The Dallas Mavericks and the Utah Jazz will face each other for the second time in as many weeks tonight, tipping off at 8:00pm Central in Salt Lake City. You can find our earlier Q&A with SLC Dunk here.
The Jazz are a young team in the midst of what will almost certainly be a lengthy rebuilding process, and they kicked off their season basically the way everyone expected they would, with back-to-back losses to Houston and Dallas, two very tough Western Conference teams. But then on Wednesday, they (or rather Gordon Hayward) did this:
And also this:
That's just a chase-down block of the best player in the league and a sweet buzzer-beater from the young Hayward, NBD. The fact that LeBron and his new-look Cleveland Cavaliers are struggling this season no doubt did little to detract from the fun had by Jazz fans and players alike in this win, and they'll be riding that high (bolstered by some Thursday night rest) when they take on the Mavericks tonight. Dallas will be on the second leg of a road back-to-back following a tough loss in Portland last night.
Wednesday night was amazing for the Jazz, who currently sit at 2-3, but the Mavericks (3-2) are still a much stronger team. They beat them handily in their last meeting, even making it through the now-traditional third-quarter meltdown mostly unscathed. If Dallas is able to rekindle its scorching offense, they should be able to notch another victory tonight. If the shooting falls flat, as it very well might right after facing the Trail Blazers in Portland, and the team continues its poor defensive performance, then this will be an understandable loss.
Everyone on Utah is healthy, and all Mavs except Raymond Felton are expected to suit up, including Al-Farouq Aminu, who left Monday's game against the Celtics with a mild left knee injury.
Tune in at 8:00pm Central!