UTAH JAZZ

Cold Shooting Jazz Host Kings Between Road Trips

Nov 1, 2021, 3:23 PM | Updated: 3:24 pm
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell goes for a shot against Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell (Ph...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell goes for a shot against Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz will host the Sacramento Kings in their lone home game sandwiched between two three-game road trips.

The Jazz beat the Kings 110-101 in their second game of the season in Sacramento as they opened the season with a blemish-free 5-0 record.

The Kings meanwhile have had a promising start to the year with an even .500 record through six games.

Jazz Have Yet To Find Shooting Stroke

Though they sit atop the Western Conference standings, the Jazz have yet to find the shooting touch that allowed them to finish with the best record in the NBA last season.

Last year the Jazz led the NBA in both three-pointers attempted and made, while shooting the fourth-best percentage in the NBA at 38.9 percent.

So far this season, while the Jazz are tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the most threes attempted per game at 42.4, they’ve dipped to sixth in the NBA in three-pointers and rank 16th in three-point shooting percentage.

Last season Joe Ingles, Mike Conley, and George Niang all shot better than 40 percent from the three-line while Royce O’Neale, Donovan Mitchell, and Bojan Bogdanovic all shot at least 38 percent from deep.

This season, with the departure of Niang, only Ingles and Conley are above 40 percent, while newcomer Eric Paschall is the only other Jazz player to shoot better than 35 percent.

Through six games, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale, and Jordan Clarkson are all shooting 31 percent from three or worse.

Despite the team’s poor shooting to open the season, Jazz coach Quin Snyder said he wants to see his team continue to fire away.

“I want to continue to take threes,” Snyder said. “It’s easy to preach that, but for players sometimes, if they’re not making you can become a little bit reticent.”

The good news for the Jazz is that their best shooting night of the season came in their road opener against the Kings. The Jazz shot 38 percent from three on 42 attempts in the victory.

After hosting the Kings, the Jazz will head out on the road for three games in four nights against the Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic.

Kings Wrap Road Trip Against Jazz

While the Jazz will bookend their matchup with Sacramento with three-game road trips, the Kings stop in Utah will mark the end of their first four-game road trip of the season.

After a slow 1-2 start to the season, the Kings earned wins over the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans to open their road trip before falling to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

The Kings have the eighth-best offensive rating in the NBA this season thanks to a red-hot start to the year from forward Harrison Barnes. The 10-year veteran is averaging a career-high 23.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game to open the year while shooting a blistering 45 percent from the three-point line.

Sacramento has struggled on the defensive side of the ball however owning the 25th ranked defense in the NBA through six games having failed to hold any opponent below 100 points on the season.

After completing their long road trip, the Kings will return to Sacramento where they’ll host the Pelicans, Hornets, Pacers, and Suns.

Who Gets Offense On Track First?

While the Jazz have seen Mitchell and Clarkson struggle to shoot the ball to open the season, neither compares to the early season miscues of Kings guard De’Aaron Fox.

The fifth-year guard had a breakout season for the Kings last year averaging 25.2 points and 7.2 assists per game but has taken a significant step back this year.

Through six games Fox is averaging just 18.5 points and 6.3 assists per game. After shooting 32 percent from the three-point line last season, Fox has connected on just 17 percent of his 5.8 threes per game and just 37 percent of his shots overall.

In the two teams’ first meeting, Fox managed just 12 points on 5-19 shooting from the floor while missing all five of his three-point attempts.

Broadcast

The Jazz and Kings will tip-off at 7 pm MT with the radio broadcast on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone Sports Network. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet.

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