Utah Jazz vs Dallas Mavericks Preview

Utah Jazz vs Dallas Mavericks Preview

by Alma Bean

Feature Image: Photo by Sue Ogrocki of AP Photo.

The Utah Jazz (31-34) looks to get over their three-game losing streak against the revamped Dallas Mavericks (33-32).

What to Look For

With how close the Western Conference is for the playoff hunt, 3.5 games separate the fifth seed and the thirteenth seed, every game is critical. This will be the final matchup between these teams as Dallas has the upper hand leading 2-1. This will be the first time that Utah will face Dallas with Kyrie Irving on their roster. Since joining Dallas, Irving has averaged 27 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 6.8 APG, and 1.1 SPG. This will also be the first time that Utah will face off against Luka Doncic since their first meeting on November 2, where he dropped 33/5/11 in the 103-100 win.

Utah will most likely utilize some secret weapons off their bench like Johnny Juzang and Micah Potter who are both on two-way contracts for Utah. Juzang has been utilized the last three games with Sunday night’s game hitting his career high with 11 points. If Potter plays this would be his fourth game this season, his first since December 20, where his only stat was a single assist against the Detroit Pistons. With the personnel that is out for this game, this should be an uphill battle from the start for Utah.

Key of the Game

Allow your guards to develop plays rather than forcing. With three of the five starters out for Utah this game, it will be crucial to run plays that will potentially take up the whole shot clock. Having a starting lineup that will potentially have Ochai Agbaji, Udoka Azubuike, Talen Horton-Tucker, Lauri Markkanen, and Kelly Olynyk, methodical plays will prove to be beneficial. Markkanen will be able to create but when he gets stuck in the paint, he will need someone to step up to give Utah a plan B. I expect that plan B to come off the bench in Kris Dunn bringing not only a scoring mentality but being able to be the much-needed fire off the bench.

Injury Report

Dallas- Maxi Kleber: Questionable (hamstring), JaVale McGee: Doubtful (ankle)

Utah- Jordan Clarkson: Out (hand), Walker Kessler: Out (non-COVID illness), Collin Sexton: Out (hamstring)

Where to Watch

Tip-off between Dallas and Utah will be at 6:30 p.m. MT on AT&T SportsNet.

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