Utah Jazz 2017-18 Week Nine Outlook, Predictions

MILWAUKEE, WI - DECEMBER 9: Thabo Sefolosha #22 of the Utah Jazz is seen before the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 9, 2017 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - DECEMBER 9: Thabo Sefolosha #22 of the Utah Jazz is seen before the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 9, 2017 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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SAN ANTONIO, TX – DECEMBER 8: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics goes to the basket against the San Antonio Spurs on December 8, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – DECEMBER 8: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics goes to the basket against the San Antonio Spurs on December 8, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images) /

12/15 Utah at Boston

5:30 pm MT – AT&T SportsNet/League Pass

Opponent record: 22-5

Season series: Tied 0-0

The Utah Jazz will experience quite a turnaround from Wednesday to Friday as they’ll go from playing the worst team in the Eastern Conference to the best team in the Eastern Conference when they visit the Boston Celtics. Of course, this game would have had a lot more bearing for Jazz fans had Gordon Hayward been healthy and active for the contest, but you can still bet that this Jazz team will have a massive chip on their shoulders when going against the team that stole away their All-Star last summer.

Unfortunately, getting the better of the Celtics is going to be far from an easy task. Despite being without Gordon Hayward for all but the first few minutes of the season, mastermind head coach Brad Stevens has had his Boston team absolutely firing on all cylinders. Kyrie Irving has been sensational and the Celtics’ young guns have very much lived up to and surpassed expectations.

And their conference-leading 22-5 record has absolutely been indicative of their play. The Celtics boast the best defensive rating in the league of 99.4 and are holding opponents to the fewest points per game at just 97.5. Considering how much Utah’s offense has struggled even against middle-of-the-road defenses, this is likely going to be a very scary match-up.

Boston’s offense hasn’t been quite as good as its defense, but it’s still been very much prolific enough to lean on the defense and outscore opponents with ease. Given Utah’s offensive issues, particularly during their recent three-game losing streak, I have a hard time seeing them beating a stingy Boston defense on the road. The Jazz have lost to the likes of the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns on the road, so overcoming those woes in Boston seems like a pipe dream.

As nice as it would be to see Utah earn a bit of a revenge victory over the injured Hayward’s new Boston team, I am far from confident that such will be the case and predict that the Celtics will win this one quite handily.

My Prediction: Celtics Win

Final Score: Boston 108, Utah 87