The NBA is set up for a busy Wednesday of action. Ten total games of action litter the board for January 23. One of the matchups set to tip off on Wednesday night is between the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz. Both teams are currently in the playoff picture for the Western Conference, which should lead to a good game on Wednesday night. The game starts at 10:30 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
Denver has started out the season with a record of 31-14, which has them in second place of the Western Conference. The Nuggets are only behind the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference standings. Denver has won back to back games by twenty or more points and ten of their last thirteen games. The Nuggets will look to keep their streak going with a win against Utah on Wednesday night.
The Jazz have been hot as of late and it has helped them get back into the Western Conference playoff picture. Utah is sitting in eighth place of the Western Conference with a record of 26-22. The Jazz have won eight of their last ten games. Utah lost their last game to the Portland Trail Blazers and will look to bounce back with a win at home against the Nuggets.
Wednesday night’s matchup between the Nuggets and the Jazz will be the second game of the season series. Denver and Utah will meet two more times on February 28 and April 9. These two teams have been playing really well in their recent games and it should help lead to an exciting night of basketball on Wednesday night.
The Nuggets and the Jazz met up four times last season. Utah took the first two matchups of the season series at home, dropping 106 points in each game. Denver hosted the last two matchups of the season series and were able to win both games by holding the Jazz under 100 points in each game. Utah went on to make a playoff run to the second round, while the Nuggets barely missed out on the playoffs.
Denver hosted the first matchup of this season’s series. Jae Crowder had a solid night off the bench, dropping 21 points. Donovan Mitchell put up 16 points for the Jazz, but it was not enough. The Nuggets were led by Gary Harris who dropped 20 points. Jamal Murray had 19 points to help lead Denver to a 103-88 win at home.
The Jazz have won the last seven games against the Nuggets in Utah. Denver has been one of the best defending team this season, which means the Jazz will need to put up some points if they want to keep their winning streak going at home. Utah lost the first game of the season series, but they have been doing much better as of late and they will look for that to carry them to victory.
Three Point Shooting
The Nuggets have been top ten in the league at shooting the three-point shot this season. Denver has scored about 35.8 percent of there three-point shots this season. The Nuggets have been one of the best teams in the NBA at defending the three-point line. Denver’s opponents have shot around 33.9 percent from behind the arc this season. The Nuggets are the second best team at defending the three-point ball this season.
Utah has not been doing well at all this season at shooting the three-point ball. The Jazz have made 34.3 percent of their three-point shots this season, which has them twenty-fourth in the NBA this season. Utah has not done a good job defending the three-point shot either. The Jazz have allowed opposing teams to make around 36 percent of their three-point shots this season, which is below the league average.
Denver has a clear edge when it comes to three-point shooting in this matchup. The Nuggets defense has been doing a really good job and Denver’s ball movement has allowed for a lot of open looks from behind the three-point line. The Nuggets will look for their defense to stop the Jazz’s struggling three-point shot, which could give them a big edge on Sunday night.
Nikola Jokic has been the leader for the Nuggets this season. Jokic is averaging 19.5 points, 10 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game. Jamal Murray has averaged 19 points per game this season. Gary Harris has done a good job, averaging 15.5 points per game. Paul Millsap is averaging 13 points per game. Will Barton, Monte Morris, and Malik Beasley are all averaging 10 points per game.
The Jazz have been looking for Donovan Mitchell to lead them this season. Mitchell has averaged 22 points per game. Rudy Gobert is averaging 15 points and 13 rebounds per game this season. Ricky Rubio has averaged 13 points and 6 assists per game from the Point Guard spot. Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles are both averaging 11.5 points per game this season.
Utah will need Donovan Mitchell to put up a big night on the scoreboard if they want to pull off the win at home. Jokic and Gobert has been both doing a really good job this season and they should have an exciting battle at the Center spot on Wednesday night. The Nuggets have a lot of Guards that can put up solid numbers, which will be very hard for Utah to defend.
Both the Nuggets and the Jazz are coming into Wednesday night’s game playing really well as of late. I believe that Denver will be able to pull off the upset against Utah though. The Nuggets have been much better at shooting and defending the three-point shot this season. Denver also has a lot of players that could go off for a big night against the Jazz.
BetOnline has Utah listed as a -3 against the spread for Wednesday night’s matchup. The Jazz are at home, but I believe that this game should be closer to even. The Nuggets are coming off two dominant wins, while Utah lost their last game. Denver’s defense has been doing really well at slowing down teams this season and I believe they can do it again on Wednesday night. I am taking the Nuggets as underdogs on the road.