Both teams come into this game with a fair bit of momentum and growing in confidence. Both sides boast All-Star talent, which makes this an exciting encounter for NBA fans.
Fixture: Utah Jazz vs Brooklyn Nets - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 - 7:30 PM ET (Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 - 6:00 AM)
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Utah Jazz Preview
The Utah Jazz have been on a tear over the start of the campaign and currently have a record of 4-2.
Experts believe a big reason for Utah's good start is the mending of the relationships in the locker room after last season's Covid-19 fiasco involving Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
The franchise has played like a unit on both ends, and fans will hope this impressive run of form continues for the Utah Jazz.
The only worry for the team right now is their perimeter defense. While the likes of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Royce O'Neale have shown some improvement, the team's outside defense can still seem far too shaky at times.
Key Player - Donovan Mitchell
Despite how well the Utah Jazz are performing at the moment, Donovan Mitchell is still finding his footing. While he certainly hasn't been bad, and is averaging 20.2 points per game this season, his efficiency needs to get better. The 24-year-old has shot just 37.1% from the field and 33.9% from deep.
If Donovan Mitchell does catch fire for the Utah Jazz, the Brooklyn Nets could struggle during this game.
Utah Jazz Predicted Lineup
G Mike Conley, G Donovan Mitchell, F Bogdan Bogdanovic, F Royce O'Neale, C Rudy Gobert
Brooklyn Nets Preview
Offensively, the Brooklyn Nets are one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA right now. One of the main reasons behind this is head coach Steve Nash, who had been written off by many at the start of the season.
The driving force, of course, is the brilliance of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Both players are offensive juggernauts and have been showing the NBA why the Nets are considered as contenders.
Fans and analysts were concerned about who would be the Brooklyn Nets' primary ball handler, but both players seem to be sharing that responsibility.
Despite the positives, there is some bad news for the franchise in terms of injuries. Spencer Dinwiddie has been diagnosed with a partially torn ACL and will be out for the entire season.
Dinwiddie offers additional playmaking and shot creation, which makes his absence a big loss for the Nets.
Nicolas Claxton is also expected to miss the game against the Utah Jazz.
Key Player - Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant has had a fantastic start to the season. The 32-year-old doesn't look like he is coming off a ruptured Achilles, which is one of the most damaging injuries in basketball.
Durant has been putting up 28.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists per game, shooting 51.4% from the field and 45.5% from beyond the arc.
If the Utah Jazz are to win against the Brooklyn Nets, they will need to find a way to stop Kevin Durant and build from there.
Brooklyn Nets Predicted Lineup
G Kyrie Irving, G Joe Harris, F Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, F Kevin Durant, C DeAndre Jordan
Utah Jazz vs Brooklyn Nets Match Prediction
The Utah Jazz and Brooklyn Nets are both playoff teams. While Donovan Mitchell could step up his game, the duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant will likely prove just too much.
This could be a different story if Mitchell had an elite scorer to support him, but that isn't the case.
Couple that with the fact that the Brooklyn Nets are elite at shooting from the perimeter, and that makes them the favorites to grab the win over the Utah Jazz.