Washington Wizards 2019-2020 Season Preview: Utah Jazz

Washington Wizards Troy Brown Jr. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Troy Brown Jr. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images) /

The Utah Jazz made some serious moves in the off-season to compete in the loaded Western Conference. Can an Eastern Conference foe like the Washington Wizards keep up?

Washington Wizards record Vs. Utah last season: 0-2

Utah added: Mike Conley, Jeff Green, Bojan Bogdanovic, Ed Davis, Emmanuel Mudiay

Utah lost: Derrick Favors, Grayson Allen, Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Ricky Rubio, Raul Neto

The Utah Jazz have been stuck in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference. Tired of this, Utah made a blockbuster trade for point guard Mike Conley, who was coming off the best season of his 12-year career. The veteran averaged 21.1 points, 6.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals. He will team up with up and coming star Donovan Mitchell. With Conley in the fold, this will take tons of pressure off Mitchell to carry the offense. For Conley, Utah shipped out two first-round picks, Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, and Jae Crowder. If he stays healthy, Conley will be one of the best point guards the Jazz have had since the days of John Stockton.

The Jazz followed this up by signing Ed Davis to back up Rudy Gobert, as well as Emmanuel Mudiay to back up Conley. Utah then added sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic to add some much-needed scoring help. Lastly, the Jazz signed former Wizards Jeff Green to be one of their top reserves. Overall the Jazz found a way to surround Mitchell with terrific secondary scoring options.

Last season the Jazz swept the Wizards in the two-game series. Now Utah returns an even more dangerous lineup, while Washington is in the midst of a mini rebuild. Through three games so far, the Wizards have proved their defense is still inconsistent at best. The Jazz averaged 111.7 points per game last season, which was tied for 17th in the league. Add Bogdanovic and Mitchell to the starting lineup, and this offense will overwhelm the young Wizards defense.

Wizards to watch

For this one, all eyes will be on Bradley Beal. He will be matched up with the best player on Utah in Mitchell. The two will up each other’s game as neither will want to be outdone. Expect both players to let it fly from behind the arc, as well as attack the basket at any opportunity. Unless some of the young role players on Washington have started to emerge as legitimate scoring options, Beal will be burden with carrying the offense. Mitchell will not have the same problem and will be able to flourish because of it.

Another match up to watch is Thomas Bryant. The young center will be matched up against a two-time Defensive Player of the Year in Rudy Gobert. Bryant has started to emerge as a valuable piece moving forward, but this will be one of his toughest assignments of the season. One of Bryant’s weaknesses is his defense, and he will have a tough assignment in the post. While his defense is improving, Gobert will give him problems all night. It will be important to see how the youngster adapts.

2019-2020 Game Predictions

Sunday, January 12 in D.C.

The Jazz will be in town for the Wizards last of two home games before they go back on the road. Thomas Bryant will dunk on Gobert, Rui Hachimura will have himself another double-double, and Beal will drop 35 as the Wizards eke out a win.

Next. Washington Wizards Season Preview: Houston Rockets. dark

Friday, February 28 in Utah

Utah will get out to a quick lead and will never look back. Rudy Gobert will prove too much on the boards, and Bogdanovic will hit five three’s against his former team. The Jazz’s defense will stifle the Wizards offense, and Utah will win in a blowout.