Game On: Jazz @ Pelicans

Published: December 16, 2014

When last the Pelicans played the Jazz, they were a scrappy 5-8 team looking to stay in contact with a .500 record.  Since then, they’ve gone 1-10 and are now cannon fodder for the good teams in the league.

The Pelicans need this game so they can continue to weather a tough stretch of teams through December at .500, setting up a run in January against a soft set of teams.  When you have to face a slate that has Houston, Portland, OKC, San Antonio twice, and Chicago, you need to take your games against the Jazz when you can get them.

And, of course, there’s no word on if Davis will be back for this game, and without him I have no idea if the team’s torrid offense can continue the way it has the past two games in his absence.

Still, there are obvious holes in this Jazz team to attack.  Let’s talk Keys to the Game.

  1. Keep from fouling.  The Jazz have shot poorly all season long, but their offense is league average because the draw a lot of free throws between Hayward, Burks and Favors.  Favors may be out for this game, but if the Pelicans keep the Jazz’s free throws under their average of 24, the Jazz offense should sputter.
  2. Play the Jazz for the drive.  The Jazz are top 8 in the league in both number of drives and FG% off drives.  They are bottom ten in catch and shoot percentages.  Play off the jazz, collapse on their drives, and let them see if they can beat the Pelicans with their poor shooting.
  3. Box out.  The Jazz are an interesting rebounding team.  Per Sports VU, they don’t often get in position to rebound compared to the rest of the league – but if they have a chance at a board, they grab it 61% of the time, which is top five in the league.  If the Pels can just keep them away from the glass, something the Jazz won’t fight, they should win there easily.

Enjoy the game!


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