The Brooklyn Nets open up their new year with a battle at home in New York against the Utah Jazz. Joe Johnson will be making an appearance back in Brooklyn and the Jazz will more than likely be without starting point guard George Hill due to concussion protocol. The Jazz are 21-13, but without Hill, Brooklyn may be able to compete.
Brooklyn has been really good against the Western Conference this season winning five of their eight games against a Western Conference foe. The struggle tonight for Brooklyn will be dealing with The Jazz’s big men in Favors and Gobert.
Derrick Favors was initially drafted by the then New Jersey Nets third overall in 2010. This season, Favors has been playing pretty well with a little over eight points per game and more than six rebounds per game. Favors also averages more than a block a game as well.
Rudy Gobert has been an absolute monster this season. Gobert is averaging 12.5 points per game, 12 rebounds per game, and 2.6 blocks per game. He is a real force down low and Brook and Trevor will have real issues dealing with Gobert all night long.
Lastly, Gordon Hayward has been really sharp this season. Hayward is averaging over 22 points per game this season. Hayward is shooting the ball 45% from teh field and 35% from long range. If Hayward catches fire, Gobert will not need to see the ball and will focus on defense, which is a terrible recipe for Brooklyn.
With Hill out, Brooklyn’s focus should be on Rudy Gobert. Brooklyn has had troubles with young big men this season such as Joel Embiid, so hopefully they can actually stop Gobert come game time. It will also be important to be wary of Joe Johnson and his abilities off of the bench. Brooklyn should know what he is capable of.
All in all, it is a new year, but the same Jeremy Lin-less team. Brooklyn can beat the Jazz with George Hill being absent, but it is not going to be easy. Brooklyn struggles on the glass and down low and on defense. The Jazz are good on defense and good down low and they can shoot the ball. Brooklyn will have their hands full, but look to bounce back after a terrible loss to the Wizards before 2016 ended.