by Harry Porter | The Jazz got a dominant performance out of their starting five as they defeated an injury-hampered Memphis Grizzlies team. I believe Quin Synder and the front office will be looking at tomorrow as an evaluation game for their bench and reserve players. The Spurs are looking to snap a two-game losing streak after winning their first two seeding games. Per the Utah Jazz, Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Royce O’Neale, Nigel Williams-Goss, Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert will not be playing tomorrow. I’m having a hard time believing that a short-handed Jazz squad has a chance of beating a win hungry Spurs team. I think there will be a few players who will see some extended run on the court to evaluate their potential for the playoffs.
Jazz Note #1: Tony Bradley needs to be aggressive on offense
Tony Bradley has emerged a reliable backup for Rudy Gobert. Playing behind a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and current All-Star means playing breather minutes. In just under 13 minutes per game, Bradley is averaging 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds every night. Look for Bradley to see an extended run and be more aggressive around the rim.
Jazz Note #2: Georges Niang needs to prove he can be a reliable stretch four
Georges Niang has struggled from beyond the arc during the Jazz’s seeding games and he will have an opportunity to get in a rhythm in Utah’s game tomorrow. Niang has connected on 38% of his threes during his four-year career in the NBA. He will look to establish a rhythm early on and start connecting from long range at a higher rate.
Jazz Note #3: Emmanuel Mudiay needs to show why he was a top-ten pick
People forget Emmanuel Mudiay was the 7th overall pick in a star-studded 2015 draft. Devin Booker, Myles Turner, Justise Winslow and Montrezl Harrell were all drafted behind Mudiay. The Jazz even signed Royce O’Neale as an undrafted free agent after the 2015 draft. Mudiay is averaging a career-worst 7.1 points per game this season. Mudiay will look to play more of a lead guard role in the absence of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley.
Overall, I think the Jazz will come out with energy and a prove-it mentality. Whether the game remains competitive will depend on Bradley, Niang, and Mudiay stepping up their contribution with extended minutes.
My prediction: the Jazz will end up falling 107-92 to the San Antonio Spurs.
The game will be broadcast Friday at 11:00 AM MST on NBA League Pass, AT&T SportsNet, or other streaming options.
Featured image via lineups.com.