NBA Predictions: Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz Battle

Author: Mansi


The NBA will see the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz go head-to-head in one of the matches post the restart of the season. It’s a genuine wonder to many as to how the Suns even made it to be a part of the restarted season. This is primarily because of their poor performance over the past two years, and even though they know that they aren’t fighting for the playoffs spots. This is most likely a game for them to play and learn from, more than anything.

The Suns should be proud of how far they’ve come through. They won over 40 games in the last two seasons to make it to this stage of the season, and now they can try their best to make it to the playoffs. They’d need a lot of things to go their way to make it there, but they did build this opportunity for themselves. I think it is fair to say that this game, one of the first in the restart, is akin to a pre-start game. This is given the stakes as well. They will be playing in Orlando. 

Talking about the Utah Jazz, a lot has happened with their team. Their player was the first NBA player to contract the coronavirus, and he thought it would be hilarious to touch the mics and behave irresponsibly before his test results came back. His diagnosis led to the NBA season suspension. A few other players also contracted the coronavirus, but they should all be back in form as they were infected months ago. 

The main question is how the locker room feels about Rudy Gobert’s actions. We all know that Donovan Mitchell was not happy with him, and hopefully, it doesn’t reflect in their gameplay. Their squad isn’t complete this time - their scorer Bojan Bogdanovic, who has the second-highest number of baskets in the team, will not be playing. 

Even the Utah Jazz doesn’t have the talent to be real contenders for the playoff spot with or without Bogdanovic. Now that he’s out, the burden falls squarely on Mitchell’s shoulders. They could do with a few new players on the playing team, including veteran Joe Ingles and Mike Conley, they have a shot at making it to the second round. With so much in limbo for the Jazzes, it is difficult to pick them as the clear winners. 

The locker room drama and genuine discord between teammates may be more brutal than anything. Basketball is, after all, a team sport. And if there is a loss of trust between players, things can get ugly on the court. Rudy Gobert, in a press conference, stated that he and Mitchell have buried the hatchet, but we can only wait and see if that translates onto the court.  

Let us look at both the team’s stats. The Utah Jazz won five of their last six games. Their game total average is 111 points, with 47.5% successful shots taken, and they have allowed an average of 107.9 points per game with 45.2% shooting. Their star player, Donovan Mitchell, has averaged 24.2 points every game and has contributed to 4.2 assists. 

Bogdanovic was just behind him at 20.2 points and 4.1 rebounds. They also have Jordan Clarkson on scoring, and Rudy Gobert has been decent with rebounds. Over 75% of the shots of the Jazzes have come from the free-throw line, and the remaining from behind the arc.  

It doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone when I say that, on paper, the Utah Jazz is the more talented and powerful team. They were able to thrash the Suns the last time the two played against each other. However, the Suns are really just here to play. They don’t have to worry about injuries or maintaining their roster’s depth to reach the playoffs. 

They’re likely to play just to give it their best shot, and their stakes are mostly pride-related. The Jazzes find their offense dwindling at half court, and have, in many games, gone minutes without scoring at all. Now that they don’t have Mitchell’s right-hand man, things can only get worse.

The Suns have several issues because they aren’t in the same league as most of these teams in the NBA bubble. But, they are an aggressive team that can do significant damage. They’re a relatively young squad too so that actually helps them in this case. An empty court shouldn’t rattle them as much as it would the Jazzes, as many of the players have come from smaller leagues. I’d pick the Suns to win this one with a narrow margin.


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