Nets begin crucial week with vist from Utah Jazz: Gameday

Nets Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz guard Jared Butler shoots the ball past Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas n the fourth quarter at Vivint Arena.
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Jazz (44-26) vs. Brooklyn Nets (37-34)
Monday, March 21 @ Barclays Center

How to Watch/Listen:

7:30 p.m. ET on YES Network, NBA TV and WFAN 101.9 FM / 660 AM.

Matchup:

The Nets will host one of the Western Conference’s best teams in Brooklyn on Monday with the Utah Jazz in town. The Nets are coming off a win on Friday, but it was far from a perfect performance and head coach Steve Nash is expecting a better effort out of his guys on  Monday.

Brooklyn is in the home stretch of the season and can seldom afford to hand any games away like they nearly did in their victory against Portland. The Nets currently hold eighth place in the East and are well aware of the implications their final 11 games have on the postseason.

“Yeah, we got 11 games left, and we definitely are in position to win every game over this last stretch,” Nic Claxton said on Sunday after practice. “So we just gotta stick with it, just keep getting better, keep growing and get ready for the playoff or play-in push, whatever it may be.”

For now, the Nets are looking at a push towards the play-in round, but that isn’t set in stone. However, Monday starts a stretch of games that will see them face some of the top teams in the East and West,  which begins with the Jazz.

Brooklyn hasn’t seen Utah since Feb. 4 when they lost 125-102 at Vivint Arena. Cam Thomas had a 30 point night in that game while the Nets marched on without Kevin Durant, but that won’t be the case this time around.

“We do know that they’re an elite, elite offensive team and that with Rudy Gobert they’re always going to be able to defend as well,” Nets coach Steve Nash said about the Jazz. “So that’s why they have sustained such good play for many years now and again talk about a group that’s been together four, five, six years. You know they know they know their playbook both ends of the floor extremely well and can execute, very well-coached. So it’s good like playoff team for us to play against that’s very dialed in and will test us.”

The Jazz are coming off a win over the New York  Knicks on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, where Donovan Mitchell scored 36 points for Utah. The Jazz have won three straight games entering Monday’s game at Barclays Center and each win has come by 15 or more points.

Mitchell has been Utah’s leading scorer this season with 25.9 points per game and has been their best assists man with 5.5 per game. Rudy Gobert’s 14.7 rebounds per game leads the Jazz as well.

Nets’ Playoff Push:

The Nets’ win on Friday helped them remain within striking distance of the seventh seed Toronto Raptors and sixth seed Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nets still trail the Raptors by three games and the Cavs by four games heading into Monday’s contest with the Jazz. The Charlotte Hornets, who are in ninth in the conference are a game behind the Nets. Toronto, Charlotte and Cleveland are in action on Monday.

Nets Notables

Kevin Durant enters Monday’s game vs. Utah with 25,176 points, just 17 points shy of moving past Jerry West (25,192 points) into 22nd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He has already moved past Allen Iverson, Ray Allen and Patrick Ewing this season. … Since Durant returned from a 21-game absence (1/17 – 3/1 – left MCL sprain), Brooklyn leads the league in offensive rating (125.1), FG % (.533) and 3FG % (.421), ranks fourth in ppg (123.4) and apg (28.4) and fifth in net rating (9.8) – across eight games played (3/3 – 3/18). … The Nets have used a league-high and single-season franchise record 39 different starting fives, with a single-season-franchise-record-tying 19 Nets drawing at least one start. Brooklyn set records for the number of starting fives (38) and players to draw a start (19) last season.

Injury Report

Nets: Goran Dragic ((left knee soreness) is questionable. LaMarcus Aldridge (right hip impingement), David Duke Jr. (G League – two-way), Joe Harris (left ankle surgery), Kyrie Irving (ineligible to play), Day’Ron Sharpe (G League assignment) and Ben Simmons (return to competition reconditioning/back soreness) are out.

Mavericks: Not Submitted

Jazz vs. Nets Odds, Lines, More

  • Spread: Jazz -1
  • Nets Moneyline: -108
  • Jazz Moneyline: -108
  • First Basket: Kevin Durant +380
  • O/U: 230.5
Fanduel Sportsbook
States: NY, LA, AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV
New Player Bonus
$150 Instant Bonus
Guaranteed

News from Around NYC