- Teams: Utah Jazz (13-27) at Detroit Pistons (16-22)
- Date: January 7, 2014
- Time: 7:30 p.m.
- Television: FSD
What to look for
The Detroit Pistons must take the Utah Jazz seriously, otherwise they might be in for a rude awakening.
There is a sentiment going around that Detroit should be better given the pieces on the roster. The Pistons have a combination of veterans and inexperienced players, and that should suffice in getting them over .500 considering the talent at their disposal.
And yet, Detroit’s performance so far this season is essentially on par with a Philadelphia 76ers team that is tanking. Thus, there are no easy ones for Mo Cheeks’ unit.
With respect to tonight’s visitors, one could easily get seduced into thinking they are an awful team because the Jazz own the worst record in the Western Conference and opened up the season with an eight-game losing streak.
Mind you, they are only three wins back of the Pistons (yikes!) in terms of overall record. Utah has split their last 10 games and recorded victories over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets over the course of that stretch.
Utah has accomplished this by getting some solid production out of their young guns. Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors, Gordan Hayward (has been recently sidelined because of a hip injury), Alec Burks and Trey Burke have gotten minutes and done good things with them.
The Jazz might lack experience, but they certainly make up for it at times with their youthful exuberance. They are a squad with emerging talent at key positions (guard and on the interior), which tends to cause issues for their opponents.
Indeed, the Pistons know this better than most given the troubles that they cause against the opposition with the likes of Andre Drummond. There’s an old adage in the NBA that still holds true today: you cannot teach size.
And well, the Jazz have it in Kanter and Favors. Granted, they are not the most consistent pair of big men in the league, but they will have nights where they dominate the glass as well as the paint.
That makes for a fun matchup against the Pistons considering that Detroit essentially follows that recipe. The Favors-versus-Drummond duel is unlikely to produce big headlines, but it should be a good and entertaining battle of young big men with raw talent.