, who didn’t yet have Kyrie Irving or DeAndre Jordan on the roster. The matchup between Mitchell and Irving should prove to be an interesting one tonight.
Time: 9 PM ET
Arena: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Channel: YES, ATTSN-RM
Nets: Caris LeVert, Kevin Durant (O), Wilson Chandler (Susp)
Jazz: Emmanuel Mudiay (P), Dante Exum, Ed Davis (O)
Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
Taking a playoff team and adding experienced vets like Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan hasn’t exactly worked out as Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks likely hoped it would. The Nets are floundering in mediocrity currently, and a 138-112 thrashing by the Phoenix Suns likely didn’t help matters.
That likely led Atkinson to schedule a practice yesterday when the team was expected to have the day off.
“It’s your compete level first,” Atkinson told reporters Monday. “You can talk about all the coverages, but I don’t think our compete level was where it needed to be. Players agreed, our togetherness, defensively and offensively, wasn’t where it needed to be.”
The Nets dug themselves in an early hole as the Suns scored 37 in the first quarter and outscored the Nets by 11 in the second. That was followed by a 38 point third quarter, and the Suns never looked back as seven of their players reached double figures, while just four reached that mark for the Nets, three of which had to come off the bench.
The one positive the Nets have going is that the Jazz will likely be on tired legs as they complete their second of a back-to-back series.
Utah Jazz Starting Lineup
It was easy to see at the beginning of this season that this Utah Jazz team had improved greatly by the additions of Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic. While Conley took time to transition, the Jazz seem to be rolling now, as they’ve won their last three games, including a 103-100 win over the East-leading Bucks and a 122-108 blowout of the Golden State Warriors last night.
“It’s very hard to guard when we play that way and when we move the ball like we did and when we attack like we did,” center Rudy Gobert said. “It’s fun. It’s only been 10 games together, but we’re getting better and better. I’m excited for the future.”
It would be hard to find someone from the Jazz faithful that is not excited about the future now that Donovan Mitchell has some weapons around him.
Last night, it was Gobert though that led the Jazz, with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Mitchell was right there with 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Conley had 22 and seven. They also had some help off the bench from Joe Ingles, Jeff Green, and Emmanuel Mudiay.
They’ll need to rely on those players since Gobert, Mitchell, and Conley all played over 30 minutes last night.
Key Player Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs. Mike Conley
This is a matchup that has played out in All-Star games in the past, and now with Conley seemingly over his early troubles, it should make for an even more interesting matchup. Irving is a tough defensive assignment. Aside from being able to shoot and drive, his handles make him one of the toughest point guards to defend. Conley is used to defending great guards out West though, so he’ll be up for the challenge.
Spencer Dinwiddie vs. Donovan Mitchell
Dinwiddie is a talented vet, but Mitchell is capable of taking over a game. He is averaging over 24 points per game and still had five rebounds and four assists to go along with his scoring numbers. With LeVert out, Dinwiddie likely draws Mitchell here, and he’ll be busy all night.
I could go many directions for fantasy studs, especially on Utah’s side, but I’m going with Rudy Gobert, who can be had on FanDuel for $7.5k and has a projection of 43.16 points. Kyrie is clearly the choice for the Nets. He’s available for $9.3k and is projected to finish with 44.74 points.
Bojan Bogdanovic and Spencer Dinwiddie are two of the top low salary values tonight. Dinwiddie is valued at just $5.5k, and in his starting role, he’s expected to rack up 33.45 fantasy points, while Bojan is available for $6.4k at a projection of 29.6 points.
Bet on Matchup
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