Utah Jazz vs Detroit Pistons

The Stifle Tower, Rudy Gobert and his Utah Jazz visit the Motor City and take on Motown's twin towers Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond's the Detroit Pistons at 7:00 PM EST on Saturday January 5th, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI. Broadcast available on Fox Sports Detroit and AT&T Sportsnet - Rocky Mountain; radio available on 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone and 97.1 FM The Ticket.

How to Watch Utah Jazz vs Detroit Pistons

Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI

When: 7:00 PM EST, Saturday January 5th 2019

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports Detroit, AT&T Sportsnet - Rocky Mountain | 97.5 FM/1280 AM The Zone and 97.1 FM The Ticket

Detroit Pistons

Head Coach: Dwane Casey {All-Time 390-326 | MIN, TOR, DET}

The Detroit Pistons are barely holding on to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 17-19. Currently allowing 109.4 points per game, the Pistons need to show up their defence if they hope to compete.

The Detroit Pistons have struggled at home. With a home record of 11-8, the Motor City hasn't been the bastion of success the Pistons hoped it would be at the beginning of the year. Injuries, lack of shooting, and some overall lack of talent all contribute to the Pistons current sub-.500 record.

Over their last ten matches, the Detroit Pistons amassed a record of 4-6. After undergoing a losing streak to three Eastern Conference teams in the Bucks, Magic, and Pacers, the Pistons look to beat the Jazz in order to prove they can play with the big boys.

Utah Jazz

Head Coach: Quin Snyder {All-Time 195-171 | UTA}

Currently sitting at twelfth in the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz are grasping to return to the playoff race in a terribly competitive Western Conference. They are a mere four games behind the eighth spot, which the Los Angeles Lakers occupy, and need a win over the Pistons to step over the likes of the Mavericks Grizzlies, and Kings.

The Jazz have struggled to find consistency over the last ten games. With a record of 5-5 over their last ten, the Utah Jazz have essentially alternated wins and losses. As they finish a four-game road trip against the Bucks, the Jazz will need this win to try to finish the trip with a .500 record.

The Pistons sport a strong interior presence but lack playmaking to initiate their offence. It will be a night for Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors to challenge the Pistons bigs so that the Jazz don't fall behind on the glass.

What's At Stake?

In this inter-conference matchup, the Detroit Pistons and the Utah Jazz don't have a particularly competitive history. Over 96 regular season games all-time, the Utah Jazz lead the series 61-35 over the Detroit Pistons.

A win for the Pistons would bring them within a game of .500 and tying for seventh in the East with the Charlotte Hornets.

Seeing as the Utah Jazz are twelfth in the Western Conference, a win would keep them in place as the Dallas Mavericks still hold a game over them.

Questions to answer

What can bolster the Pistons bench?

Can the Jazz find range against the Pistons?

We are going to compare the Detroit Pistons and the Utah Jazz in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Jose Calderon is passable, but not enough

With the injury to Ish Smith, Dwane Casey and the Detroit Pistons have relied on thirteen-year veteran Jose Calderon to lead the Pistons bench unit. A tall point guard and skilled playmaker, Jose Calderon is a veteran contributor that Casey can always rely on.

Unfortunately for Casey, Calderon is not the player he was when he wore a Toronto Raptors uniform. Still able to distribute the ball, Calderon can no longer defend his position and gets exploited in almost every matchup.

It may not come from one player, but the Pistons need contributions in the effort statistics as well as scoring. For a team that touts the likes of Blake Griffin, Zaza Pachulia, and Andre Drummond, it makes no sense that their team ranks 26th in defensive rebounds. With their lack of depth, it will take a team effort to regain their standing not just the contributions of one.

The Jazz are 7th in two-point percentage, 23rd in three-point percentage

It is no secret to the league how the Jazz play offensively. Their playmaking guards use screen to initiate offence and find open shooter off of defensive rotations. It has led to efficient offence on the inside, displayed by a top ten scoring percentage inside the arc.

The Pistons, much like the Jazz, sport of the NBA's best defensive centres. Andre Drummond averages almost three blocks per game while Blake Griffin's athleticism allows him to challenge with many of the NBA's high-flyers.

The introduction of Korver has helped the Jazz's three-point shooting. It hasn't solved their problems from range, but overall it has helped the Jazz trend in the correct direction. Scoring inside will be tough against the Jazz, so converting on open looks will be paramount for the Jazz.

Utah Jazz Roster Notes

G Grayson Allen (ankle) was out on Friday and is unlikely to return for the second-leg of the back-to-back.

G Ricky Rubio (foot) is listed as questionable against the Pistons.

Detroit Pistons Roster Notes

F Henry Ellenson (ankle) is day-to-day with an ankle injury.

C Zaza Pachulia (leg) did not play on Wednesday against the Grizzlies and is questionable against the Jazz.

G Ish Smith (groin) will still need two to three weeks to recover.

Head-to-Head: Andre Drummond vs Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert

15.1 PPG | 1.9 APG | 12.4 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 2.0 BPG | 1.5 TOV | .660 FG% | n/a 3P%

Andre Drummond

17.1 PPG | 1.3 APG | 14.9 RPG | 1.5 SPG | 1.8 BPG | 2.4 TOV | .500 FG% | .160 3P%

Rudy Gobert and Andre Drummond are two of the premier defensive centres in the NBA. Gobert long and athletic, Drummond all-power, both centres bring a different mindset to the defensive game yet still produce fantastic results.

Rudy Gobert has taken yet another jump in his career this season. He's averaging a career high in points, as the increased offensive focus on screening for the Jazz has allowed him to develop into an incredibly capable rim-runner. He can still challenge anyone at the rim, so it should be a great matchup with Drummond.

The giant that is Andre Drummond is having a wonderful season for the Pistons. Averaging a career high in scoring, Drummond has expanded his game to more than a hustle rebounder. He has not forsaken his true calling, still averaging fifteen rebounds and almost two steals and blocks a game to solidify his standing as one of the leagues best centers.

Utah Jazz at Detroit Pistons Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Utah Jazz favoured over the Detroit Pistons by 1.5, with an over/under of 110.

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