On Monday night, the Nets snapped a 23 game road losing streak against the Clippers, now they’re looking to actually start a road Western Conference winning streak. To do so, they’ll have to be a formidable opponent the Utah Jazz. Last week the Jazz took care of the East’s so called “elite” beating the Heat, Magic and Hawks in successive games.
Some things to look for:
- Front Court Defending – It’s going to be big today. Utah gets a ton of production from their front court players Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Combined they are averaging 37ppg and 17rpg. Defending them is not soley resting on the hands of our power rotation as Jefferson and Millsap are involved in Utah’s offense in a multitude of ways, whethers it the pick and roll, pick and pop or just straight post ups. Therefore good team defense and solid rotations are going to be important, but it wouldn’t be a bad thing if our bigs could contain them.
- Lopez/Jefferson Matchup – Should be a fun matchup from an offensive standpoint. Both of these guys are known a little more for their finesse games rather than their power games. Jefferson is regarded as one of the best “true” back to the basket players and I think we are all hoping Brook Lopez can become that someday. My guess is there will be a lot of up and unders between the two of them today.
- Troy Murphy Sighting – Will we see him? Murphy certainly has the talent to be a contributor for the Nets, but with the tandem of Kris Humphries and Derrick Favors providing energy, toughness and scoring, the minutes haven’t been there for Murphy and he seems to be the odd man out, right now at least. I’m sure he will work his way back into the rotation, but today could be a day his experience and defense helps.
For more coverage of the Utah Jazz, head on over to our Truehoop affiliate Salt Lake City Hoops.