Mavs at Jazz GameDay Preview: 'Cool' vs. 'Hot'
We're biased - although jersey sales and All-Star voting seems to back us - when we say the Dallas Mavericks are among the "coolest'' teams in the NBA. And the Utah Jazz? Not much argument about their "hotness.''
Game Time: 4 p.m. CT
Location: Vivant Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City
TV/Radio: FOX Sports Southwest, ESPN, 103.3 FM, Univision, 1270 AM (Spanish)
Records: Mavericks (28-16) at Jazz (31-13)
It's a matinee in Salt Lake City as Dallas meets Utah for the first time this season and for the only trip to "The Bad City of Utah.'' And in addition to being high-quality in general - the Jazz are now the No. 2 team in the West - they've have won 18 of their last 20 games.
And one more problem in Utah, though Dallas counters this as best it can by the numbers: Utah is 17-3 at home, the best such record in the West. They do it with a fairly loaded lineup of Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell in the backcourt, with Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanovic (a dangerous scorer) and the multi-talented Rudy Gobert upfront.
Dallas' counter, of course, is what it accomplishes on the road, where the Mavs are 15-5 - and have won three straight. Triple-double All-Star Luka Doncic will lead the way, assisted by a hopefully healthy Kristaps Porzingis and a rotation in a bit of a flux as coach Rick Carlisle waits on the arrival of new center Willie Cauley-Stein, a trade pickup made in the wake of the Dwight Powell injury.
The Mavs continue to work to give help to Luka, whether it's in the form of player acquisition or in-game strategies.
"He attracts a lot of attention all the time," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "But I love the way he handles it. He's interested in his teammates. He's interested in winning.''