NBA Preview: Portland Trail Blazers (1-2) face off against the Utah Jazz (1-2) in preseason action

Guess who may be playing half the game? - Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Preseason 2013-2014, Game 4:

Portland Trail Blazers (1-2) @ Utah Jazz (1-2)

Behind Enemy Lines (MyLo) / Blazer's Edge (SB Nation Blog) / Blazers @ Jazz coverage

Does anyone remember all the radio from last time? Welcome to the TV age tonight!

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The Basics:

The Jazz pick up the pieces and play their first game of the Trey Burke era with an injured Trey Burke. On the other side of the court Portland, aiming for a return to the playoffs, will try to test out their beefed up bench. The side story is that Mo Williams and Earl Watson (a combined 65 starts) will return to face the team that didn't want them back.

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History:

The Jazz lead the all-time season series against the Blazers 93-72. Furthermore, the Jazz are 66-17 at home against the bad guys. Last season Utah went 3-1 against Portland. The season before we went 4-0. The season before that we went 1-3. So over the last three seasons we're 8-4 . . . but this team is a lot different than the ones we've had over the last three seasons. History goes out the window, unless we're talking recent history -- where the Blazers beat us two games ago in preseason action in Idaho.

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Scouting, Stats, and Stereotypes:

We have a poor offense, and the Blazers are supposed to be a playoff team. In reality, Portland isn't doing that great, they're 15th in PPG, but 21st in opponents PPG. They are 24th in rebounds per game, and have the same record as we do. What about us? The Jazz are 13th in PPG, and 15th in opponents PPG. I guess part of this is just pure luck, right? I don't know. We're also 14th in RPG and 13th in APG. Not bad, I think it's just the Clippers blowout that has us reeling as fans.

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Injury Report:

Blazers Injuries --

  • C.J. McCollum (PG/SG) OUT -- C.J. had a non-operative ultrasound today and is going to be re-evaluated in six weeks.
  • Dorrell Wright (SG/SF) IN -- Dorrell has a dislocated finger, but will get the start tonight.
  • Earl Watson (PG) OUT -- Earl is out with a calf injury
  • Meyers Leonard (C) IN -- Meyers will play with a foot injury today
  • Nicolas Batum (SG/SF) OUT -- Batum will not play today because of a concussion he had
  • Wesley Matthews (SG) and Allen Crabbe (SG) ??? -- they had an illness, but I think should be okay.

Jazz Injuries --

  • Trey Burke (PG) OUT -- Trey just had right index finger surgery yesterday for a fracture. He's going to be out for three to four weeks at the least, according to his Dad. (WHO TOLDED ME THIS ON THE PHONE)
  • Marvin Williams (SF/PF?) OUT -- Marvin is out until the end of December at the earliest rehabing his right Achilles tendon
  • Brandon Rush (SG/SF) OUT -- Brandon is also out until December (who knows if he'll even play?) with left knee rehab
  • Gordon Hayward (SG/SF) Good to go -- Gordon has an arch strain in his foot (I didn't bother to read up on it), and he should be playing

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Advantage --

I want to call this a wash, but we have no bench -- so we're disadvantaged right now with health.

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The Game:

Just win, or something, baby.

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Player Focus:

Derrick Favors has to show us something on offense besides offensive fouls.

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X-Factors:

"Home Court", let's get the crowd into things. This is a short preview, shut up.

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As an aside:

I am really not in blogging regular season shape yet, can ya tell?

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Fearless Prediction:

Jazz win, why? Because we need some good news, dag-nab-it!

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