Brooklyn Nets vs Utah Jazz 2/4/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Brooklyn Nets vs Utah Jazz Matchup Preview (2/4/22)

The Brooklyn Nets (29-22) continue their road trip against the Utah Jazz (31-21) Friday night. The Nets are feeling Durant’s absence, having gone 2-7 since his injury with a current 6-game losing streak. Over that nine game stretch, the Nets are 8th in Offensive Rating, but 29th in Defensive Rating. In the clutch (within 5 points in the last 5 minutes), the Nets are 25th in Win% and 28th in FG%. These problems were highlighted in their 112-101 loss to the Kings on Wednesday night. The Nets were up three points going into the 4th quarter, but the Kings outscored them 29-15 to win the game. James Harden scored a measly 4 points in 37 minutes, while Kyrie Irving only managed 15 points. Nic Claxton outperformed expectations with a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds on 9/11 shooting. Veteran forward James Johnson chipped in 18 points off the bench, but the abysmal play of Harden and Irving ruined any chance of victory. The Nets will look to break their 6-game losing streak against an injury-stricken Utah Jazz team. 

Donovan Mitchell is back! The Jazz are 3-7 in their last ten games. However, Donovan Mitchell has missed the past eight games, and Rudy Gobert has missed the last five games. Over that stretch without Mitchell and Gobert, the Jazz are 20th in Offensive Rating, 26th in Defensive Rating, and 28th in turnover percentage. Too many inexperienced players are getting too many minutes for the Jazz right now, but they have had no choice. They are entering the contest on a high note after beating the Jokic-less Denver Nuggets 108-104. Trent Forrest led the Jazz in scoring with 18 points on 6/7 from the field. Six players scored in double digits with Rudy Gay (15 points) and rookie Jared Butler (10 points) accomplishing this off the bench. The Jazz won the game due to ball security. The Nuggets had twice as many turnovers as the Jazz, and the Jazz scored 12 more points off of turnovers in a game decided by 4 points. Jordan Clarkson, and Hassan Whiteside are game time decisions, while Rudy Gobert and Daniel House Jr are expected to be out. Veteran Joe Ingles was recently lost to a torn ACL, so the Jazz will begin to identify his replacement, whether it is through a trade or trusting more minutes to someone like Eric Paschall or Daniel House Jr.

Brooklyn Nets vs Utah Jazz Betting Odds

This is the first meeting between the Nets and Jazz this season. Both times are struggling, but the Jazz will be rejuvenated with the return of Donovan Mitchell. With him back, the Jazz have the firepower and defense to beat the Nets. I like the Jazz to win this one by 4-6 points; even though the Nets have underperformed, they can compete in any game because of Harden and Irving. The Nets have cleared 120 points once since Durant’s injury, and the Jazz will gain a defensive boost with Mitchell. I don’t expect either team to break 120 in this one, but both teams will clear 105 points. 

Prediction: Jazz win 114-109 | Harden and Irving 23+ PTS each | Mitchell 25+ PTS

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TV Schedule

Date: 2/4/22
Time: 9:00 PM ET
Arena: Vivint Arena – Salt Lake City, UT
Channel: NBA League Pass

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Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup

PG: James Harden
SG: Kyrie Irving
SF: Patty Mills
PF: Kessler Edwards
C: Nic Claxton

Brooklyn Nets Analysis

The Nets are clearly reliant on James Harden and Kyrie Irving to perform at their usual standards. Harden produced 7 rebounds and 12 assists against the Kings, but 4 points will not facilitate a Nets win. Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell will be the primary defenders on the Nets duo. Mitchell has been a superb spot up defender, but he’s struggled to guard the pick and roll ball handler. Unfortunately for him, James Harden and Kyrie Irving are wizards with the ball who thrive in the pick and roll. Mike Conley is a decent perimeter defender in general who is solid at all aspects. Harden will likely be guarded by Mitchell since Conley is not tall or strong enough to deter Harden’s drives to the basket. The Nets need Harden and Irving to forget about last game and flat out score the ball. 

Nic Claxton (6’11”, 215 lbs) will likely square off against Udoka Azubuike (7’0”, 270 lbs). Claxton’s role in the offense centers around being the roll man and cutting to the basket. Claxton is far more nimble and agile than Azubuike, so constant movement will be the key to his success. Defensively, Claxton has struggled to guard the center when he rolls to the basket; this is Azubuike’s strength, so Claxton may be in for a rough night defensively. The two centers are vastly different in skill set and style, which should lead to a clear advantage for one of them.

Utah Jazz Starting Lineup

PG: Mike Conley
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Bogdan Bogdanovic
PF: Royce O’Neale
C: Hassan Whiteside

Utah Jazz Analysis

If Mitchell is rusty (which I do not think will happen), the Jazz can always fall back on their excellent three-point shooting. Royce O’Neale is a 3&D forward shooting 40.7% from deep. While he cannot create for himself, his spot up ability will create tremendous space for his teammates. Bojan Bogdanovic is shooting 38.2% from three, although he is effective shooting off the dribble. Bogdanovic elevates the Jazz offense through his off the dribble shooting because it takes some of the pressure to create shots for teammates off of Conley and Mitchell’s shoulders. The leader of their outside shooting this season has been Mike Conley (43.1 3PT%). Conley’s jump shot off the dribble has quite literally been one of the most efficient, deadly weapons in the NBA this season. 

The Nets must stick to these shooters all game and cannot help inside the paint. Azubuike’s performance in the paint will dictate the direction of the game. If he is shredding Claxton down low, the Nets will be forced to send help. This necessary move allows these Jazz snipers to get the space needed to take unguarded shots. Overall, the Jazz will win the defensive battle and send the Nets packing with a loss.

Brooklyn Nets vs Utah Jazz Daily Fantasy Picks

For this matchup, I like Harden, Kyrie, and Mitchell to perform. After their terrible performance against the Kings, I expect Harden and Kyrie to bounce back with both scoring at least 23 points. Both players figure to dominate the ball again, so there will not be a lack of touches. On the Jazz, I like Mitchell to play as if he never missed any games. Harden, Irving, and Mills are not known for their perimeter defense, so Mitchell should exploit this horrible Nets defense and go for at least 25 points. 

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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