The NBA decided to squeeze in the back-to-back for the Jazz who play the Lakers on Saturday afternoon, but had to give them at least 24 hours before playing again, thus the odd Friday afternoon tip time.
Speaking of odd, the Jazz continue to lead the talented Western Conference at 41-14, still a game ahead of the surging Suns, but you would hardly know it from the national NBA narratives. CLIPPERS! LAKERS! SUNS! NUGGETS (well, until Jamal Murray went down)! Not hard to find a case for all of those teams to make a playoff run to the Finals out of the West. Few, if any outside of SLC, seem to believe in the Jazz. They’re just a great team without enough superstar names,
The Jazz story continues to give hope to the Pacers that keeping the band together after a frustrating, injury-ravaged season is not the worst course to take. Of course, one big difference is the new coach variable for the Pacers, but still the blueprint for the run it back approach is playing out in Utah this year, which will make for intriguing post-season viewing for Pacers fans and front office folks, alike.
The Jazz eased their way past the Pacers in the second half of the first meeting in February, winning 103-95. Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson seemingly took turn getting buckets when needed as the Jazz closed out the win. The Pacers now have Caris LeVert in the rotation, along with Edmond Sumner, so they will be able to throw a different look at the Jazz this time around.
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
When: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Indiana
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, Edmond Sumner, Justin Holiday, Domantas Sabonis
Jazz: Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale, Rudy Gobert
IND: Doug McDermott (ankle) - questionable, Myles Turner (ankle) - questionable, T.J. Warren (foot) - out
UTH: Jordan Clarkson (ankle) - probable, Derrick Favors (sore kneed) - doubtful, Udoka Azubuike (ankle) - out
Enemy view: SLC Dunk
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.