The Brooklyn Nets are shorthanded and taking on the Jazz on the second night of a back-to-back in Utah. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- Potential NBA Finals preview as the Brooklyn Nets visit the Utah Jazz
- Utah has cooled since a blistering run to vault to first in the West
- Get the latest Nets vs Jazz odds, betting preview and a pick below
Wednesday’s Brooklyn Nets-Utah Jazz matchup could very well be a preview of the NBA Finals.
But until BK gets healthy, this matchup is more a test of the Nets’ impressive resolve, as they try and compete with the top team in the NBA on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Jazz tuned the Bulls last time out, but they’re trying to regain that blistering form that pushed them to the top of the West. Brooklyn was just in a slugfest in Portland Tuesday night, coming out on top in a 116-112 thriller.
Utah is a healthy 6-point favorite in this one.
Nets vs Jazz Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Brooklyn Nets||+6 (-110)||+205||TBD|
|Utah Jazz||-6 (-110)||-250||TBD|
Odds from Mar 23. Tip off is Wednesday at 10pm
All That Jazz
Always considered a problem of the defensive end, Quinn Snyder’s club has unleashed an offensive juggernaut to match this season. Both were on display in a 125-99 demolition of the Bulls.
With 21 PTS, 10 REB, 9 BLK Monday, Rudy Gobert is the first @utahjazz player to record 9+ blocks in a game since Andrei Kirilenko’s 10 blocks on 03/25/2006. @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/X21oepXs7Y
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) March 23, 2021
Despite winning their second straight, Utah has been treading water at 5-5 in their last 10. This after a dominating run that saw them win 22 times in 25 games to jump to first in the West.
Of course, their next step is to prove it in the playoffs – but the stats show the Jazz have some staying power and a legitimate shot at getting to the NBA Finals.
The @utahjazz beat the @celtics 117-109!
Jazz sweep the season series with the Celtics.
Donovan Mitchell had 21 to lead the Jazz, Jordan Clarkson had 20 points off the bench.#takeNote pic.twitter.com/BKIEdI0GPt
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) March 17, 2021
Utah is third in the league in scoring and they’re doing lots of damage from behind the arc. Utah leads the NBA in 3-point attempts per game at over 42 jacks a night, but they’re hitting at a 39.6% clip, the third best percentage in the league. The Jazz are making a shade under 17 triples a night.
They’re still stout on the other end, holding teams to 108.5 points a game, which ranks fifth-best. They’re also getting work done on the glass, second in both defensive rebounds and total rebounds a night.
“If I could come back again in the NBA I want to be Jordan Clarkson.” @DwyaneWade loves Clarkson’s game. pic.twitter.com/CgrNTEPCO7
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 17, 2021
Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are the star tandem, but they’re getting major contributions across the roster. That includes a major bounce-back year for veteran all-star Mike Conley, and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jordan Clarkson, who’s an ultimate green light, putting up 17.5 points a game.
Stellar Finish in Portland
It wasn’t exactly the sharp start Brooklyn was looking for. They tied a season-high by surrendering 41 points to the Trail Blazers after a quarter of play. But they clamped down after that, limiting the Blazers to 25, 25 and 21 across the next three quarters.
James Harden: 99 OVR throw accuracy
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) March 24, 2021
Offensively, James Harden didn’t go supernova, but he was keeping everyone well fed and was the difference maker in this one.
The only star available to BK during this three-game trip, Harden had 25 points, seven rebounds and 17 assists. Veteran Jeff Green chipped in with 20 points, Joe Harris added 17, and young big man Nicolas Claxton was impressive with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Jeff Green is simply too good at basketball pic.twitter.com/T411y1oOwC
— Talkin’ Nets (@TalkinNets) March 24, 2021
With the win, Brooklyn has now rattled off nine straight road wins against Western Conference opposition. They’ve also won 16 of their last 18, matching wins with the East-leading 76ers, and just percentage points out of top spot at 30-14.
What’s the Best Bet?
The Nets have proven they can still compete with their lone star, and they’ve gone 3-1 in the second half of their last four back-to-back sets, and 4-4 in such scenarios all year.
While the Jazz are strong defensively, they’re in the bottom half in paint points allowed (24th) and fast break points allowed (20th), and the Nets just dropped 64 paint points and 24 fastbreak points on Portland.
And yet, the lack of Brooklyn star power makes a difference in this one, enough for me to side with the more rested home team – who happen to catch the Nets at just the right time.
The pick: Jazz -6 (-110)
Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgeable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric’s work has appeared in local and national publications alike.