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What to watch for: Utah Jazz vs Detroit Pistons

The Utah Jazz will take on the Detroit Pistons in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 2, 2021
Jordan Clarkson (00) shoots over Svi Mykhailiuk (19) in a Jazz vs Pistons game.

Jordan Clarkson (00) shoots over Svi Mykhailiuk (19) in a Jazz vs Pistons game.

The Utah Jazz had another strong performance on Sunday, but ultimately fell to a Nikola Jokic led Denver Nuggets 128-117. This is only the Jazz’ fifth loss on the season and they remain at the top of the NBA standings. Vivint Smart Home Arena will host the Jazz and the Detroit Pistons in a cross-conference matchup on Tuesday, February 2 at 7pm.

Jazz vs Pistons Throwback:

Utah will be back at home to take on the Pistons for the 102nd time in franchise history. The Jazz lead the all-time series 66-35 and currently hold a nine-game winning streak against the Pistons, dating back to January 25, 2016.

Earlier this season in a game that never saw a Pistons lead, the Jazz used stout defense and sharp shooting to top Detroit 96-86. Donovan Mitchell led the team with 28-points with Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson following closely behind with twenty-two and eighteen respectively.

Key Matchup:

Blake Griffin (23) guards Donovan Mitchell (45) in a matchup between the Jazz and the Pistons

Blake Griffin (23) guards Donovan Mitchell (45) in a matchup between the Jazz and the Pistons

This game should include a fun battle at the forward position. For the Pistons: Blake Griffin and Jerami Grant, and for the Jazz: Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale.

Griffin hasn’t been as dominant on the offensive side of the ball this season but is still a force that you need to keep your eye on throughout the game. In his last five games, Griffin has averaged 11.8 points and 3.4 assists per game.

Grant has been a welcome addition for the Pistons as he is averaging 23.6 points per game and is shooting 40.2% from beyond the arc. Last game against the Jazz, Grant knocked down 28-points but wasn’t able to get the help he needed to stop a surging Utah team.

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Bogdanovic has picked up where he left off in 2020, scorching the nets for a consistent 14.7 points per game with a 39.7% shooting percentage from downtown. Last time out against the Pistons, Bogdanovic had only seven points. Keep an eye out for him to up that number as he takes on the Pistons for a second time.

O’Neale didn’t have a particularly great game offensively against Detroit earlier this season, but his presence on defense was definitely felt. He hauled in eight-rebounds and recorded a steal in the Jazz victory back in January. Look for him to have a big game defensively for the Jazz as he attempts to slow down the hot handed Grant.

Fun Facts:

The Jazz will be wearing their yellow uniforms for the third time this season. Despite a common opinion by many within the fanbase that these uniforms are bad luck, each time the team has worn them this year, they have won. The Jazz beat the Pelicans and Knicks earlier this season to take a 2-0 record when donning the Statement Jerseys.

As of Monday, the Jazz hold the top spot in the Western Conference and in the NBA with a 15-5 record. Detroit hasn’t been as lucky, finding themselves in second-to-last-place in the East with a 5-15 record.

Both the Pistons and Jazz have had recent success leading up to the game. Utah is 11-1 in their last twelve games and Detroit had success against two top-three teams, beating both the Lakers (third in Western Conference) and 76ers (first in Eastern Conference) within the last two weeks.

Detroit’s Delon Wright (University of Utah 2013-2015) and Frank Jackson (Lone Peak High School – Class of 2016) will make their returns to the state as the Pistons take on the Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Mike Conley (10) being guarded by former Lone Peak High School star Frank Jackson (5)

Mike Conley (10) being guarded by former Lone Peak High School star Frank Jackson (5)

How to Consume:

The game between the Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons can be seen locally on AT&T Sportsnet with Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring on the call. Jazz listeners can also tune into David Locke and Ron Boone’s radio broadcast on 97.5 FM The Zone.