An exciting Western Conference battle is set to play out on Wednesday as Utah and New Orleans go head-to-head. While the Pelicans have been playing solid ball led by their young, talented scorers, the Jazz have been coming on strong by playing good defense.
The Pelicans are led by Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, with big man Steven Adams doing some solid things to contribute to the team’s recent success. While Lonzo Ball has remained out of the lineup, second-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker has stepped in and played some promising ball.
It’s great to see another young talent, as the team kept the bench rotation pretty tight. More opportunity is perfect.
Meanwhile, Utah has been playing their recent stretch of games without Joe Ingles, who had gone multiple years without missing a single contest. In his place, Georges Niang has come in and played some perfect minutes off the pine, with Yale product Miye Oni logging between 5-12 minutes per game. Their bench mob hasn’t been too shabby, with Jordan Clarkson and Derrick Favors finishing out the four-man unit.
The spread for this one is set at Utah -5.5. The over/under is 218.5 points.
Pelicans Looking for Victory
Coming into Utah and beating the Jazz is never easy, even with little to no fans in attendance. But still, the Pelicans have to get the job done and prove that they can put up strong showings against the best of the West. The matchups are never easy, having to go against the likes of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, but they need the wins.
Williamson is coming off one of his most impressive games as a pro, in which he could just not be stopped, missing only two out of 15 shot attempts. Ingram needs to play a little better, as his production has been slowly tapering off in recent weeks.
This is a contest where Stan Van Gundy will keep his best defensive players on the floor for as long as possible to ensure the best chance at victory.
Jazz Seeking Tenth Win
At 9-4, Utah has got to be happy with how their year has begun. It also helps that Bojan Bogdanovic is slowly starting to return to the form he was in last year when he was averaging better than 20 points per game. He is the guy they needed when Denver rallied from 3-1, and they could have held them off if he could have played.
Mitchell and Mike Conley have done a marvelous job, while Jordan Clarkson gives the team great minutes off the bench. To think that all they had to do was trade two late-round draft picks and Dante Exum to acquire him. It was a great deal for the franchise to get a player that they were missing for so long.