Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
NBA Preseason 2012-2013, Game 8:
Portland Trail Blazers 91 @ Utah Jazz 97
Utah finishes preseason 5-3
I didn't watch this game; and apparently, unless you WENT to the game you most likely didn't either. (Unless you had a feed) That said, there's a lot of information you can get from this game by looking at the lineup data, and box scores. For one thing -- all of Portland's starters finished with a +/- of 0 or worse. Wesley Matthews had a big game for the Blazers. The former Jazz player finished with 24 points off of 8/14 shooting (4/6 from deep, 4/4 from the free throw line). He also added three rebounds and 2 steals to his tally -- but was a +/-0 in 33 minutes. LaMarcus Aldridge was a -5 in 34 minutes, Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard were both -6 for 35 and 38 minutes respectively. And J.J. Hickson was a -13 in 24 minutes.
The Portland bench only managed 8 points. Eep. And as a whole, their team shot 44.6 fg%, 23.8 3pt%, but were still dangerous from the line, getting 26 free throw attempts, and making 76.9% of them. Portland did also have 11 offensive rebounds, 10 steals, 7 blocks, and caused 17 Jazz turn overs.
Utah had a much more balanced attack, but was powered by the 2010 #3 Draft pick Derrick Favors, and 2011 #3 Draft pick Enes Kanter. D-Fav had 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block and an assist. Hollywood Turk had 21 points, 12 rebounds, a block and a steal. They also combined to go to the free throw line 16 times -- which is by the numbers, 5.5 Al Jefferson games worth.
It wasn't just the Sexual Favors / Turkish Delight show, though. Big Al did have his best game of the preseason ramping up to 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists (only 1 turn over!) in 23 minutes of action. The "middle three" of Gordon Hayward, Marvin Williams, and Paul Millsap all had solid outings as well -- combining for 26 points, only 5 rebounds, but 7 assists, 5 steals (all Sap), and 2 blocks. They also went 9-17, which isn't that shabby from the field.
Randy Foye started for the Jazz and scored 2 points of of 4 shots, so that's pretty good. He did also have 3 assists and only 1 turn over. He's not the worst player ever. He's just the worst shooter ever. That Alec Burks dude seems to be much better on offense, and he finished with 9 and 6 -- but I'm not crazy about his lack of efficiency. He didn't go to the free throw line, but he did nail a three and had a key block in crunch time.
The Jazz won this game, despite the Blazers finishing it with their starting unit. Just like last year. We seem to have that on them. Of course, there are going to be much tougher teams to face in the next 82.
Season starts in 5 days!