TV: NBA TV
- The Utah Jazz are finally making a change to their starting lineup that fans have been waiting for the last couple of months. Gordon Hayward will start at small forward, joining Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson on the court to start the game. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said the move was made for mostly offensive reasons. He said one factor in his decision was how well Memphis defends the strong side, so Utah will need to get the ball to the weak side and attack from there. “He’ll give us some ball handling with the first group,” Corbin said of Hayward. “We look forward to trying to get the pace up a little bit, see if we can get some easy baskets with the first group.”
- Corbin admitted that the way his team has played recently also played a factor in putting Hayward in the starting lineup. The Jazz have lost eight of their last 10 games and trail the Los Angeles Lakers by one game for eighth place in the Western Conference. Hayward began the season as a starter and started 10 games. He’s mostly been used as the team’s sixth man and main guy on its second group. “We need to try and pick it up as much as we can,” Corbin said. “This is the time to do it to give us the best chance to finish as strong as we can.”
- Memphis, coming off an 87-80 loss at Denver on Friday night, isn’t a team to try and get well against. The Grizzlies are tied for the league’s second-best road record at 19-12. They’ve already matched their franchise record for most road victories in a season. “It takes a lot of mental toughness,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said of being successful on the road. “It takes a lot of focus and doing what you’re supposed to offensively and defensively.”
- Hollins said be expects to be without reserve guard Tony Wroten, who is suffering from migraines, tonight. Jerryd Bayless will be relied on more in his absence.