The Nuggets swept the season series, but Denver’s defense is a weakness the Jazz can exploit

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Utah Jazz’ Rudy Gobert (27) dunks during the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets in an NBA basketball game Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. | Kevin C. Cox, Pool Photo via AP

The Jazz and Nuggets will begin a best-of-seven series to open the first round of the 2020 NBA playoffs and if the most recent contest between these teams was any indication of what’s to come, there’s a serious battle on the horizon.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz’s most riveting, most compelling and most complete game in the NBA bubble was a double-overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. What felt like a playoff game from beginning to end turned out to be a playoff preview.

On Monday, the Jazz and Nuggets will begin a best-of-seven series to open the first round of the 2020 playoffs and if the most recent contest between these teams was any indication of what’s to come, there’s a serious battle on the horizon.

“It’s a good matchup. Everybody really tunes up and locks in, every possession means something, so it’s going to be a good matchup for us. We’re going to go out there and compete and play hard and try to win this series. Just take it one game at a time.” — Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson

“They’re a terrific team; they’ve shown that all year long,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “They’ve got some special players and we’ve got our work cut out for us. We’ll try to get prepared and get ready.”

The Jazz and Nuggets met three times this season, twice before the season was suspended, and although the Nuggets swept the season series 3-0, each game was decided by six points or less.

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The two teams first met this season on Jan. 30, on the second night of a back-to-back set on the road. After flying in late the night before from San Antonio, the Jazz arrived at the arena shortly after Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert had been named NBA All-Stars for the first time in their careers.

Though the night started off with smiles and congratulations, Mitchell had one of his worst games of the season, going 1-of-12 from the field and finishing with just four points, and it took a 37-point performance from the Jazz’s newest addition, Jordan Clarkson, to keep the game close.

With Joe Ingles and Royce O’Neale also failing to make much of an offensive dent that night, Clarkson took over. While fans can often point to games where Clarkson plays a little too much in isolation, it’s a game like the one in Denver that serves as a good reminder that sometimes you need a guy on the court who can just get a bucket, and after the game Snyder said that’s exactly what he loves about Clarkson.

“I love him, I love him. Write it down. I love him,” Snyder said at the time. “Sometimes a system needs to be malleable. He’s unselfish, he attacks the …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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