Charlotte Bobcats at Utah Jazz game preview

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Bobcats start a tough West Coast trip with their easiest matchup, which isn't saying a whole lot.

Gametime: 9:00 p.m. EST

The Jazz are the worst team in the Western Conference. But when you convert that to the Eastern Conference standings, their 9-24 record would place them towards the back of the pack of teams trying to scrape their way into the playoffs.

Yes, make no mistake -- Utah is not good, but they are not a team to overlook, as the Bobcats have already learned once this season.

About a week or two ago, the Bobcats opened up a short home stand against the Jazz, taking advantage of the winnable game and timing to unveil their new Charlotte Hornets branding logos and fonts and whatnot for the 2014-15 season. Spirits were high among fans. Success, not so much.

Charlotte fell 88-85 in a stinker as they played mostly solid defense but gave up the three ball without shooting it well in return. Utah didn't turn the ball over much and the rest of the game was mostly even with defensive effort and offensive incompetence as the Jazz eked out the narrow victory.

The Bobcats will have to fix those mistakes, especially the three-point defense, and on the road, no less. Cody Zeller had a big game last time against Utah's nice young frontcourt and hopefully he can do that again. Kemba Walker had a dreadful previous showing the other night and really needs to put that behind him. And, of course, it would be greatly appreciated (though not in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas) if Al Jefferson had a big game back in arena he knows so well.

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