Utah Jazz 2017-18 Week 12 Outlook, Predictions

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 30: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz speaks to media after game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 30, 2017 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 30: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz speaks to media after game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 30, 2017 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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NEW ORLEANS, LA – DECEMBER 27: Anthony Davis #23 and DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on December 27, 2017 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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 Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA – DECEMBER 27: Anthony Davis #23 and DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on December 27, 2017 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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 Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images) /

1/3 Utah vs. New Orleans

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

Opponent record: 18-18

Season series: Jazz lead 1-0

The last time Utah and New Orleans faced off, it took a Donovan Mitchell offensive explosion for the Jazz to win. Mitchell had a mind-blowing 41-point outing which helped his team earn a come-from-behind win over the Pelicans after trailing by as many as 16.

In that game, the Utah Jazz were without Rudy Gobert, just like they will be this time around, so while that certainly will be a challenge against New Orleans’ daunting bigs, they’ve already proven that finding success in that situation is doable. Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins have of course been brilliant all season long, but their stellar play hasn’t been enough to help New Orleans be a consistent threat.

In fact, they’ve been about as up and down as they come as they’re 5-5 in their last 10 games and are currently riding a two-game losing streak which includes losses to the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks. In other words, a large determining factor in whether or not the Jazz will win depends on which Pelicans team shows up.

https://twitter.com/utahjazz/status/936818351514382336

However, I guess the same could be said for the Jazz. If they produce a herculean effort such as the one they displayed against Cleveland or San Antonio, then New Orleans should be no problem. But if they play as they did last week against Denver, they’ll likely be overwhelmed by a solid Pelicans team. While I could easily see this game going either way, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that the former will be the case.

The Jazz have played well at home overall, have plenty of momentum and know how important it is that they bounce back from a rough December as soon as possible. With all that adding up and with the Pelicans being a beatable opponent, I believe Utah will find away to come out on top. Hopefully they won’t need a 41-point outpouring from Mitchell to get the job done, but if it turns out that he has that kind of game anyway, well, I’m all here for it!

My Prediction: Jazz Win

Final Score: Utah 108, New Orleans 101