14 January 2010
Matchup: Utah Jazz vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Tipoff: 830pm MST
[caption id="attachment_1015" align="alignleft" width="354" caption="Jazz Vs. Cavs Accuscore "]
For our faithful listeners of the Utah Jazz Podcast you heard that we were challenged with a rough schedule this week. We got started with a fantastic win at ESA against Miami. It was arguably one of the best games we have seen out of the Jazz this year (and quite frankly over the past five years). Things seem to be really clicking for the Jazz over the past few games, but their resolve to win more will be tested tonight against the best team in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavs!
It will be the second game of TNT’s double header tonight and if my crystal ball is right, it should be a douzy. First, let me dazzle you with some fun facts that I have collected over the past couple of days. The Utah Jazz are 3-0 on TNT this year which is par for the course when it comes to nationally televised games. I think Deron and the crew get more pumped for national TV than they do for regular games. Under normal circumstances that should tick you off as a fan that they can’t bring that same energy and intensity for every game, but at least we look good as a team when the world is watching. Another fun fact is that the Utah Jazz are rated #1 in defensive efficiency in the NBA over the past 10 games. We are laying the smack down defensively, which is good, but we need more from an offensive perspective if we are going to win tonight.
The Cavs are going to have their work cut out for them tonight. Not only are they catching the Jazz on a bit of a hot streak, but their team has a couple of distractions floating around them today. First they were called out by their ex-coach Lucas saying the Cavs tanked it on purpose (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4825853
) to get Lebron (surprise, surprise). Also, as I was catching up on John Hollinger’s chat, there was an interesting blurb that Shaq and Delonte West were being held out of the game tonight, which most likely indicates that they are being traded because they did participate in shoot around this morning (see below).
Impending trade for the Cavs? Brian Windhorst is saying both Shaq and D. West are being held out of tonight's game even though they both participated in the shoot around this morning.
Just saw Windhorst's tweet on that myself. Intriguing, to say the least. The two represent about $25 million in salary, so there are a LOT of different possibilities for how that might be used. One wonders if there's an agreement to waive Shaq and let him come back, too.
This was cleared by the original tweeter at about 3:26 p.m. that they will both play.
With all of this in mind, I am calling it a Jazz win tonight. I was expecting and hoping to see Big Fez tonight and see the battle of 300+ bodies between him and Shaq, but alas, it appears it will not be tonight. We need a big night from Deron both offensively and defensively on Mo Williams if we are going to get that win. Deron needs to wear him down making him too tired to have an effect on the game. The Jazz also need to dominate the paint. We need to make Lebron shoot lots of jump shots tonight and keep him from penetrating into the lane. Those are the keys to the game tonight, big night from Deron Williams and keep Lebron out of the lane.
||Key Team Stats
||Fouls Per Game
Final Prediction: Jazz 96 Cavs 89
Game Notes- Utah Jazz will be wearing their throw back greens.