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Jazz shootaround: Kemba Walker's health an interesting subplot to Saturday's game

Published February 4, 2017 1:33 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Jazz are attempting to build momentum ahead of what is shaping up as a difficult road trip, but that won't be easy on Saturday night.

The Jazz will face the Charlotte Hornets, who are led by dynamic point guard Kemba Walker. A first time all-star, Walker is listed as questionable for Saturday night. He didn't practice on Friday because of an illness. But if he does play, you can bet he'll be a load.

Last season, he lit the Jazz up for 52 points in a Hornets win in Charlotte. This year, he scored 21 in Utah's loss to the Hornets, but he was instrumental in the win down the stretch.

It's well known that the Jazz have had their issues defending smaller and quicker floor leaders this season. Walker certainly falls into that category. He's as shifty as they come, and able to sneak into defensive creases. He can finish with either hand, and he's able to get wherever he wants off the dribble.

At the same time, Jazz point guard George Hill didn't play the first time these two teams matched up. And his defense should make a difference.

The Jazz are 31-19 on the season, and can actually move into sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference with a win. After Saturday night, the Jazz will play three on the road. Two of those games — at Atlante and at Dallas — are against teams who are currently playing well.






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