Jazz vs. Nuggets preview: No opportunity necessary, no experience needed

Kenneth Faried and Enes Kanter - Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets return home for the first time in two weeks to face the rebuilding Utah Jazz. Not much to say to that other than...GO TEAM GO!

Game 22: 2013-14 NBA Season
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5-19 (2-10 road)
Series 0-1
13-8 (6-2 home)
December 13th, 2013
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
7:00 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM
Trey Burke PG Ty Lawson
Gordon Hayward SG Randy Foye
Richard Jefferson SF Wilson Chandler
Derrick Favors PF Kenneth Faried
Enes Kanter C J.J. Hickson
Notes
SLC Dunk Blogs You're here!
No one of any significance
Injuries Danilo Gallinari (knee) is out, JaVale McGee (leg fracture) is out
Utah defeated the Sacramento Kings handily their last game.
Stat Nuggets went 4-2 on their 6 game east coast road trip

The Utah Jazz are a rebuilding team. Playing the young bloods and getting "development" going while trying to secure a high draft pick in a stacked draft. Seems like a plan that the entire Eastern Conference is participating in, but that is a different story.

The Jazz have placed a large focus on fourth year shooting guard/small forward Gordon Hayward. Additionally, high draft pick Trey Burke has come into the Jazz lineup since the last time they played the Nuggets, and has seemed to take some of the scoring focal point load off of Hayward. Burke is an interesting talent, and it remains to be seen how he will pan out in this league. So far the young point guard is averaging 12.8 points and 4.6 assists per game.

Hayward is solid, reliable, but has been struggling with his shooting in a year where he is the Jazz primary scorer. This is a big year for Hayward, as he was unable to reach an early extension with the Jazz ... and can become a restricted free agent at the end of the year. If he impresses, he may get an inflated contract from a team in the offseason and force the hand of the Jazz. Will be interesting to see it play out.

Aside from the obvious, the Jazz seem to be relying on the development of Derrick Favors as an inside presence. His development has been spotty, and with playing behind Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap his previous season in the league (at least, since he has been in Utah). You can see the potential in Favors still, even nearly 4 seasons after the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors, however it's been a painfully slow process I'm sure for Jazz fans.

Oh, and before I proceed. Starvin' Marvin Williams is still on the Jazz. Ummm, I hate to do this to you Marvin but I HAVE to show this. Cuz ... well ... reasons.

Yeah ... that had to be seen again.

All in all, this is going to be a long year for the Jazz. Searching for that space in between development and playing competitive basketball that many NBA teams find themselves in this season. As long as Jazz fans are ok with the tough times, they will likely be rewarded with a high draft pick that can be added to Hayward, Burke and Favors. Some say this is the "correct" way to rebuild. To me, it's just another way period.

Nuggets of Wisdom

Hey guys! The Nuggets are finally back at home for a four game home stand starting tonight! Isn't that grand? After the Broncos laid a Titanic egg on Thursday night, I'm sure the general populace of Denver needs a big pick me up in the form of an entertaining Nuggets squad. After what could be the worst offensive performance I've seen from a Nuggets team against the Washington Wizards, the Nuggets look to regain their composure and start firing on on cylinders tonight in Denver.

Ty Lawson will be playing tonight. so the Nuggets offensive spark plug will be back. The team has seen some resurgence from Jordan Hamilton and the Nuggets have sorely needed his three point shooting at times. It's time to make some hay on this home stand.

***

Twitter: @jmorton78

mortonagency@juno.com


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