Two of the teams from the Western Conference which started their season the best possible way will face off against each other tonight at Vivint Smart House Arena, the home of the Jazz.
The home side, Utah Jazz are coming into this match after a win in a high scoring match against Sacramento Kings (117:123), who they managed to defeat just a week prior in the preseason (93:132). Looking at how the match went, Utah Jazz started the 1st quarter slow, which resulted in them being 4 points behind by the end of the 1st quarter. Jazz, however, bounced back big time in the 2nd quarter, where they outscored Kings by 17 points, keeping them at a low 39.1% FG, at the same time they kept a 50%FG themselves. That meant the teams went into the 2nd half 13 points apart (55:68). The 3rd quarter was once again in Sacramento’s favor, who managed to avoid Utah Jazz defense and shot 61.9% from the field, reducing the deficit to only 6 points by the end of the quarter. With 6 points separating the teams at the start of the last quarter, Sacramento pushed to close the gap, but they failed to do so, although they were at 4 point deficit in the first few minutes of the 4th quarter. The match ended with 117:123, with Utah Jazz winning their first match of the season. We are quite impressed by Utah performances in preseason and the 1st match of the season. At this point we must point out the great performances from Rudy Gobert, the defensive player of the year, who besides being a monster in defense improved his offensive game, thus making him a complete package.
The visiting team, Golden State Warriors are travelling to Utah in hopes to extend their winning streak to 2 games in a row, after defeating Oklahoma City Thunder (108:100) in their last fixture. Looking at the match against Oklahoma, Golden State disappointed with their performance. The 1st half was in Golden State Warriors favor, as they ended it with 10 points ahead of the visiting team, however, we saw Oklahoma stepping up in the 3rd quarter, reducing the gap to only 4 points. At one point in the 3rd quarter, they even lead by 3 which means Golden State gave up 13 points! The last quarter was close, up until the last few minutes, when Warriors scored some nice baskets, which ultimately gave them the win. Golden State is stepping into this season in hopes to repeat last season’s success and even further strengthen their team. They did so by signing DeMarcus Cousins, which can potentially give them an “All-Star starting 5”. However, Cousins is injured and will not play. Additionally, there are rumors about issues Golden State is experiencing in their locker rooms, due to speculations of Kevin Durant moving to LA next season where he will play alongside LeBron James.
Utah is known to be a place where it’s tough to win matches. If you are the visiting team that is. However, that does not come into account as much in the early season as it does later into the season. Despite that, Utah looked very good in their recent games. Looking at all the matches they played, they are undefeated for 6 games straight, which should give them a boost of confidence when facing last years champions. With Rudy Gobert in excellent form and DeMarcus Cousins sidelined at the visiting team, we feel like Utah has a really good chance to win this one and go 2-0 in 2018/19 season.
Prediction: Utah Jazz to win
Odds: 2.25 Pinnacle