Beginning a four game road trip before the mid-season break, the Utah Jazz travel to face the Miami Heat in a blockbuster matchup on Friday night. Quinn Snyder's Jazz side have been tearing up the NBA, re-writing fans and the media's pre-conceptions of what their season would look like.
Meanwhile, the Heat have been inconsistent, though do appear to have found some form after four wins on the bounce.
Miami have dragged themselves back into the East's playoff berths, winning 7 of their past ten and come into this matchup having knocked off the LA Lakers and Toronto Raptors this week.
Both sides come into this contest riding high on confidence which should make for an exciting encounter.
Utah Jazz vs Miami Heat: Injury Updates
One of the main reasons the Utah Jazz have performed to such a high level this season is the fact they have been able to keep their best players fit. Their regular starting lineup is up a net total of 99 points on their opponents, while on the floor the Jazz lineup ranks second in the league for any 5-man lineup.
At the time of writing, their stars continue to remain healthy, with the only notable absentee for Friday's game being roster player Udoka Azubuike.
The Miami Heat have had their fair share of injury headaches already this season and will be hoping their situation is more consistent after the All-Star break. With Jimmy Butler back healthy and having played a good run of games alongside fellow star Bam Adebayo, the Heat look back to their best and have shown elite defending in their recent winning run.
After suffering a season-ending injury, the Miami Heat were recently given a $7.5m disabled player exception for Meyers Leonard's absence. Avery Bradley has also been sidelined for some time, though is hoping to return before the All-Star break. Tyler Herro is doubtful for Friday after missing the win over Toronto with a hip injury.
Utah Jazz vs Miami Heat: Predicted Lineups
As stated, the Utah Jazz are at full strength, therefore we can expect no changes from the side that have won 9 of their last 10. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert were recently selected as All-Stars, though many also called for Mike Conley to gain his first career call up with the veteran averaging 16.3 points and 5.7 assists per game.
Fans of the league are now taking the Utah Jazz' championship credentials extremely seriously. Utah have 6 players averaging double figures, 4 of their starters, Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson, who is a contender for Sixth Man of the Year.
The Jazz have been prolific from downtown and recently broke their franchise record for the third time this season. Niang shot 7-7 off the Utah Jazz bench against Charlotte, while Clarkson and Ingles added 12 additional tries.
The Miami Heat are also expected to remain unchanged with their current starters consistently playing together throughout their recent successful run of 7 wins in ten. Miami have improved dramatically during this time, seeing improved performances across the side, such as Tyler Herro's 27 points against Sacramento from the bench and Kendrick Nunn's same tally against the Lakers.
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have returned to their dangerous best on offense, scoring 46 points and 20 rebounds between them against Toronto.
Utah Jazz vs Miami Heat: Predicted Starting 5s
G - Mike Conley Jr., G - Donovan Mitchell, F - Bojan Bogdanovic, F - Royce O'Neale, C - Rudy Gobert
G - Duncan Robinson, G - Kendrick Nunn, F - Jimmy Butler, F - Kelly Olynyk, C - Bam Adebayo