Cavaliers at Jazz
To, 7 p.m.
TV: ROOT Sports
After a difficult road trip during which they dropped three of five games, the Jazz are back at home on Tuesday night to face off with the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers.
The defending NBA champions are 28-8 on the season after road wins over the Brooklyn Nets and the Phoenix Suns.
While he has plenty of help, the Cavaliers are led by one of the best players in league history in LeBron James.
He is off to another great start averaging 26.2 points on 52 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 8.3 assists and 7.9 rebounds.
The one charged with slowing him down will be Utah's own star small forward, Gordon Hayward.
While his numbers aren't LeBron-like, Hayward is putting up some impressive stats of his own, averaging 22 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
The two have met nine times in the past with Hayward holding the 5-4 edge in the win column.
The most glaring thing from those first nine meetings, is when James plays a ton of minutes, his teams lose. In fact, the five times he has played more than 38 minutes, his team has lost.
As for this season with James, while his minutes are nearly identical during wins and losses, some things do stand out from the five games the Cavs have lost with him on the floor.
His shooting percentage from the field and beyond the arc take a dip, but where you see the most significant drop is from the free-throw line.2 comments on this story
He is already struggling through one of his worst shooting seasons of his career from the free-throw line where he is connecting on 68.8 percent of his attempts. In the losses, that number drops to 62.5 percent, according to Basketball-reference.com.
There is also a huge disparity in his assist-to-turnover ratio from wins to losses. In 28 wins, he's a solid 2.26-1. That number plummets to 1.31-1 in losses.
While forcing James to make tough passes will be huge for the Jazz, so will how Hayward shoots the ball from the outside.
Even though Hayward's 3-point attempts jump from 4.8 per game in wins to 5.5 in losses, his percentage drops from 41.1 to 31.8.