When and where: January 25, 2020, Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT, 5:00 PM ET
The Utah Jazz will take aim at the top-ranked offensive team in the NBA on Saturday when the Dallas Mavericks head to Salt Lake City for a visit. After falling in an offensive shootout with the New Orleans Pelicans, the Jazz have stormed back with three straight wins over the Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings. Meanwhile, the Mavericks earned a bounce-back win on the road over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Mavericks survive 3-point shootoutIt was raining 3-pointers in the Mavericks’ road trip to Portland.
Dallas and the Trail Blazers combined for 43 made shots from beyond the arc. There weren’t enough umbrellas to go around at the Moda Center to ward off the torrential downpour. But at least the Mavericks emerged victorious.
They’ll try to do the same on Saturday against a Jazz team that ranks No. 1 in the league in 3-point shooting percentage. The clouds will likely be rolling in again in that Western Conference tilt. Dallas is ranked eighth in the league in 3-point shooting percentage, and they’ll have the best player on the floor in Luka Doncic.
The star forward and MVP candidate was selected as a starter for the Western Conference All-Star team in a season where he’s averaging 29.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game. Not even Utah’s eighth-ranked defense has much hope in slowing him down.
The Mavericks haven’t been great defensively, and they are allowing an average 111.2 points per game on the road. Those sorts of struggles could force them into another offensive shootout in Salt Lake City against the rapidly improving Jazz.
Time to take the Jazz seriouslyThe Jazz should no longer be treated like the red-headed stepchild in the Western Conference.
They are constantly proving themselves to be one of the league’s best two-way teams. Jordan Clarkson’s arrival has given them that second wave of offensive efficiency that could essentially take them from pretenders to legitimate contenders.
Granted, their roster still pales in comparison to both of the Los Angeles teams, but it would also be foolish to discount their chances of making some noise in the playoffs. They have won 13 of their last 14 games, including recent lopsided win over the Golden State Warriors. The team shot 53.8 percent from the floor and held the Warriors to 39.8 percent shooting in the 129-96 victory.
But things will get significantly more challenging in Saturday’s run-in with the Mavericks.
The Mavericks are currently ranked No. 1 in the league in offensive efficiency taking on the Jazz’s fifth-ranked scoring defense. Figuring out a way to slow down Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis should have Jazz head coach Quin Snyder tossing and turning in his sleep. If the Jazz fail to hold up on the defensive end of the floor, they’ll have to be ready to hit the offensive safety glass.
Unlike recent seasons, they have the firepower to stand toe-to-toe in a shootout. It helps to have a standout star like Donovan Mitchell leading the way, along with a steadily improving veteran in Bojan Bogdanovic.
The supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Mavericks are 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 games as a road underdog.
- Mavericks are 14-5 ATS in their last 19 road games against a team with a winning home record.
- Mavericks are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 road games against a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Mavericks are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 Saturday games.
- Jazz are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 home games against a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Jazz are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games against a team with a winning road record.