The Grizzlies sent two of their rotation players off in trades to open up the runway for some current players. The Jazz, on the other hand, reconfigured their bench to see if this can get them over the hump.
To get ready for tonight’s game, I catch up with James Hansen, the Site Manager for SB Nation’s SLC Dunk, to preview the matchup.
1) What are the expectations this season, and how much might change if they don’t hit?
Expectations for the Jazz are high this year. They’re over the tax and paying a lot of players in their prime to meet those expectations. For the Jazz anything below a Western Conference finals appearance is a failure. The players have said it as well as the organization. If they don’t hit it, this team will see a lot of changes to everyone not named Donovan Mitchell.
2) How is our favorite Jazz player Mike Conley?
Mike Conley is having a great season for the Jazz. The Jazz are playing him as little as possible and resting him on back to backs. His efficiency is off the charts while he’s on the floor and his chemistry with Rudy Gobert in the pick and roll is as good as ever.
3) How do the offseason additions enhance the team?
The offseason additions of Hassan Whiteside and Rudy Gay have both been successful which is huge for the Jazz. Whiteside has fit perfectly within the Jazz system and after two games Rudy Gay appears to be able to fill a lot of holes in the Jazz defense while providing size and efficiency on the offensive end.
4) What are your general thoughts on the Grizzlies?
General thoughts on the Grizzlies are Ja Morant is an incredible rising superstar and I’m sad every time I watch Desmond Bane knowing how bad I wanted the Jazz to draft him only to have them pass on him for a 3rd string center that may never play. They’re a fun team to root for and I’m curious to see if JJJ can ever meet his potential. If he does, they could be dangerous.
5) What is the matchup you’re looking forward to seeing tonight?
The Matchup I’m curious about is the Donovan Mitchell vs Ja Morant matchup. Mitchell has upped his steal rate this year and I’m wondering if he can do anything to at least keep the ball out of Morant’s hands. Morant is going to get his but can the Jazz at least slow him down?