The road trip reunion comes to an end.
After facing former seeing former Jazzmen Joe Ingles (Milwaukee) and Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland) the past two games, Utah will conclude its road trip down memory lane on Tuesday night.
The Jazz square off with Bojan Bogdanovic and the Detroit Pistons, concluding their three-game swing through the midwest.
After falling by large margins to the Bucks and Cavs — two of the best teams in the league — Utah will try to salvage the three-game swing with their lone victory of the trip.
The Jazz were overwhelmed by both teams' size, length, and pressure — the top two defensive squads in the NBA. However, Utah should get a slight reprieve against the Pistons, who currently rank second-to-last in defensive rating.
"I think that these last two games have shown us that when teams do have a significant size advantage on us, we really have to be more cognizant of the little things to help each other create good shots," head coach Will Hardy said Monday night.
The good news for Utah is that some offensive help could be on the way, as there's a chance that Kelly Olynyk returns to the court against his former team.
Olynyk was traded to Utah as part of a package deal that sent Bogdanovic to the Pistons — the final trade of the offseason for the Jazz. Since arriving in Salt Lake City, he's emerged as the ideal complement to the roster, a spacing big-man who plays a hard-nosed style of defense and can serve as a secondary playmaker.
He sorely missed against Cleveland, sitting out with a left ankle sprain.
"Kelly is a big part of our team," Hardy said. "He's a very versatile player that presents a matchup problem in a lot of ways because small guys struggle with his size and the bigger guys tend to struggle with the fact that he can space the floor, and he's very skilled."
The Jazz and Pistons are no strangers to one another, having already squared off once this season. Detroit came to Utah and emerged with a 125-116 victory.
Regardless, the Jazz aren't deterred after their tough two-game stretch and will enter Tuesday night with as much confidence as usual.
"The good news is that these games only count as one.," Hardy said Monday. "It's never as bad as it feels. … It's our job to strip away the emotion, try to learn from this game because we play again tomorrow.”
Utah (17-16, 6-11 away / No. 9 Western Conference)
*116.7 Points Per Game (No. 5 in NBA)
*115.1 Offensive Rating (No. 4 in NBA)
*116.2 Points Per Game (No. 24 in NBA)
*114.3 Defensive Rating (No. 25 in NBA)
*Lauri Markkanen: 22.3 points | 8.3 rebounds | 2.2 assists | 42.3% 3P-shooting
*Jordan Clarkson: 20.0 points | 4.5 assists | 3.8 rebounds | 34.8% 3P-shooting
*Malik Beasley: 14.1 points | 3.7 rebounds | 38.9% 3P-shooting
*Kelly Olynyk: 12.9 points | 5.0 rebounds | 3.2 assists | 43.0% 3P-shooting
Detroit (8-24, 4-11 home / No. 15 Eastern Conference)
*111.3 Points Per Game (No. 19 in NBA)
*110.7 Offensive Rating (No. 23 in NBA)
*117.9 Points Per Game (No. 29 in NBA)
*117.2 Defensive Rating (No. 29 in NBA)
*Bojan Bogdanovic: 21.3 points | 3.5 rebounds | 42.3% 3P-shooting
*Jaden Ivey: 15.0 points | 4.3 rebounds | 3.9 assists
*Saddiq Bey: 14.2 points | 4.0 rebounds
*Alec Burks: 13.8 points | 3.0 rebounds | 40.2% 3P-shooting
*Malik Beasley vs. Alec Burks
— The last time these two teams met, Beasley and Burks put on a show from three-point territory. Beasley finished with a season-high 29 points on 8-of-15 from deep, while Burks added 18 points on 4-of-6 from deep. Both of these players are key components to their respective bench units and should play big roles tonight.
OUT | Collin Sexton (right hamstring strain)
OUT | Johnny Juzang (G League - Two-Way)
OUT | Buddy Boeheim (G League - Two-Way)
OUT | Cade Cunningham (left tibia stress fracture)
OUT | Braxton Key (G League - Two-Way)
OUT | Isaiah Livers (right shoulder sprain)
Time: 5:00 p.m. MST
Location: Little Caesars Arena/ Detroit, MI
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: The Zone Sports Network