Utah Jazz vs Toronto Raptors: Prediction, Betting Odds & Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON, Canada

When: 7:30 PM EST, 1 January 2019

How (TV/Radio): NBA TV, Sportsnet One/Ontario, AT&T Sportsnet – Rocky Mountain | 97.5 FM/1280 AM The Zone, TSN Radio 1050 Toronto

Utah Jazz

Head Coach: Quin Snyder {All-Time 194-170 | UTA}

The Utah Jazz are currently tenth in the Western Conference, as they have two losses on the ninth place Memphis Grizzlies. After their playoff success in 2018, the Jazz are struggling to find the consistency they need to reach their previous heights.

In the last ten games, while the Jazz are a talented squad, the Jazz have gone 5-5. They’ve alternated wins and losses culminating in a recent loss to the New York Knicks. It speaks to the talent of the Western Conference and the lack of focus seen in the Jazz.

Teams have caught on to the Jazz’s style of play. The Jazz pressure hard on the perimeter and try to stifle ball handlers. As teams have adjusted, the Jazz defence has gotten penetrated as their in the bottom ten in allowing attempts within the arc. They’ll need to shore up their defence against a disciplined team like the Raptors.

Toronto Raptors

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {All-Time 27-11 | TOR}

The Toronto Raptors are currently 27-11, good enough for second in the Eastern Conference. While they hold two wins more than the first place Milwaukee Bucks, a single loss places them behind in win percentage.

After an embarrassing loss to the struggling Orlando Magic, the Toronto Raptors rebounded with a gutsy win against the young and talented Chicago Bulls. It may not have been an incredible performance, but it was the win the Raptors needed after a difficult holiday game schedule.

While the Jazz are ranked eleventh in the Western Conference, they will be a tough test for the Toronto Raptors. The Jazz have the athleticism to match the Raptors and the shooting to make excellent runs in-game. The Raptors will need to find their range and improve their overall performance if they want to take one against the Jazz.

What’s At Stake?

The Toronto Raptors and the Utah Jazz compete in an inter-conference matchup on this New Year’s Day. In 44 regular season games, the Utah Jazz lead the all-time series against the Toronto Raptors 27-17.

With a loss to the Orlando Magic, the Toronto Raptors relinquished first position in the East to the Milwaukee Bucks. A win would put them back in pole position in the East.

At 17-19, a win for the Utah Jazz would put them one game closer to .500. After last years playoff success, the Jazz will want to start the new year with a win.

Questions to answer

Can the Jazz turnover the Toronto Raptors?

Can the Raptors initiate their offence against the Jazz?

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

The Utah Jazz are third in steals

Once again, the Jazz are a strong defensive team. No doubt they have the ability to stop the ball with capable and pesky defenders in Ricky Rubio, Donovan Mitchell, and Royce O’neal. Seeing as they struggle to initiate their offence, they’ll rely on their pressure to generate more opportunities.

The Raptors are great at taking care of the ball. At only 13.5 per game, the Raptors have a team of disciplined playmakers who look to make the correct pass at the right time. With the amount of shooters they have on their squad, regardless of form, the Jazz will be wary of over-pressuring the ball.

It will be a game of generating extra possessions. The Raptors are in a shooting slump and the Jazz struggle to score. Whichever team can put together timely runs and generate additional attempts to score will likely be the winner.

In the last two games, the Raptors shot 37% and 29% from the field

It has been a recurring theme for the Toronto Raptors so far this season, they have struggled from the field. It hasn’t just been due to their three-point shooting, the Raptors have struggled to initiate their offence as of late and the lack of players is a part of it.

Kyle Lowry has now missed seven games and his lack of presence has been felt as of late. Still one of the NBA’s top playmakers at 9.8 assists per game, good for second in the NBA, Lowry keeps the ball moving for the Raptors and is a threat on his own.

Kawhi Leonard has been excellent for the Raptors, he is however not the playmaker Lowry or his trade partner Demar Derozan are. The ball generally stagnates in his hands which the Raptors need to cut out of their gameplan. Look for the likes of Fred Vanvleet to step up, he’s struggled shooting this year but with extended minutes his playmaking has been on display.

Utah Jazz Roster Notes

G Grayson Allen (ankle) was out on Saturday and is questionable for the match against the Raptors.

F Jae Crowder (thumb) was out on Saturday and will be a game time decision against the Raptors.

G Dante Exum (shoulder) is likely to play against the Raptors.

G Ricky Rubio (back/knee) will be a game time decision against the Raptors.

Toronto Raptors Roster Notes

G Kyle Lowry (thigh) did not play on Friday and will be a game time decision against the Jazz.

G-F Norman Powell (personal) was not with the team on Friday and it is unknown when he will return.

C Jonas Valanciunas (thumb) will be reevaluated by the new year in order to set a timetable for his return.

Head-to-Head: Rudy Gobert vs Serge Ibaka

Rudy Gobert

14.8 PPG | 2.0 APG | 12.4 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 2.1 BPG | 1.5 TOV | .648 FG% | .000 3P%

Serge Ibaka

16.4 PPG | 1.5 APG | 7.3 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 1.4 BPG | 1.7 TOV | .541 FG% | .294 3P%

Two international stars at the pivot position, the French Gobert and the Congolese Ibaka are in their own way essential to their teams success. Starting their careers as ball chasing energy players, both have evolved to become key assets that could fit on any NBA team.

Rudy Gobert certainly lives up to his nickname, The Stifle Tower. So far this season, he’s maintained his defensive presence but has fallen off a bit in offensive production. While he still finishes with the best of them, the Jazz have looked to a more three-point oriented offence leaving Robert out.

Serge Ibaka plays an incredibly vital role for the Toronto Raptors. While Valanciunas and Monroe are the bruisers, Ibaka is a finesse centre with the athleticism to challenge players anywhere on the court defensively. Ibaka’s versatility is key to the Raptors lineup.

Utah Jazz at Toronto Raptors Predictions and Odds

The odds will be updated as they are made available.