|-1.5 UTA (-113) @ pinnacle|
My 10* Game of the Month is on the Ut Jazz at 10:10 ET.
The Utah Jazz were the West's No. 6 seed in last season's playoffs in Orlando but after taking a 3-1 lead over the Nuggets (No. 3 seed), lost the final three games of that first-round series. As for the Suns, despite an 8-0 SU & ATS run in the Orlando 'bubble,' the Suns found themselves on the outside-looking-in on the playoffs for the 10th consecutive season. However, as the Jazz and Suns get together in Phoenix on Wednesday, the teams own the two-best records in the Western Conference. The Jazz are 38-12 and the Suns are 35-14, 2 1/2-games back. The teams also own the NBA's two-best ATS records, the Suns checking in at 32-17 and the Jazz at 31-19.
The Jazz opened the season just 4-4 but then 'blitzed' the league by winning 22 of 24 games from Jan 8 through Feb 24. Utah then went 3-5 over an eight-game span, before ripping off NINE straight wins from March 19 through April 3. However, the Jazz enter this contest off a 111-103 loss Monday at Dallas. Utah's starting-five has been strong all season, led by SG Mitchell (25.4-4.4-5.4) and PG Conley (16.6 & 5.5 APG). Center Gobert (14.6 & 13.2) is surrounded by forwards Bogdanovich (14.8 & 3.9) and O'Neale (7.1 & 6.6). Then there is the NBA's favorite for Sixth-Man of the year, Jordan Clarkson, who is averaging 17.3 PPG. SG Ingles (13 starts) adds 11.8-3.7-4.1 plus the 6-9 Favors was brought back to the Jazz in the offseason and is averaging 5.8 & 5.5 in about 15 minutes per game.
The big offseason move by Phoenix was trading for PG Chris Paul and he's delivered, averaging 16.0-4.7-8.8. He joins Booker (25.9-4.1-4.6) to form an outstanding backcourt duo. Center Ayton (14.8 & 10.8) and SF Bridges (13.4 & 4.7) have both started and played in all 50 games, while Crowder (also an offseason pickup) has started 31 of his 46 games while averaging 10.3 & 4.9.Also making significant contributions have been PF Saric (10.1 & 4.1) and SF Johnson (9.8 & 3.2).
After this game, Utah returns home for FIVE straight home games, with only Portland owning a winning record among the five teams visiting Salt Lake City. This is the second meeting between the Jazz and Suns this season, the first being back on New Year's Eve when the Suns won 106-95 win in Salt Lake City. Think Utah will remember? That defeat marked the LAST time the Jazz have lost a home game. Coming off a loss in Dallas, expect Utah to get the "W" in this one.