Finally the Jazz are coming home for a series of home games. Having Deron Williams back for tonight’s game against the Toronto Raptors will be a definite benefit. The Jazz need to protect their home court as they have in years past facing this interesting Raptors team. They made a few decent moves in the offseason but still not a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference for a championship. According to ESPN.com, the Jazz are favored to win 80% to 20%.
Here are some things to look out for during this game:
1. Andrea Bargnani (C) is a big guy that can shoot the 3-pointer just like Memo, we’ll need to guard the perimeter along with their backcourt.
2. Two of the best power forwards in the league going head-to-head. Boozer vs. Bosh! As Jazz fans we would love to have Bosh play for the Jazz, so let’s treat him extra well while he’s here.
3. During the offseason Raptors picked up Hedo Turkoglu from the Orlando Magic. He also has a wide range of offensive moves that the Jazz will have to keep up with.
4. Raptors will be starting their new rookie at shooting guard. DeMar DeRozan is a 6-7, 220 lb. shooting guard. He is still adjusting his way into the speed of the NBA but had 17 points for them against Denver last night.
5. Jerry Sloan plans on a new starting lineup for tonight’s game by bringing Andrei Kirilenko off the bench while starting G Wesley Matthews. We’ll see how this pans out for the Jazz as they needed more scoring coming off of the bench. Hopefully the Jazz can respond with a killer 1-2 punch with Millsap and Kirilenko coming off the bench.
Raptors have the tendency to score a lot of points on offense as they have the players to do so. Their defense is susceptible to giving up points as well, which will be an advantage for the Jazz. Teams in the past that have gone to a zone defense against the Jazz have profited well from it so if the Raptors decide to change up their defensive scheme the Jazz will have to adjust quickly to that.
I predict this will be a closer game than most people think especially the way the Jazz have been playing at home lately. I’m truly hoping that this doesn’t bring back my dream from last night when the Raptors scoring 60+ points in the 1st quarter. Actually, that seems of more of a nightmare than anything! Good luck to the Jazz tonight and let’s get ready to talk about a win.
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