Featured Video from Scott Steehn
When and where: March 16, 2019, Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT, 9:00 PM ET
The Brooklyn Nets hope to get back on the winning track on Saturday by upsetting the Utah Jazz on the road. After dropping a home game to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Utah Jazz have gone on to win back-to-back games against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns. Meanwhile, the Nets had their four-game win streak snapped by the Thunder.
Nets blow 16-point lead
The Nets really took the game to the Thunder on Wednesday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. They didn’t care about paper statistics or the fact that they were playing one of the best teams in the league. They didn’t even care about the Thunder’s superstar combination of Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
The Nets were simply a young team trying to make a statement win in the final stretch of the season, and for at least two quarters, it looked like they were going to do exactly that. Then Westbrook did what he typically does when his team falls behind and needs saving. He threw on the red cape and netted a game-high 31 points, while also notching a triple-double under his belt in the process.
“I think against a team like this, you’ve got to be close to perfect to beat them on the road here,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said after the game, via ESPN.com. “We weren’t at that level.”
At one point in the second quarter, the Nets led by as many as 16 points before the Thunder rallied for the comeback. It was a disappointing turn of events for a team that was riding a four-game win streak before the game.
Spencer Dinwiddie finished with a team-high 25 points, five rebounds and two assists, while star guard D’Angelo Russell was relatively quiet by his standards with 14 points, four rebounds, seven assists and three steals in the 108-96 loss.
Jazz cruise by the Timberwolves at home
The Timberwolves got Andrew Wiggins back for Thursday night’s game against the Jazz, and it still wasn’t enough to quell the heroics from Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell, along with a breakout performance from rotational forward Jae Crowder.
Center Rudy Gobert was also sensational in the paint against Timberwolves two-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns. The battle between the two big-men was one of the keys to the game considering how great they both have been rebounding the ball.
However, while Towns had a much better game overall, it was Gobert getting the advantage on the glass by snagging a game-high 13 rebounds. The entire Jazz team was plus-16 in rebounds against the Timberwolves. They also shot 49.4 percent from the floor and netted 15 points from 11 forced turnovers.
Mitchell finished the game with a team-high 24 points, three rebounds and six assists, while Crowder dropped 18 points, three rebounds and two assists in the 120-100 victory.
- Jazz are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games against teams with a losing road record
- Jazz are 17-8-2 ATS in their last 27 games playing on 1 days rest
- Over is 7-0 in Jazz last 7 Saturday games
- Over is 7-3 in Jazz last 10 games after an ATS win
- Nets are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games against teams in the NBA Northwest
- Nets are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games
- Nets are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Saturday games
- Nets are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in the previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Nets’ recent four-game win streak didn’t include any playoff-contending teams outside the Detroit Pistons. That isn’t an attempt to minimize their abilities on the floor. They’re a young basketball team, but they are also rapidly improving. Yet, the mere fact that they are so inexperienced makes them hard to trust when going against some of the more talented teams in the NBA.
The Jazz are the sixth-ranked team in the Western Conference standings with an outside shot of climbing as high as the No. 3 spot. Even with a young player like Mitchell as the leader, they are simply the better constructed team right now than the Nets. That could obviously change in a year or two, especially with the Nets’ continued improvements.
However, on Saturday night, Mitchell will aggressively attack the basket all night long against Brooklyn’s struggling defense. Gobert will also be a serious problem in the paint for a Nets team that ranks second behind the Jazz for most rebounds per game. They’re about to meet their match on the boards in this one and give up way too many second-chance shots. Give me the Jazz in this game.
Prediction: Utah Jazz (-8.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is 5-2 in the last seven head-to-head meetings in Utah between the Jazz and Nets. While the Jazz have been relatively stout defensively, the Nets are giving up an average of 111.9 points per game to opponents on the road. The Jazz aren’t known for their offensive prowess this season, but they typically come to life when playing at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. Saturday’s game will be no different. I’d take the over in this game.
Prediction: Over (221)