GAME PREVIEW: Jazz at Heat

GAME PREVIEW: Jazz at Heat


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MIAMI - The Utah Jazz (16-12) head to Miami on this Christmas Eve Eve to wrap up their five-game east coast road trip against Dwayne Wade and the Heat (13-12).

The Jazz are 2-2 so far on the road trip and would love to celebrate Christmas with a win before hosting The Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, Dec. 26.

Utah is coming of a disappointing defeat in Orlando against the Magic. The Jazz had the lead midway through the fourth quarter and were only down two, 96-94, with 2:30 left in the game, but the Jazz couldn't stop Orlando's J.J. Redick, who scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter.

Deron Williams led Utah with 18 points and 12 assists. Carlos Boozer had 17 points and eight rebounds and Paul Millsap came off the bench to lead Utah with 20 points, but Utah shot just 40 percent on the night, while letting the Magic shoot nearly 50 percent (48.5) from the field.

Game 29
Utah Jazz (16-12)
at Miami Heat (13-12)
Date: Wednesday December 23, 2009
Time: 5:30 p.m. MT
Site: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
TV: FSN Utah : Comcast - Ch. 52 (HD Ch. 693); DIRECTV - Ch. 684 (HD Ch. 684-1); DISH - Ch. 445 (HD Ch. 9515)
Radio: 1320 AM KFAN or 98.7 FM
Season Series Record: First meeting
Last Season Series Record: Heat 2, Jazz 0
Last Meeting: 3/14/2009 - Heat 140, Jazz 129 (3OT)
On Tuesday, the Jazz also traded away their backup point guard, rookie Eric Maynor, and Matt Harpring to Oklahoma City for the rights to German forward Peter Fehse, the second-round pick of the Sonics in 2002. Fehse has never played in the NBA and is currently playing in the German League.

"Trading Eric was a difficult decision," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said in a statement. "But, along with Matt's contract, it greatly helps reduce our luxury tax responsibility. Fortunately, with Deron (Williams) and a proven backup in Ronnie Price we feel that we have depth at that position."

This was clearly a business decision and while the Jazz may be better positioned with the salary cap, they will be worse off on the basketball court.

KSL takes a look back and ahead as we prep for the game against the Heat.

What did we learn about the Jazz against the Orlando Magic?

  • The Jazz looked tired down the stretch against the Magic and with the loss of Maynor, that likely won't get any better
  • The Jazz do best when they share the ball. Despite the loss the Jazz had 26 assists on 36 field goals

What can the Jazz expect from the Heat?

  • A lot of Dwayne Wade (26.6 pts/game on 20.9 shots/game) and a little bit of everyone else
  • The ability to put up 100 points, but also the propensity to give up 100 points.

Probable Jazz starting lineup

  • C - Mehmet Okur, 6-11, 273 lbs., Turkey
  • PF - Carlos Boozer, 6-9, 260 lbs., Duke
  • SF - Ronnie Brewer, 6-7, 236 lbs., Arkansas
  • SG - C.J. Miles, 6-6, 220 lbs., Skyline HS (Dallas)
  • PG - Deron Williams, 6-3, 207 lbs., Illinois

Probable Heat starting lineup - C - Jermaine O'Neal, 6-11, 255 lbs., Eau Claire HS (WI)

  • PF - Michael Beasley, 6-10, 255 lbs., Kansas State
  • SF - Quentin Richardson, 6-6, 228 lbs., DePaul
  • SG - Dwyane Wade, 6-4, 220 lbs., Marquette
  • PG - Mario Chalmers, 6-1, 190 lbs., Kansas

Heat leadersDwayne Wade 26.6 ppg, 6.2 apg / Michael Beasley 15.9 ppg, 7 rpg

Jazz Injury Updates

  • Kyle Korver (knee) - GAME TIME DECISION

Magic Injury Updates

  • None

Conclusion

This is a winnable game for the Utah Jazz is they can keep their legs for an entire 48 minutes. Utah has the advantage at just about every position and if Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Miles and Wes Matthews can keep Wade off the free throw line and his point total equal to his shot attempts the Jazz will likely come out on top. The loss of Maynor may not be a factor against the Heat, but as Williams racks up the minutes and Ronnie Price's weaknesses are exposed the Jazz may regret the money-saving move... from a basketball sense.

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Graydon Johns

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