Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans Preview

by Alma Bean

Lauri Markkanen dunking Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert. Photo by Abbie Parr

The Utah Jazz travel to New Orleans to face the Pelicans on Sunday.

Both teams go into Sunday’s matchup undefeated after their first two games. These teams also lead the western conference in PPG* and are in the top three in point differential.

Buzz Around the Pelicans

New Orleans played the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday and took advantage of the Hornets that were missing LaMelo Ball and Cody Martin. Brandon Ingram played like something was on the line flirting with a triple-double (27/9/7.) CJ McCollum made his presence known by scoring 21 points.

Brandon Ingram (14) posted up Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) during Friday’s game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Charlotte Hornets. Photo by Jacob Kupferman of Getty Images

The player that made a huge impact for New Orleans in their previous game is Jonas Valanciunas. Charlotte allowed Valanciunas to make nearly every shot he took. Valanciunas shot 8-11 from the field and 13-14 from the free-throw line.

While Valanciunas is efficient from the free-throw line, Utah continues to struggle. Utah over the last two games has averaged 71.2 % from the line with three players averaging 50% or less from the line. Along with free throws, Utah will need to watch overall field goals and rebounds. New Orleans is currently outrebounding Utah by 8.5 rebounds per game. New Orleans is not only taking fewer shots than Utah but, making more shots than them.

Jazz Returning to New Orleans

Utah has been going against the Pelicans since 2002 when they were known as the New Orleans Hornets. According to landofbasketball.com, Utah’s overall record against New Orleans is 43-26. Those numbers should be promising for fans in Utah but, New Orleans’ hot start should have fans on the edge of their seats till the final buzzer rings.

Utah will look to beat Vega’s odds as the overall underdog by -7.5 points on the road. Utah will face New Orleans on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 5:00 MST on AT&T SportsNet.

*PPG- Points Per Game

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