NBA Game Preview: Utah @ Brooklyn
Losers of six of eight in December, the Brooklyn Nets (13-10) look to get back on track as they host the Utah Jazz (13-12) tonight at the Barclays Center. Good news for Jazz fans- the Nets have defeated the Jazz just once in the last four years. Utah may be a poor road team, but Brooklyn is just 1-4 this month on the road. Could the timing be right for another Utah road victory?
AccuScore has Brooklyn as 66.4 percent favorites. After 10,000 simulations, the average score 102-97. The home team has a 34.8 percent chance at getting a big win (10 points or more). The spread was set at -5 for Brooklyn and they have a 50.8 percent chance at covering that. The total is set 194 and there is a 58.7 percent chance of going over that.
Utah is coming off a 99-86 loss to Memphis. Al Jefferson led the way with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Paul Millsap added just 12 points in the loss. Utah was up 54-44 at halftime, but got outscored 28-10 in the third quarter. Memphis also outscored Utah 50-38 in the paint. Al Jefferson has been averaging just 15.1 ppg on the road, while putting up 20.7 ppg at home.
The Nets are coming off a tough 83-82 loss to the Chicago Bulls. They beat Detroit in a double overtime game the night before that. Against Chicago, the Nets shot 38.7 percent and committed 18 turnovers. Brook Lopez had 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks against Chicago.
The last time these two teams met (March), the Nets lost 105-84 to the Jazz in New Jersey. Deron Williams had 17 points and 11 assists against his former team.
On the road, Utah gives up 103 points to the opposition. Add this to the projection that Utah will turn the ball over 3 more times than Brooklyn and you’ve got a recipe for a let-down. Brooklyn is also expected to grab a couple more offensive rebounds than Utah which just leads to extra possessions. Looking at the projected stats, I’d be worried that Joe Johnson has a huge game. He’s projected to shoot the ball 18 times, including 5 threes. Utah has to be careful that he doesn’t get it going early; he had 16 against the Bulls, but 28 against Detroit and 23 against Toronto.
The Nets have lost six of the past seven games vs the Jazz. In those matchups, Utah has averaged 104.6 ppg on 49.4 percent shooting. A wise man once said, “only a fool, on opinion, discounts repeated history.” Brooklyn hasn’t been playing well at home and I think they’re desperate for a win. Just like taking Utah at home is the safe bet, picking against them on the road is too. Maybe I’m just a fool, but I’ll take the Nets by 6.
All data provided by AccuScore