San Antonio Spurs (9-8 8-9 ATS) vs. Utah Jazz (11-8 10-9 ATS) Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT 9 PM EST Monday December 7, 2009
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Spurs +1.5 / Jazz -1.5
Tonight the Utah Jazz host the struggling San Antonio Spurs. About a week ago it looked as if the Spurs had righted their ship after a tough start, but I guess that is not the case, as they have lost 2 in a row and are only 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Jazz are coming off a loss, but they are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
Both the Spurs and the Jazz are in 3rd place in their respective divisions, as the Spurs trail the Dallas Mavericks by 3 games in the Southwest Division and the Jazz trail the Denver Nuggets by 3.5 games in the Northwest Division.
This season the Jazz are 8-3 at home while the Spurs are only 1-4 on the road.
Injuries have hurt both teams this season, but tonight the Spurs this season will have their big 3 of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili for this game while the Jazz may be without Andrei Kirilenko and that may hurt Utah’s defense.
In their last game on Saturday the Spurs lost to the Denver Nuggets 109-99. Tony Parker was the high scorer in the game for the Spurs going for 27 points on 8/14 shooting. For the game the Spurs shot 33/70 from the floor for a FG% of 47.1%. On defense the Spurs allowed the Nuggets to shoot 38/79 for a FG% of 48.1%.
Also on Saturday the Jazz were in action, well action may not be the right word, as they were beat by the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves 108-101. The high scorer for the Jazz in that game was Carlos Boozer going for 21 points and he also grabbed 13 boards. For the game the Jazz shot well going 43/86 for a FG% of 50%. However, on D the Jazz took the night off allowing the T-Wolves 44/77 for a FG% of 57.1%.
The Jazz rank 12th in the league this season in scoring (101.2 ppg) and the Spurs rank 15th (99.9 ppg). On defense the Spurs rank 9th in points allowed (96.6 ppg) and the Jazz rank 14th (97.9 ppg). Both teams are legit on the boards, as the Spurs have a rebounding differential of +3.6 rpg and the Jazz are at +2.2 rpg.
The Jazz are a good defensive team and they are at home tonight so don’t look for them to play bad on D like they did in their last game in the loss to Minnesota.
Jazz shooting guard Ronnie Brewer (11.5 ppg) may have a big scoring game facing Keith Bogans, as he has 2 inches on him and will get open looks for his shot.
Even though the Spurs have not been a good road team this season Tim Duncan has played well averaging 21.5 ppg, 13 rpg, 4.5 assists and 4.0 blocks in his last 2 games. He will shoot the rock well tonight and that will bring out Carlos Boozer out of the lane, which will mean that the Spurs may win the battle of the boards tonight.
On the flip side Boozer (20.9 ppg 11.1 rpg) is much more physical than Duncan and he should have a good game on the offensive end both scoring and rebounding.
The PG match up in this game is a sweet one with Deron Williams (19.1 ppg) facing Tony Parker (17.3 ppg). Look for Williams to get the better of this match up tonight, as he has been playing great with 4 double-doubles (points and assists) in his last 7 games.
Spurs’ C Antonio McDyess is not used to playing defense out of the lane and he will do that tonight against Jazz C Mehmet Okur (13.5 ppg), who can drain the J and take the ball to the hoop. Okur will have a good game and it will allow the Jazz more open space in the lane with McDyess out of there.
On the injury front SF Michael Finley and SG Roger Mason are both day-to-day for the Spurs and SF C.J. Miles, F Andrei Kirilenko, SG Kyle Korver are day-to-day and SF Matt Harpring is Out for the Jazz.
Jason’s Pick: The Jazz will get over their last loss, as they will play solid in this game on both sides of the court. Look for Boozer to have a big game and for the Jazz to win and cover the 1.5-point spread.