The Utah Jazz are the hottest team in the NBA right now, as they hold the best record in the NBA and feature 2 All-Star players in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. But how does their all-time team look like? Both Mitchell and Gobert will start for the greatest Jazz Team of all-time.
Both the Jazz and Pistons have a mix of all-time great Hall of Famers who play on both ends of the floor and dominate the game with skill and will. The Pistons legends are more accomplished players who hold NBA titles, but will they have the edge over a supremely talented Jazz squad?
Here is how this all-time great matchup plays out.
John Stockton vs. Isiah Thomas
The most anticipated matchup will be between 2 Hall of Fame point guards who might be among the top 3 to have ever done it in their position. John Stockton is the NBA’s assist and steals leader while Thomas is a 2-time NBA champion and one of the best leaders ever.
This matchup is too close to call, although Thomas is simply a tough competitor who sets the tone for his team in the rest of the game. Thomas scores more points than Stockton in this one, but the legendary playmaker finishes with 12 assists in spectacular fashion. With both ball-handlers controlling the pace of the game, this is the best matchup in this game.
Donovan Mitchell vs. Joe Dumars
Donovan Mitchell is an explosive athlete and scorer who will get hot from the perimeter to help Team Jazz get off to a hot start, and eventually a hot finish. Mitchell attacks Dumars from the get-go but realizes that the Pistons shooting guard is the best perimeter defender on the team.
Mitchell and Dumars go back and forth throughout the game, with Dumars being the tougher competitor. Dumars gets close and aggressive with Mitchell on many occasions, but the explosive Jazz star holds his own in spectacular fashion.
Adrian Dantley vs. Grant Hill
This matchup is between an unstoppable scorer in Dantley and arguably the most talented player ever in Grant Hill. Hill was a special talent in his prime, and he did everything at the highest level similar to LeBron James. While Hill could not shoot very well from the three, he is unstoppable when he attacks the rim and Dantley cannot do much in fairness to him.
But Dantley holds his own. He scores 20 big points for Team Jazz, which is decent considering the number of scorers on his own team. Dantley has a mix of inside and mid-range scoring, and he gets as close as possible to Hill’s 30-point performance.
Karl Malone vs. Dennis Rodman
This matchup will be scrappy, competitive, and a ton of fun to watch. Karl Malone might be the most gifted scorer at the power forward position ever, and Dennis Rodman might be the best defender ever. Not to mention, both players play with aggression and that leads to a ton of scuffles inside the paint. Malone gets a big scoring advantage, dropping 25 points, but Rodman holds him to below 45% shooting.
Rodman is a beast on the boards as he is known to be, and he does everything to bother Malone in scoring the ball. Rodman pokes balls away, irritates Malone by fighting for position inside, and hustles more than everyone on the team. This matchup will ultimately shape who wins this game.
Rudy Gobert vs. Ben Wallace
It is very fitting that the center position features 2 of the game’s best-ever defensive players. Both centers are former Defensive Player of the Year Award winners, although players have distinct differences. Gobert is a longer and lankier defender who will find it easier to block shots, while Ben Wallace is a powerhouse that plays harder than anyone at his position.
Gobert has more blocks, Wallace has the rebounding advantage. In terms of pure skillset, Gobert is more skilled on offense but Wallace is the better overall player. Wallace is stronger and has a championship pedigree, which fits very well alongside Dennis Rodman.
This series features exceptional offensive players on the Jazz against tough competitors on the Pistons squad. The point guards on both teams control the pace of the game, set the tone for the series early, and ultimately shape how the games are played. Games 1, 2, and 3 start off extremely slow, with neither team averaging over 25 points per quarter. The first 3 games end with a Pistons 2-1 lead. The key performers in the first 3 Games are Stockton and Thomas, although the Pistons guard manages to be the best player on the floor in a key Game 3 victory.
But the next 2 games are all about Team Jazz. Game 4 sees current star Donovan Mitchell hit clutch free throws to seal the game despite a monster 40-point double-double from GrantHill. Karl Malone then heats up, scoring 34 points in a big Game 5 performance while constantly getting into very scrappy battles with Dennis Rodman. Rodman does his best to deter Malone, who does not shoot a high percentage from the floor. Isiah Thomas heats up as well, scoring 30 points in Game 5 but it won’t be enough to match Malone and Mitchell - who adds 28 in the game. Team Jazz leads Team Pistons 3-2 heading into Game 6.
The fourth quarter of Game 6 starts out with Thomas and Dumars getting buckets to trim an 85-83 lead, but Team Jazz heat up again. Dantley, Mitchell, and Malone end up with a total of 28 4th quarter points with a Rudy Gobert dunk the only other points scored in the quarter. Donovan Mitchell’s dunk of Hall of Fame defender Ben Wallace is the play of the game, and the game gets out of reach for the Pistons despite a valiant effort from Isiah Thomas and company. The game ends with a 100-96 Jazz victory over the all-time Detroit Pistons which ends the series at 4-2.
All-Time Utah Jazz vs. All-Time Detroit Pistons 4-2