NBA Picks and Game Predictions: Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Author: Mansi


This will be one of the most exciting encounters of this week. The match between Utah Jazz and Orleans Pelicans is one of the most awaited events as per many NBA fans. Many star players have already made their way back to practice after clearing the quarantine restrictions. 

Expected changes-

Zion Williamson, one of the star players for New Orleans, is set to return and is back to practice after clearing all the quarantine restrictions. It will be a challenge for him and the whole squad if he could make his way for this encounter. As this will be the first match after the long break due to coronavirus, it will be tough for all the players and team management. 

Utah Jazz would be keen on finding more chemistry in the squad. Star forward Bojan Bogdanovic is set to return after his successful wrist surgery. He could be one who could change the fortunes of Utah with the second-best shooting percentage in the whole league. In the previous fixture, it had been marked that the Jazz team was pushing more on Joe Ingles and Mike Conley. The combination play between Bojan, Joe, and Mike would be essential for the Jazz as they would look to be more aggressive and would look to score more points in the course of the game. 

Goals of the teams

The New Orleans team is already in Orlando and is set to begin with their post-match formalities. The team would look to train more and would like to ensure their playoff spot within the next 8-9 matches. 

According to the post-match presentation, it can be predicted that the team is not going to make any new changes to the squad even if some players have already returned from their injury and have also cleared the quarantine restrictions. The team would look to make some changes in the formation, and would seem to play more in the defensive half and would like to attack with the steel balls as much as possible. 

Williamson can return to the starting line up for New Orleans as he averaged 23.6 points and had a handy conversion for 6.8 rebounds in 19 games which is a remarkable statistic. It would be a tough decision, and a close call for the team as Williamson returns from knee surgery. The club would like to focus on more combination play between Williamson and Brandon Ingram. 

On the other side, Utah would enter bubble play in the number 4 spot in the west. They are a side who would be more confident about this encounter and would be looking to find that chemistry that has been lacking in the last few meetings. 

Top Predictions

The Jazz would be more confident about this game because of their in-form players. The team would be looking to dominate the gaps and would also seem to play more aggressively to score more points. The squad for the team is injury-free with a functional rotation capacity. The team management would ensure proper training for the players to reach the playoffs as soon as possible. They might adopt the gap play strategy as the Pelicans miss one of their stars forwards for this encounter. The only concern for them would be the back defense. 

What must the teams take care of?

They need to ensure that the gaps in the defensive yard are adequately maintained, and they could easily play on the statics of steel ball and, if required, can also play rebound ball. With a win percentage of more than 60% and a bet of 125 official fan votes, the Jazz would be a significant challenge for the Pelicans. The form of the Pelicans is also perfect, and the fans would be hoping for the return of their star rookie as soon as possible. The Pelicans would more likely play with a defensive strategy, and possibly look to gain as many counter-attacks as possible and score more. 

The forward line of attack has been a concern for the Pelicans, and the Jazz would surely take advantage of this weak point. In the last three matches of both this team, the Jazz could beat the pelican two times and be also able to score 128 points minimum in each encounter. The pelicans are in search of their second playoff spot from the last five seasons, but without their star forward, it will be difficult for them to beat the Jazz. 

Prediction: Utah Jazz


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