The NBA will finish off another weekend of basketball with four games on the slate for Sunday. One of those games will be a matchup between the Utah Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs. Both teams have struggled to get a good seeding in the Western Conference to this point in the season, but will look to get a nice win on Sunday night.
The Jazz have started out the season with a record of 13-13, which has them sitting in eleventh place of the Western Conference. Utah has put up back to back dominant wins against the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs. The Jazz have won five of their last seven games and will look to keep that strong streak going with another win against the Spurs.
San Antonio has gone 12-14 to begin their new campaign. The Spurs are currently sitting in thirteenth place of the Western Conference. The Spurs are coming off a win, but have lost four of their last six. San Antonio has been the model of consistency in the Western Conference for years. If they want to keep their playoff streak alive, they will need to start to turn this season around sooner rather than later.
This will mark the second matchup between the Jazz and Spurs this season. Utah and San Antonio will meet one more time on February 9 after Sunday night’s game. These two teams were playoff contenders last season, but have struggled to regain that sense this season. Each team could really use a win to help them continue to crawl back into the playoff picture.
Last season both the Jazz and Spurs finished in playoff spots. In the season series, Utah ended up winning 3-1. In San Antonio’s win, it took overtime to pull off a 124-120 win at home. The Jazz won the first three games of the season series by scores of 100-89, 120-111 and 101-99. Utah’s defense played a big part in their wins and I believe it will take a similar performance to win again on Sunday night.
The first game between these two teams this season was hosted by the Jazz on December 4. Jakob Poeltl had a 20 point night off the bench, while DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 16 for San Antonio. Donovan Mitchell scored 20 points for Utah. Rudy Gobert had 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Seven players scored double digit points for the Jazz in route to a 139-105 win at home.
In the last two seasons, Utah has been 4-1 against the Spurs. San Antonio had a pretty big loss against the Jazz only a few nights ago and I expect them to look to bounce back at home. The Spurs are not a team to give up easily and I expect them to prepare to come out fast in this matchup. Both teams still have talented rosters and I expect a closer matchup on Sunday night.
Donovan Mitchell has continued his strong development into the early stages of this season. Mitchell is averaging a little over 20.5 points per game. Rudy Gobert continues to be a backbone in the paint for the Jazz. He is averaging 15 points and 12 rebounds per game. Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio have both been averaging 12.7 points per game to this point in the season. Jae Crowder has done a solid job coming in off the bench, averaging 12.5 points per game.
DeMar DeRozan has done a good job stepping up in the Spurs roster since coming over in the offseason. DeRozan is averaging 25 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds per game this season. LaMarcus Aldridge has averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. Rudy Gay is averaging 13.5 points and 7 rebounds per game. The Spurs could use a little extra help from their bench if they are going to get back into the playoff picture.
There are a couple key matchups to watch on Sunday night. One of the big ones will be LaMarcus Aldridge going up against Rudy Gobert. Gobert is one of the best defensive Centers in the league, while Aldridge has been solid offensively. I expect DeRozan to be guarded by Donovan Mitchell a decent amount as well. I believe that DeRozan can exploit the younger players defense for a solid game.
The Spurs are coming into Sunday night’s game looking to get some revenge after getting blown out by the Jazz on December 4. San Antonio has one of the league’s best coaches in Gregg Popovich and I expect him to have a thing or two up his sleeve for Sunday night’s game. I believe with a good game plan against Utah, the Spurs should be able to get this win at home. San Antonio has struggled against Utah recently, but I believe they can change that around with a win at home.
BetOnline has the Jazz listed as a -2 ½ on the road against San Antonio. On top of that, the Spurs are listed as a -105 against the spread, while the Jazz are -115. While Utah has been the better team this season, I believe that the Spurs should still be favored in this game. San Antonio is coming off an impressive win against the Lakers at home on Friday night, which should help bring some momentum into Sunday night’s game. I am taking the Spurs at home with the points.