Utah Jazz 2017-18 Week Three Outlook, Predictions

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Ricky Rubio (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Ricky Rubio (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 25: Kyle Lowry (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 25: Kyle Lowry (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

11/3 Utah vs. Toronto

7:00 pm MT – AT&T SportsNet/League Pass

Opponent record: 3-2

Season series: Tied 0-0

It seems as though the Toronto Raptors are a team that’s always good, but never great. For a few years now they’ve been pinned as a potential challenger in the Eastern Conference, and although they made it as far as the Eastern Conference Finals back in 2016, they’ve just never seemed to be able to get over the hump.

They’re off to a respectable 3-2 start this season with their pair of losses coming to the San Antonio Spurs and in a late blown lead to the Golden State Warriors. The Raptors have a talented roster and should be in the thick of the top half of Eastern Conference playoff squads, but I still don’t feel like they’ll be a team to strike absolute fear into their opponents yet again this season.

Prior to Friday’s bout against the Jazz, the Raptors will take on two other Northwest Division foes in the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers, so seeing how those games turn out could give a more clear indication of what Utah will be up against. As has come to be expected, DeMar DeRozan will certainly be a major contributor for Toronto as will Kyle Lowry, despite his somewhat slow start that he’s gotten off to this season.

The Raptors also appear to have a more promising supporting cast than perhaps they’ve had in recent seasons as Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka are both off to good starts as is new addition and former Jazzman C.J. Miles. Toronto also has two former University of Utah Utes who have been making nice contributions in Delon Wright and Jakob Poeltl.

With that being the case, Utah will need to have a well-balanced game and received significant contributions from their bench if they hope to overwhelm a deep Raptors squad that also boasts two legitimate All-Stars in its starting lineup. It won’t be an easy task, but given that this contest is the sixth and final game of a tough six-game road trip for Toronto, I expect the Jazz to wear them down and come out on top.

My Prediction: Jazz Win

Final Score: Utah 96, Toronto 90