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Jazz vs Pistons preview: No time to rest as Utah heads to the Palace

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If there is any redeeming factor to the Cleveland loss, no Pistons’ player logged over 26 minutes.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Playing the Utah Jazz for 48 minutes is about as fun as sitting in a 14-year-long traffic jam: It’s frustrating and they never seem to be doing any work when I drive by.

Well, at least the frustrating part applies.

The Jazz smacked the Pistons with an ugly 110-77 blowout loss in mid-January and are currently fighting off the Los Angeles Clippers for homecourt advantage in the first round.

For the Pistons, it’s the second night of a back-to-back which saw them get run out of the Quicken Loans Arena in an ugly loss to Cleveland last night.

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Game Vitals

When: March 15th @ 7:30 p.m. EST
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills; Auburn Hills, MI
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

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Analysis

See how the Jazz funnel opponents to Rudy Gobert here.

Utah’s offense isn’t going to wow you like a Golden State or Houston team would but what they do, they do efficiently well. They’re a well coached, high BBIQ team that waits for the opponent to make a mistake and then quickly capitalize.

Below, Gordon Hayward receives two screens but doesn’t pull the trigger until he’s Mo Speights’ responsibility:

Again, the Jazz exploit the Clippers’ perimeter defense:

Pass and pick away is a staple of every motion offense and it’s seemingly what Joe Johnson is going to do. Knowing this, Austin Rivers cheats and gets burned backdoor by Hayward. This exact play happens all the time with the Jazz - they love when teams overplay.

Below is another sort of Jazz trickery:

Joe Ingles is seemingly going to screen for Hayward but flairs out instead. This causes confusion between Clippers’ defenders which leaves Ingles by himself and the Clippers scrambling. As the play evolves, Ingles trots down the lane for an easy layup.

Their feigning offense combined with the number one points against defense makes Utah a tough team to beat.

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Projected Lineups

Utah

George Hill, Rodney Hood, Rudy Gobert, Boris Diaw, Gordon Hayward

Detroit

Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris

* In their first meeting, Stan Van Gundy experimented with starting Aron Baynes and Andre Drummond to match Gobert and Derrick Favors but Favors has been out since March 6th. Stay tuned to the GameThread for lineup changes.

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Prediction

This has disaster written all over it but so did last week when the Pistons beat Cleveland on the second night of a back-to-back.

Jazz 104, Pistons 98