10/28 Utah at Dallas
5:00 pm MT – AT&T SportsNet/League Pass
Opponent record: 0-1
Season series: Tied 0-0
The Utah Jazz swept the Dallas Mavericks in the regular season last year, winning all three meetings between the two teams. Although Dallas has some exciting young talent in the likes of Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr., along with established guys such as DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Utah go undefeated in the season series against the Mavs once again.
Dallas was handily defeated in their regular season opener against the Phoenix Suns, who don’t figure to be anywhere close to a powerhouse this upcoming season. While it’s unwise to read too much into a lone contest this early into the year, if that game is any indication for what’s ahead for the Mavs, it could turn into a long season.
The main thing that scares me about this contest is the fact that it will take place on the second night of a back-to-back for the Jazz. Road trips this early in the year are always a challenge and having to play in consecutive games away from home is never easy.
Not only that, but judging the Mavs off of one loss, albeit to the lowly Suns, is likely not the wisest idea. Between now and the game against the Jazz, Dallas will play Minnesota, Chicago, Atlanta and Toronto. Those games against teams of varying skill levels will likely serve as a much more revealing measuring stick about Dallas’ talent level this year.
Thus, my prediction could change between now and next Sunday depending on how the Mavs play this week, but for now, I’m expecting Utah to overcome the back-to-back situation on the road and arise victorious.
My Prediction: Jazz Win
Final Score: Utah 106, Dallas 93
So I have the Jazz going 3-1 in their second week, which wouldn’t be a bad mark considering how tough this first road trip is shaping up to be. Quite truthfully, I could see my predictions on the Rockets and Pelicans games going either way, be it a switch of the results or the Jazz winning or losing both. The Grizzlies and Mavs can’t be slept on, but I’d honestly be quite disappointed if Utah dropped either of those.
The early-going of the season is difficult for the Utah Jazz, but they’ll benefit from continuity as they face some teams that are still working to get accustomed to one another. Ideally, they’ll take advantage of that fact then be able to close out the year extremely strong against lackluster opponents to be able to string together a phenomenal 2018-19 campaign.