Time: 7:30 PM CST (NBA LP)
Spread: UTA -2
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Utah Jazz have won two straight as it enters Dallas as 2-point favorites in NBA Action on NBA League Pass Monday night at 7:30 PM (CST). The betting total is set at 218 points according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes.
The Utah Jazz is 34-18 thus far this season, and following entering 2020 so hot, the Jazz has fallen cold to lose its last five games before rallying to win its last two. The Jazz are hoping things are starting to develop as the All-Star break nears. It is 5-5 over its last 10 SU.
Things have been slower coming together following the addition of point guard Mike Conley, perhaps than anyone may have expected. The veteran is coming around after a horrid start to this season and now averaging 13.6 points and 4.6 assists per game. His ball-handling and offense help keep Donovan Mitchell ready to find his scoring spots, and Mitchell is blossoming into a true superstar in his third season.
“Spida” as Mitchell goes by, is averaging 24.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game while talking a PER just over 20. Perhaps the biggest surprise for the Jazz has been that Bojan Bogdanovic is far more than a role player, but more of a second star. This changes a lot.
Bogdanovic is averaging 20.9 points per game while shooting 41.1 percent from behind the arc on seven-plus attempts per game. His offense helps the Jazz continue to play its slow, defense-first style of basketball, of course, cued by the defense of Rudy Gobert. Gobert is averaging 14.9 points and 14.5 boards per game, but his 2.6 blocks/steals help further illustrate his importance to Utah. His rim protection is among the league’s best, and he covers the occasional blunders of Mitchell and the Jazz’s other perimeter defenders nearly flawlessly.
Also, Utah has stepped up its scoring to 109.7 per game this year, and with the way that Utah defends, that should be adequate to put together another very nice season. While few are quick to credit the Jazz in the realms of the elite and true contenders, it arguably is the strongest of the dark horse contenders in either conference.
DALLAS news & notes:
The Dallas Mavericks have won five of its last 10 overall SU.
Luka Doncic has gone atomic since returning from injury, but it came with the nasty fact that the other star, Kristaps Porzingis, is now out with right knee soreness. Both Doncic and Porzingis were out last game, and the result was that Seth Curry simply had his best game of the season as the mavericks rallied to defeat the Hornets 116-100. Curry scored 26 off the bench in connecting on 6 of 8 from three-point range, and he added six rebounds and three assists while finishing with a +20 mark for his 28 minutes on the court.
With Doncic out, the Mavericks got a good look at Kristaps Porzingis, who turned in another strong game in the Mavs’ loss to Boston. He tallied 23 points on 8 of 19 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and a steal but is out for an indefinite period now. It has been hard to keep its core healthy. The Mavericks have had a difficult time getting its core together healthy, but are still 32-21 and 18-8 on the road this season.
Doncic had 35 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in the 120-112 win over Portland. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 29 points and five made triples.
On the season Porzingis is averaging 17.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, but all suggestions are that he was able to greatly increase his usage percentage with Doncic unavailable. The Mavericks need to get another guy to step up, because Doncic left a 29.3 point, 8.9 assist hole when he sprained his ankle. While he is expected to make a full recovery and is already back in triple-double form (!), the Mavs are still in overhaul replacing his production.
Although the Doncic-Porzingis punch is a strong one, the Mavericks still seem to be lacking a “third star” to complete the picture.