Boston Celtics vs Utah Jazz Preview

Boston Celtics vs Utah Jazz Preview

by Alma Bean

Feature Image: Photo by John Raoux of AP Photo.

The Utah Jazz (33-36) after a four-day break takes on the Boston Celtics (49-22) on the second night of a back-to-back.

What to Look For

Saturday night will be a battle of offenses. Boston is currently fourth in the league in points per game (117.6) and Utah is currently sixth in the league (117.2). What will separate these teams is the number of points that they allow as Boston is seventh in the league in opponent points per game (112.2) while Utah is near the bottom of the league at twenty-second in the league (117.2) allowing as many points as they score. With the one-two punch of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Utah cannot relax on either end of the court with this tandem on the floor.

Though Utah is a turnover-heavy team, with 15.1 per game, this game should be a bit of relief as Boston is in the bottom five in the league forcing their opponents to 12.1 per game. Though turnovers aren’t a focus for Boston doesn’t mean their defense will be lacking. Both teams are averaging over five blocks per game with a positive plus/minus in turnover differential.

Both teams are doing less than stellar as of late with Boston’s last 10 games having a 5-5 record and Utah’s record being 4-6. Boston looks to have the advantage going in with a 20-6 record against the West while Utah is 12-14 against the East. On the second night of a back-to-back for Boston, Utah might have the edge with four straight days of rest going into tonight’s game.

Key of the Game

Force Boston to the rim. Both Utah and Boston are averaging 47.2 percent from the field, but Boston is shooting 37.5 percent from the perimeter. With Boston being in the top 10 in perimeter shooting and being without Robert Williams III, expect to see Utah drive consistently with Kris Dunn and dish many assists in Walker Kessler‘s direction.

Injury Report

Boston- Danillo Gallinari: Out (knee), Al Horford: Out (back), Payton Pritchard: Out (heel), Marcus Smart: Out (hip), Robert Williams III: Out (hamstring)

Utah- Jordan Clarkson: Questionable (hand), Micah Potter: Out (G League), Collin Sexton: Out (hamstring)

Where to Watch

Tip-off between Boston and Utah will be at 7:00 p.m. MT on AT&T SportsNet.

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