UTAH JAZZ

Utah Jazz Need To Sweep Upcoming Three Game Road Trip

Nov 27, 2018, 10:48 AM
Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder talks to Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) during an NBA basketball ...
Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder talks to Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) during an NBA basketball game at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. The Jazz lost 88-121. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After their disappointing 121-88 loss to the Indiana Pacers at home, the Utah Jazz are back out on the road for three games before they return home to Vivint Smart Home Arena.

The Jazz sit at 9-12 and No. 14 in the Western Conference standings. Even with the uncertainty of Donovan Mitchell’s status due to a rib injury, Utah needs to sweep their upcoming road trip to the east coast.

Utah has played 21 games thus far and have been on the road for 13 of those contests, which they currently hold a conference best 7-6 record away from home. They are just 2-6 at home but a 3-0 sweep of their east coast swing could help the team build confidence and go on a run to climb back up the standings.

Wednesday At Brooklyn

The Nets are in the middle of a rebuilding cycle as they have improved over the last three seasons. In the 2016-17 season at this point of the year, they were 4-12. During the 2017-18 campaign, Brooklyn was 7-13 at the end of November. But they are without their leading scorer Caris LeVert who suffered a gruesome leg injury a couple of weeks ago.

They rely on their backcourt to carry the scoring load with D’Angelo Russell (17.8 points per game) and Spencer Dinwiddie (15.9 points per game). Big man Jarrett Allen protects the paint while averaging 8.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Rudy Gobert could make it a tough night for Allen and the Nets big men.

The two teams split their season series last year with each team winning at home but the Jazz swept the Nets in the previous season series in 2016-17. Utah will hope to have a strong start to the game with some motivation to end this skid they are on.

Friday At Charlotte

On paper, this is the most challenging game for the Jazz on the road trip. The Hornets are 10-10 on the season and 7-3 at home. Kemba Walker is clearly the player that Utah needs to focus on to shut down as he averages 27.9 points per game which is fifth best in the NBA.

The problem that the Jazz will face against Walker is he just doesn’t score. He is averaging 6.5 assists per game which is his best average of his career. His ability to score at will and distribute the ball will be an issue for the Jazz as the backcourt will need to be focused defensively for 48 minutes.

The two teams split their season series last year with both winning at home. That has been the case in the last two seasons with each team picking up a win.

Saturday At Miami

The Heat are 7-12 on the season and have lost five of their last eight games. They are struggling to win games on their home floor with a 3-7 record. Miami is a very balanced team offensively with seven players averaging double figures led by Josh Richardson with 20.4 points per game.

It is the last time that the Jazz will play Dwyane Wade in south beach as he announced he will retire after this season. Wade has chipped in 15 points per game including a 35-point performance on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors.

A player that could really cause problems for the Jazz especially if they are shooting the ball well is center Hassan Whiteside. He is having a great season putting up 14 points, 14.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. The key matchup in the game will be between Whiteside and Rudy Gobert.

If the Jazz can pull off three straight wins on the road, they will put their record to 12-12 and will play four of their next six at home.

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Utah Jazz Need To Sweep Upcoming Three Game Road Trip