The NBA has a total of ten games up on the board for Wednesday night. One of the games will be the second half of a back to back between the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans. The Jazz are currently fighting for a playoff spot, while New Orleans is decently outside of the playoff picture. This game is set to start at 8:00 PM Eastern time.
The Jazz have earned the sixth spot in the Western Conference with a record of 36-27. Utah lost their last game, but they have won four of their last five. The Jazz will look to bounce back with a win to help them improve their playoff spot. Utah is only three games behind the third spot in the Western Conference, which should help them pick up their play on this final stretch.
New Orleans has been in and out of the news all season long. The Pelicans have gone 30-36 in this odd season, which has them in twelfth place of the Western Conference. New Orleans has won three games in a row, which they will look to build upon with another win against the Jazz. The Pelicans are about seven games out of the final playoff spot, but will still look to finish strong this season.
Wednesday night’s matchup will be the third and final game of the season series between the Jazz and the Pelicans. Utah and New Orleans are both on opposite sides of the standings, but this could be a good game. These two teams met on Monday night, which should help heighten the intensity right off the bat on Wednesday night.
New Orleans hosted the first game of the season series on October 27. Nikola Mirotic had a strong night, scoring 25 points and adding 8 rebounds. Jrue Holiday added 18 points for the Pelicans, but it was not enough. Ricky Rubio went off for 28 points and 12 assists. Rudy Gobert had 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Donovan Mitchell finished with 22 points. The Jazz were able to pull off an impressive 132-111 win on the road early in the season.
The second game of the season series was hosted by the Jazz on March 4. Jae Crowder and Kyle Korver both went off for 20 points off the bench. Rudy Gobert had 19 points and 19 rebounds, while Donovan Mitchell scored 19 points and 9 assists, but it was not enough. Julius Randle and Jrue Holiday each went off for 30 point nights. Anthony Davis added 15 points and 11 rebounds as the Pelicans pulled off the 115-112 upset on the road.
Both teams have won their first home game of this season’s series. I believe the Jazz have a good chance to continue this streak with a win in New Orleans on Wednesday night. The first two games of this season’s series were higher scoring games and I believe it could be similar on March 6. I expect both teams to try and pick up where they left off on Monday night.
Two Point Shooting
The Jazz have been doing really well at both shooting and defending inside the arc this season. Utah has been able to make around 53.3 percent of their two-point shots this season. The Jazz’s two-point defense is third best in the league, holding their opponents to a two-point percentage of 49.7 percent. Utah will look for their defense to step up on Wednesday night.
New Orleans is also doing really well at shooting from inside the arc this season. The Pelicans have made around 53.9 percent of their two-point shots, which is sixth best in the league. New Orleans defense inside the arc has not been great though. The Pelicans have allowed their opponents to make around 52.1 percent of their two-point shots this season, which is bottom half in the league.
Both of these two teams have been doing well this season when it comes to shooting inside the arc. The Jazz have a clear edge though because their two-point defense has been much better this season. Utah does a really good job shutting off the passing lanes, which has led to them allowing the least assists per game to their opponents this season. The Jazz will look for their defense to shut down the Pelicans on Wednesday night.
Utah has been led by Donovan Mitchell throughout this season. Mitchell has been averaging 23.5 points per game this season. Rudy Gobert has averaged 15.5 points and 13 rebounds per game this season. Ricky Rubio is averaging 13 points and 6 assists per game from the Point Guard spot. Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder have both averaged around 12 points per game this season, while Derrick Favors is averaging 12.5 points per game.
Anthony Davis has been in and out of the news for the Pelicans, but he has managed to average around 27 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Jrue Holiday is averaging 21 points and 8 assists per game from the Point Guard spot. Julius Randle has averaged 21 points per game and 9 rebounds this season. E’Twaun Moore is averaging 12 points per game.
The Pelicans will look for Davis and Randle to go off in the paint, but Gobert and Favors can both kick it up on defense to slow them down. I believe that the battle will be between Rubio and Holiday at the Point Guard spot will be one to keep an eye on. Mitchell and Moore will likely see some time against each other, which could be a good matchup as well.
New Orleans was able to pull off the road upset against the Jazz on Monday night, which I believe will lead to Utah coming out quickly on Wednesday night. I believe that the Jazz’s defense will step up this time around, which will help lead to ending the Pelicans three-game winning streak. Utah has a lot of desirable matchups in this game, which I believe they can exploit as well.
BetOnline has the Jazz listed as a -4 against the spread. Even though Utah is on the road, I believe that this is a reasonable spread. I believe that the Jazz will look to get revenge after losing on Monday night, which will lead to a dominant victory. New Orleans in on a winning streak, but I believe that comes to an end on Wednesday night. I am taking Utah as a road favorite.