We have on very interesting matchup coming up in Charlotte between the Utah Jazz and the home Hornets. The Jazz is currently atop the league, looking better than ever, while on the other side, the Hornets need that one step to become a very nasty opponent for any team in the NBA. They have massive potential, but apparently, chemistry is what this team lacks, due to numerous new faces on the roster. Yet, we are more than positive that this unit will be one of the best in the East once all that settles down.
Utah Jazz (17-5, -400) rolls into Spectrum Center following a win against the Atlanta Hawks, 112-91; it was their tenth in the past 11 games, which is why they sit first in the league. They need to be considered as one of the biggest title contenders, regardless of all the doubts and haters.
Two games ago, vs. Pistons, Donovan Mitchell found his groove once again, dropping 32 points, while shooting 10-for-17, adding six boards and four threes. Against the Hawks, he had 18 with five assists, not needing to spend more energy. Since the season began, the Spida averages 23 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.3 boards, shooting 40% from downtown.
The next best thing is the Jazz is Jordan Clarkson, who is the frontrunner for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. He drops 17.7 per night, but went above that limit in the match against Atlanta scoring 23 points. Bojan Bogdanovic was, as usual, very sharp, 9-for-14 with 21 points at the end of the night.
Charlotte Hornets (10-12, +300) lost to Philadelphia in the last event, 118-111, solely because of a terrible first period. In those 12 minutes, the 76ers outscored the hosts 30-13, with Joel Embiid trashing the rivals, and continuing his MVP rampage.
The center position is Charlotte’s biggest problem because neither Cody Zeller nor Bismack Biyombo can compete with average big guys in the league, let alone top ones. One solid center is all they need for becoming a certain playoff team.
LaMelo Ball showed his talent against Philly, delivering 22 points and seven boards. Gordon Hayward had 22 with nine dimes and six boards, keeping his all-around average. Terry Rozier didn’t play once again, but Devonte Graham replaced him very well with 18 buckets, yet shooting just 2-for-11 for three. Scary Terry should be back anytime soon, but the chances for seeing him against Utah are way too low.
Head to Head Matches
Jazz won both matches last year. The one in Salt Lake City ended 109-92, and the one in North Carolina 114-107. Overall they have five straight wins against Charlotte.
The bookies gave a +7.5 point spread on the Hornets, which is a bit too high in our opinion. First of all, the Jazz played last night in Atlanta, while Hornets had a few days of rest, as their match with the Portland Trail Blazers had to be postponed. It means that James Borrego and his staff had enough time to make a good gameplan for the Jazzers, whose energy bar is not at 100%. We will be courageous and take some risk, suggesting to bet on Charlotte to defend the spread.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.