Trail Blazers Vs. Jazz Game Preview: Finishing strong

APRIL. 18, 2011; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum (88) reacts after turning the ball over during the first quarter of the game against the Utah Jazz at the Rose Garden. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

Game 66: Portland Trail Blazers (28-37, Road: 8-24) @ Utah Jazz (35-30, Home: 24-8)

Fan Appreciation Night

It doesn't matter what activity you are doing, cooking, bar trivia, hot yoga, playing your last game of the regular season -- you always want to finish strong. Especially tonight, because tonight is our last regular season home game and as a result, tonight is fan appreciation night. This is important because it should be more than just a game. It is the fan appreciation night in the first season after the NBA owners locked out the rest of their employees (not just the professional ballers, but lots of Utah Jazz employees lost their jobs too). I felt like every night this year should have been fan appreciation night because it's the fans capital that runs everything. But the fans had zero say in the entire process. I felt like both the players and owners owed the fans this season.

But they've condensed it into one night. And they better finish strong tonight. For the fans.

One of the biggest things NBA people in other markets talk about when they talk about the Utah Jazz are how loud, passionate, and great the Utah Jazz fans are. The Jazz have enjoyed a great home court advantage every year they've been in Utah -- even when they played in the 12,000 person capacity Salt Palace. Print media like newspapers, like The Sporting News, and like Sports Illustrated used to write about the great Jazz fans in the 80s. TV NBA programs used to do segments on how great the Jazz fans were in the 90s. And even in the 2000s when the Jazz were winding down their runs, and getting first round exits and missing the playoffs the Jazz fans were still there.

Today in the 2010s all NBA video games include in game commentary talking about how great the Jazz fans are, and how it is a big plus for the Jazz team, to have such a strong home court and fans who show up in every season.

The one constant for our franchise is the fans. It's not Jerry, he's gone. It's not John or Karl, they're retired. It's not tough interior defense, but there are some signs of life now in that regard. It's not smart play, we still do consistently dumb stuff on the floor. The one constant IS the great fan base.

And tonight is fan night. This is our night.

Also Portland sucks.They've lost 8 of their last 9 games. It doesn't look like they are trying right now. But still, you gotta play hard in this game Utah. Don't you dare lose on fan appreciation night.

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