Opponent Scouting: Utah Jazz (23-21)
Tonight at 9:00pm EST the Pistons will be in Utah to play against the Jazz. The Pistons are on one day of rest following a victory over the Clippers in LA and the Jazz are also on one day of rest following a victory over the Bulls.
The Jazz enter the night with the 20th ranked offense and 5th ranked defense in the NBA. They have won their last 3 over weak competition, but then again the Pistons are fairly weak competition too.
The Jazz are largely the same as the last time the Pistons met them. Donovan Mitchell has started to show signs of life over the past week after a rough start to the season, Rudy Gobert is huge, they have a bunch of good defenders.
This is a excellent defensive team that scratches out points on the other end.
Matchups to watch:
Ish Smith’s return: Said it before but, Smith’s return gives some real hope for the Pistons. Since Bruce Brown was made a starter the Pistons starting lineup has been very good, but the bench has been terrible. Smith-led bench crews have consistently been good. If Ish can stabilize the bench then the Pistons could, hypothetically, start cooking with gas.
Blake Griffin vs A letdown: Coming off of the high of a great revenge game against the Clippers, its important for Blake to still have something in the tank for this one.
Pistons vs. Urgency: The irony of all of it is that the Pistons are just a half-game back in the playoffs. If they can start to win some games things will be looking up in no time.
Pistons offense vs. Finding Andre: They’ve started to go away from Drummond as a creator lately, a good thing, but other than last time out they have not successfully found him and made use of him in any other ways. They need to do that.
So in conclusion…
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
The Clippers game only added fuel to Blake Griffin’s fire.
The bench is suddenly good again.
The starting lineup is still good.
Run for the hills if:
Donovan Mitchell starts hitting shots.
Drummond doesn’t have an assisted bucket by the end of the first half.
Blake looks tired/spent.
Opportunities for me to look stupid: