I thought it would be interesting to try something new this season with the Denver Nuggets, in which I ask a knowledgeable fan of the opposing team five questions concerning the matchup. In this case, I asked @Clintonite33 five various questions in preview of the Nuggets-Jazz game Friday evening.
1. The Utah Jazz have played 5 games this season, how do they look thus far?
Very much like they have the last few seasons: Nigh unbeatable at home, and like the Detroit Pistons on the road. At home Utah has outscored opponents an average of 104-93, while on the road they’re down 90-100. Obviously, the ESA crowd is among the league’s best, but you would think by now the veterans would have figured out how to tune out the opposing ambiance and get their job done. Yet, they lack the fearlessness, seemingly, that they should at this point, with this roster.
2. Key matchups for the Jazz going into Friday’s game with the Denver Nuggets?
Ty Lawson versus Mo Williams should be frenetic fun. Lawson has been a Jazz killer, and Utah may not have a defensive answer for his quickness, putting the pressure on it’s bigs to play anchors. Gordon Hayward, again in an offensive slump, will have his work cut out for him with one of the best defensive guards of this generation in Andre Iguodala. Marvin Williams, struggling offensively, but who also shut down Rudy Gay recently, will see his oft unnoticed length manifest itself on Danilo Gallinari. Paul Millsap may have some trouble chasing around Kenneth Faried and his other-worldly atheticism. And Al Jefferson shouldn’t have too much trouble with Kosta Koufos, nor with JaVale McGee either.
The paint will be won or lost by the steady parade of bigs each team can trot out. If Kenneth Faried morphs into the Manimal, Ty Corbin may try Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors on him to slow him up.
3. Randy Foye exploded against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, how much of a role will Utah’s bench play if they want to defeat Denver at home?
Foye is scoring at a career efficiency pace, putting in points per minute at a far higher pace than ever before in his career, .453 from the floor overall and an absurd .464 from three, while his turnover percent is a ridiculously low 6.6%. He was brought in to be a “maker,” and has done exactly that, keeping defenses honest at a blistering pace. With starter minutes, he’d be averaging near 20 PPG, although his defense dictates he plays the role of spark at this point.
But with an improved Enes Kanter and natural defender Derrick Favors also coming off the bench, Jazz head coach Ty Corbin can afford to simply green-light Foye from three, knowing big bodies back him up.
4. What are three things that worry you about the Jazz-Nuggets game?
JR Smith… Wait…
That some of the visiting players may want to take advantage of the new law and show up to the game with chocolate syrup stains on their chins and cookie crumbs in their shoes?
5. Finally, what are three keys for Utah to take another win home?
First, confidence. They have to believe they can win on the road.