San Antonio Spurs (2-1 2-1 ATS) vs. Utah Jazz (1-3 1-3 ATS) EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT 10:30 PM EST Thursday November 5, 2009 on TNT
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Spurs -1 / Jazz +1
In an early season Western Conference match up the Utah Jazz
host the San Antonio Spurs. The Jazz have not gotten off
to the best start, to say the least, as they have lost 3 of their first
4 games and have dropped 2 in a row. The Spurs are coming off a win and
they’re still trying to find chemistry, as Manu Ginobili is not
the scorer he once was and off-season acquisition Richard Jefferson is still
trying to fit in with the offense. The Jazz have to stay out of foul trouble,
as even though their starters are solid they have a thin bench. The Spurs
have not been lighting up the scoreboard and Tim Duncan is only averaging
14.7 ppg, but their defense has been playing well. For a long time now Utah
has been one of the toughest places to play in the NBA, but if the Jazz
lose this game they will be 1-2 at home this season. The Jazz are off to
their worst start in 7 seasons.
In their last game the Jazz lost to the Dallas Mavericks 96-85 on Tuesday night. The high scorer for the Jazz in the game was Deron Williams going for 22 points on 9/19 shooting. For the game the Jazz only shot 34/82 for a FG% of 41.5%. On D the Jazz played well holding the Mavs to 34/86 shooting for a FG% of 39.5%, but they were out-scored 44-19 in the 4th quarter and allowed Dirk Nowitzki blow up for 29 points in the final period.
The Spurs have had a nice break, as they last game was on Saturday night, which they won 113-96 against the Sacramento Kings. The high scorer for the Spurs in that game was Tony Parker going for 24 points on 10/16 shooting. For the game the Spurs could not miss going 43/74 for a scorching FG% of 58.1%. On D the Spurs held the Kings to 33/74 shooting for a FG% of 44.6%.
This season the Spurs rank 11th in scoring (103.7 ppg) and the Jazz rank 16th (99.3 ppg). On defense is where the Jazz are struggling, as they rank 23rd in the league allowing an average of 105.3 ppg) while the Spurs rank a respectable 10th (94 ppg). The Spurs are dead even on the glass this season with a rebounding differential of 0.0 rpg while the Jazz are losing the battle of boards at -2.8 rpg.
This game is a match up of 2 of the best PG’s in the league with Tony Parker (16.3 ppg) against Deron Williams (22.3 ppg). Williams may have to have a better game since Parker has a better supporting cast.
The Jazz have had trouble on the boards this season and they have to keep Tim Duncan and company from dominating the glass, especially on the offensive end.
Mehmet Okur is banged up, but he should play in this game. He plays on the perimeter and he will have to bury the J tonight to open up the lane for the Jazz and to pull Duncan out to guard him.
Carlos Boozer (12.8 ppg 9 rpg) has to snap out of his early season slump, as he is only shooting 35% from the floor. If he struggles yet again Both Williams and SG Ronnie Brewer (14.8 ppg) will have to shoot lights out to have any chance to win. However, the Jazz are the 5th worst team in the NBA only averaging 3.8 3-pointers made per game.
Speaking of Duncan, he is averaging a career low 14.7 ppg, but he is averaging 12.7 rpg. If he is allowed free-reign down low tonight the Jazz will be in trouble, as inside D is their weakness.
The Spurs have a great PG who can dish it out in Parker and many scoring options, so the Jazz will have to play a solid game on defense to win this game.
In their last game the Jazz forgot to play D in the 4th quarter giving up 44 points in the 4th quarter. If they play anything like that in this game the Spurs will kill them.
On the injury front C Antonio McDyess is day to day for the Spurs and C Mehmet Okur is day to day for the Jazz.
Jason’s Pick: Hmmmm, the Jazz are struggling and the Spurs are set to make another championship run. Tough call. Even though the game is in Utah they are not playing well and star Carlos Boozer can’t find his shot. Look for the Spurs to dominate this game on both sides of the floor, as they should easily win this game and cover the 1-point spread.