Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks Game 1 Preview: It Begins!

After the ups and downs of an 82-game season, the Utah Jazz will finally play their first playoff game this season against the Dallas Mavericks.

It is the culmination of a season whose main objective was to stay healthy. After a disappointing end to last year, the team that entered the playoffs and lost to the Clippers enters this season healthy. But are they whole? There have been ups and downs with this team. Because of players being rested, they lost a few games, that was to be expected, but there were a surprising number of games where the Jazz had a lead in 4th and lost the game. To what extent was the team not trying to injure themselves for the playoffs and to what extent was this a glimpse of some cracks in the foundation of the team? We will know from now on.

Even though the main starters on this team are the same, there are a few key differences from last year’s bench. The biggest difference was the departure of Joe Ingles. After his ACL tear, the Jazz were involved in a multi-team trade that moved Ingles to Portland and brought in Juancho Hernangomez and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. NAW was expected to be the biggest earner for the Jazz in the trade, but Hernangomez was the surprise rotation player. The other big decision, and probably the most important of the season, was the acquisition of Danuel House. House initially signed several 10-day contracts, but was granted a full contract after standing out for the Jazz. House brings the athleticism, size and energy the team desperately needed. He has played so well so far that fans are wondering when he will be inserted into the starting lineup. It’s a pretty remarkable story. And so this team sacrificed Joe Ingles’ play along with the length and athleticism of Hernangomez and House. The question in this playoff is how much of a difference it will make for Utah.

Of course, the biggest keys to Jazz are still Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley. If those three play well, the Jazz are always one of the most dangerous teams on any given night. The question is can they play a full 48 minutes or will they crumble at the end of games like they have been doing all season?

Now is the opportunity for the Jazz to put everything behind it. Whatever happened before doesn’t matter because each team starts over, 0-0. Is the Jazz ready? We will find out!

It’s clear the bettors are leaning towards the Jazz in this one with Luka Doncic’s injury. With him, it’s an uphill battle for the Mavericks. It’s a game the Jazz should win, we’ll see if they can take advantage of it.

When: 11:00 a.m. MT

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

Television: ESPN, AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountain

Radio: 97.5/1280 The Zone, Utah Jazz app

To verify DraftKings Sportsbookthe official sports betting partner of SB Nation.

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