NBA 04-06/02/22: Utah Jazz tangle with Brooklyn Nets, LA Clippers lock horns with Milwaukee Bucks
The NBA is never short on drama, and the midweek action saw some big performances from teams. Now, we are looking forward to the weekend’s games. We have three matchups for you to cast your eyes over, including the Utah Jazz v Brooklyn Nets, and the LA Clippers v Milwaukee Bucks. Check out our full preview below.
Utah Jazz eager to arrest losing slump
There is no need to press the panic button just yet for Jazz. Fourth in the Western Conference with a 30-21 record to boot, the Jazz have impressed for large chunks of the season. However, there may be some concern, as they have lost their last five games on the trot.
The latest defeat was a dispiriting 126-106 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this week. Although Bojan Bogdanovic top-scored for the Jazz with 23 points, the Jazz had no answer for Karl-Anthony Towns. He drained 31 points and managed 11 rebounds as well as 10 assists for the Timberwolves on the night.
Brooklyn Nets feeling the heat after being burned by Phoenix Suns
Just like Friday night’s opponents the Jazz, the Nets have also found things hard going of late. They were on the wrong end of a 121-111 scoreline against the Suns midweek. However, more worryingly, James Harden still appears to be experiencing pain in his hand, despite notching up 22 points while spending 37 minutes on the floor against the Suns.
Charlotte Hornets facing playoff doubts
The Hornets appeared to be well placed to reach the playoffs come the end of the NBA regular season. However, they were torn apart by the LA Clippers midweek, as they slumped to a 115-90 defeat. Although they had some momentum behind them before that loss, they need to get back to basics to prove their doubters wrong.
Miami Heat going through the motions
As discussed previously on several occasions, the Heat have been one of the surprise packages of the campaign. However, they suffered their third defeat in a row against the Toronto Raptors, and they find themselves in third spot in the Eastern Conference. They need to regroup quickly and get things back on track.
Miami Heat still working through other injury problems
Most franchises have been hit by injuries at some point this season. In the case of the Heat, they’ve been relatively successful in that department. However, they have had to cope without Kyle Lowry. The playmaker sat out his ninth straight game earlier this week against the Raptors due to personal reasons.
But Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra admitted Lowry has been in constant contact with the franchise. He said: “He’s part of our family. I just want to be there for him.” It remains to be seen when Lowry will return to the floor, however it is clear that his absence is sorely felt.
Meanwhile, the Hornets have had a few issues of their own. Most notably, they were left feeling a bit embarrassed when Hornets forward P.J. Washington was fined $15,000 along with Toronto Raptors star Justin Champagnie after an on the court altercation. Washington had knocked Champagnie to the floor, and the Hornets will need to keep their cool against the Heat.
LA Clippers sliding in the wrong direction
For a team of the Clippers’ calibre, we probably expected a lot more. They’re certainly not meeting expectations, and currently, they are eighth in the Western Conference with a 26-27 record. Although they tore apart the Hornets last weekend, they were outclassed by the Indiana Pacers in a 122-116 defeat earlier this week.
Things, however, don’t get easier for the Clippers. After an LA derby with the LA Lakers, they wrap up their weekend against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks looked very impressive against the Washington Wizards earlier this week, and they are fifth in the Eastern Conference. While it will make for an entertaining watch, the Bucks may clinch a victory against the Clippers.