The Jazz head to Chicago to face the Bulls on Monday in an interesting matchup. Even though Coby White has struggled with his demotion to the bench, his battle with Utah 6th man Jordan Clarkson should be a fun one; each guy can heat up pretty quickly and should be able to provide relief to the starters out there.
The Jazz enter action with a 30-11 record, atop the West. The injury to LeBron James all but takes LA out of the running for top seed, leaving it as a two-team race between the Clippers and Jazz. Home-court only matters in basketball if the series goes the distance. Having a chance to play a possible game seven on your home floor is everything in the playoffs and something you usually hope for.
The Bulls come in off a win against Detroit on Sunday night. Zach LaVine has been a little off his game of late, Chicago picking up their wins with a more balanced scoring attack. With Thad Young and Tomas Satoransky in the starting lineup ahead of Wendell Carter and Coby, they get more ball movement. Patrick Williams is continuing to show flashes and proving that he was worth using the #4 pick on.
ODDS: The spread for Monday is set at UTAH -9. The over/under is 231.5 points.
Jazz Seek Win #31
Currently sitting at 30 wins, one more, and Utah will get their thirty-first of the year. That is the number worn by one of their top back-ups forwards, Georges Niang. He has improved his game this year, proving capable of carrying a slightly larger role than last year. They can count on him to be a floor spacer that can knock the three down when he’s open.
The team lost the PJ Tucker sweepstakes to Milwaukee, but they did recently pick up former Buck Ersan Ilyasova, who is still yet to debut. Suddenly, Joe Ingles is one of the hottest players in the league. He has a 66% true shooting percentage, which would be the best in NBA history for a single year if the season were to end tomorrow.
Mitchell and Gobert will look to lead the team to another win.
Bulls Seeking an Upset Win
Not many folks outside of Chicago are going to peg the Bulls as winners in their Utah matchup. But they know that it is not impossible for them to get it done. Anything can happen when you’re on the home floor, regardless of if fans show up to the arena. They are a team that feeds off momentum, and if they can create some early and run with it, they’ll have a shot.
The starting lineup is a bit smaller, with Thad at the center spot, but Markkanen has proven himself a capable shot blocker since returning to the lineup. Injuries have played a part in the team’s season, but they have been able to put up some nice wins. Otto Porter’s recent hot stretch also makes him a more attractive trade chip.
Jazz Win in Chicago
Sorry Bulls, but this is a big loss for you. Just regroup and be on to the next.
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OVER/UNDER: UNDER 231.5
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