Game Day: Portland Trailblazers (12-8) at Utah Jazz (11-7)


I don't know about the rest of you, but out of all other NBA teams, I consider the Portland Trailblazers to be our rival. It certainly helps that they are in our same division. The fact that they stole, or tried to steal our players certainly adds fuel to the fire. And to top it all off, I just don't like their players or some of their fans. They certainly have had our number the last few games, taking 3 of 4 from us last season and winning both of the games in the Energy Solutions Arena. I just hope that the Jazz play with the distaste for the Blazers that I have. We need something to spark this Jazz team.

What's Going on With the Blazers?

The Blazers are a very good team that might be a great team. On one hand they have handled a few good teams like the Lakers, Suns and Grizzlies at home and handed the Oklahoma City Thunder their only loss in Oklahoma. On the other hand, the Blazers have lost at lowly Detroit and Golden State and lost to the Phoenix Suns by 25 points in Phoenix. These are perplexing losses and really ones that title contenders don't suffer. So it's hard to know exactly what type of team the Blazers are.

For the Jazz the Blazers are a really difficult matchup. Wesley Matthews is a tough and smart defender who can hit three pointers, much like a younger, stronger version of Raja Bell. Gerald Wallace is one of the strongest and toughest small forwards in the game and will give Gordon Hayward fits with his physical, hard-nosed basketball. Lamarcus Aldridge is very talented and is a longer, taller version of Paul Millsap in some ways with the way he uses his inside and outside offensive game. And Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas are tough interior defenders that will give Al Jefferson problems. But who really knows which version of the Blazers will show up in Salt Lake City.

What's going on With the Jazz?

There's no two ways around it; the Jazz are playing some of their worst basketball right now of the season. I mean, their first two games were their worst basketball, and the last two games were just a half step above those performances. When you are lucky to escape with a home victory of the Sacramento Kings, that is not one of your better performances, no offense to Kings fans, but a big offense to the Kings organization. The Jazz will need to play good team basketball in order to beat the Blazers and their young guys will have to play well, especially if Raja Bell is out with an injured adductor muscle making minutes for Alec Burks.

Bottom Line:

Be There. 7PM MST. The Good Guys vs. The Bad Guys.

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