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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz

Ready for an NBA Christmas encore with the Spurs?

NBA: Preseason-San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA season has 2 months firmly in the books and the Utah Jazz still remain one of the biggest surprises of the year. Utah and San Antonio both got off to similar fast starts, but where the Spurs’ hot October turned to a bitter November, Utah has been able to play roughly .500 ball so far. A stellar home record (12-5 at Vivint Arena) and a high-powered offense (4th in Off Rating) have made Utah one of the more interesting potential play-in teams. Their season is even more impressive when one considers that Danny Ainge effectively blew up a core that had been together for a handful of years when he traded away Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in the off-season.

December for the Spurs, meanwhile, has been a bit more forgiving than November was as far as the win column goes. Coach Pop continues to toy with lineups and bring guys along, but the Spurs seem firmly destined for the lottery. Nonetheless, they’ve at least felt like a watchable team at times this month, even if the end result hasn’t always gone their way.

San Antonio Spurs (10-22) vs Utah Jazz (19-16)

December 26, 2022 | 7:00 PM CT

Watch: BSSW | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)

Spurs Injuries: Blake Wesley (day to day)

Jazz Injuries: Kelly Olynyk (OUT)

What to watch for

  • 5th year 7-footer Lauri Markkenan is having a career year in his first season in Salt Lake City. The 25 year old is averaging 22.8 points and 8 rebounds per game and is shooting 44% from behind the arc on nearly 7 attempts.
  • Former 6MOY Jordan Clarkson is also taking full advantage of Utah’s offseason moves. Clarkson is averaging a career-high 20 points a game and has started every game he’s suited up for this season.
  • Rookie Jeremy Sochan has scored in double figures in 3 straight games for the first time since the end of November.
  • Former Spur Rudy Gay is in his 2nd season with Utah. He’s appeared in 21 games this season and is averaging 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in about 16 minutes a contest.
  • Utah is 7-9 away from Vivint Arena this season, while the Spurs are 5-12 at the AT&T Center.

For the Jazz fan’s perspective, please visit SLC Dunk

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