Game On: Hornets @ Jazz
This is practically a must-win for the Jazz if they want to win the eight seed out West. Meanwhile, the Hornets are looking to get their first road win since the All-Star break tonight. A couple things to watch for tonight include the newer, more aggressive Eric Gordon, Monty’s trapping defense, Darius Miller and Brian Roberts playing for a spot next year, and of course, Anthony Davis performance after a poor game on Wednesday. And if you are still rooting for wins at this point of the season, here is what the Hornets will have to do.
Keys to Victory
1. Crash the Offensive Glass
Despite the fact that they have four quality bigs, the Jazz don’t rebound very well on the defensive end. Meanwhile, over the past month the Hornets are the best offensive rebounding team in the league. The Hornets need to crash the boards and convert in order to walk out of Salt Lake City with a win tonight.
2. Don’t Leave Randy Foye
It was no coincidence that the Jazz worst stretch of the season, in which they lost 12 of 15, coincided with Randy Foye’s streak of cold shooting. The Jazz are 22-4 in games where they make six or more three’s in a game and their only real spot up threat is Foye, who has hit over 60% of his three’s in his last seven games, including an 8-9 game against Brooklyn last week. They are a below average team without Foye, but are a dangerous team when he is hitting from deep.
3. Get to the Free Throw Line
Utah’s bigs, particularly Derrick Favors, will foul you and will foul you often if you take it right to them in the paint, so the Hornets can not settle for jumpers all night. Gordon, Vasquez, and Roberts have to attack the paint while Davis, Anderson, and Smith have to go up strong on any opportunities they get created for them around the rim. Getting into the penalty early in quarters and taking advantage will be huge for the Hornets if they want to keep this game close going into the 4th.