What if we told you the Jazz were one of the hottest teams in the entire NBA? They've been killing it lately & tonight they face another winnable game at home against the Pistons.
The Jazz find themselves favored by 7.5 points NBA odds at home, where they've won six of their previous seven games.
With how good Utah has been defensively, should we be all that surprised to see a total of 185 on the board? Not really: the Jazz are surrendering just 95.7 points per game this season.
It wasn't all that long ago that the Jazz were 14-28. Now they're 28-36, having gone 14-8 over their last 22 games and, more impressively, 10-3 over their last 13 games. They will enter Saturday night's game having won four consecutive contests, with those wins coming over the 76ers, Nets, Knicks and Rockets.
Utah has also been protecting its home court very well, having beaten the likes of the Rockets, Spurs, Trail Blazers and Bucks in recent weeks. And, how have the Jazz been able to have so much success lately? It's primarily been because of their dominant defense, which has risen to number two in the league in scoring defense. That's quite an impressive feat for a team that's still eight games under .500.
Shipping Enes Kanter out of town and giving Rudy Gobert the starting gig in the frontcourt has helped tremendously, as Gobert has quickly become one of the most dominant rim protectors out there. He's been a menace on the glass and has influenced a lot of shots already in his short time as the starter. When you also consider how young the likes of Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are, it's hard not to get optimistic about the future for Utah. Let's see if they can keep it going tonight.
The addition of Reggie Jackson hasn't exactly panned out as the Pistons would have liked, and they have hit a disastrous skid which has seen them kill any slim hopes they had of making the playoffs. Following a loss in Portland last night, Detroit has now lost nine consecutive games, with three of thoses coming at home. Included in there are horrible losses to two of the worst teams in the league in the Knicks and Lakers too, so it really has been rough for the Pistons.
Last night Detroit just couldn't get it done on either end of the court. Andre Drummond had another big double-double with 16 points and 17 rebounds, and Jackson threw up 11 points and 10 assists in one of his better games as a Piston, but as a whole Stan Van Gundy's team was a mess, especially defensively, as they allowed the Trail Blazers to shoot 57.5 percent from the field.
At 23-41 overall, the Pistons are going to need some kind of miracle to make the playoffs, even in a weaker Eastern Conference. Stranger things have happened, but it's hard to get excited about Detroit whatsoever right now. It's been a mess.
If we were breaking down this game over a month ago, there would be no way we'd have enough faith in Utah to cover this kind of number, even at home against a struggling team like Detroit.
But, things have turned around in the best way possible for the Jazz, and their dominance on defense has been something to behold. That tandem of Gobert and Favors is gelling and looks like one of the best young frontcourts in the league.
Assuming Hayward is healthy enough to go, Utah should be able to outlast what should be a tired Detroit squad this evening. The Pistons have been a mess lately and will be playing the tailend of a back-to-back set and their third in game in four nights. Add Jazz to your NBA picks tonight.
Free NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -7.5 at The Greek