Utah Jazz vs Boston Celtics Preview

Utah Jazz vs Boston Celtics Preview

by Alma Bean

Feature Image: Photo by Scott Wachter of USA TODAY Sports.

The Utah Jazz (36-40) takes on the Boston Celtics (53-24) in their final meeting of the season going for the season series sweep.

What to Look For

Boston will be coming home on the back end of a back-to-back. Though Boston came away with a 140-99 win, the team may be the most well-rested team on the second night of a back-to-back. After a career night from Talen Horton-Tucker on Wednesday night with 41 points, expect to see the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Smart, take that stat as a challenge. Smart is currently leading Boston in assists per game (6.4 APG) and steals per game (1.5 SPG). Horton-Tucker has been making the most of his starts as he currently averages 16.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 5.6 APG. The only flaw in his starts is that he is turnover prone averaging 3.7 TOs per game.

Utah will be able to pull a wild card in tonight’s matchup with Luka Samanic, who was signed to a 10-day contract on Tuesday. Samanic was able to get some valuable minutes on Wednesday scoring nine points, nine rebounds, and four assists in 25 minutes. Being 6’10 and being able to spread the floor, Samanic will be able to force Boston whether or not they should apply heavy defensive pressure after spending the majority of this season in the G League.

Utah will be at the disadvantage being on the road as they are currently 14-24 for away games and Boston is 28-9 at home. Doesn’t help that Boston has also won four of their last five games by an average of 33.3 points. For the month of March, Utah’s road record is 3-5. Boston’s home record for the month of March is 4-2.

Key of the Game

Attack the paint. In their previous meeting, Walker Kessler had 12 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks including the game-saving block against Grant Williams in the final seconds of the game. Boston will have the same personnel in the paint as their previous meeting and Kessler should take advantage of his height and size.

Injury Report

Boston- Jaylen Brown: Questionable (back), Danillo Gallinari: Out (knee), Al Horford: Questionable (back), Payton Pritchard: Questionable (heel), Jayson Tatum: Questionable (hip), Robert Williams III: Questionable (knee)

Utah- Jordan Clarkson: Out (hand), Rudy Gay: Out (back), Lauri Markkanen: Out (wrist), Collin Sexton: Out (hamstring)

Where to Watch

Tip-off between Boston and Utah will be at 5:30 p.m. MT on AT&T SportsNet.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: