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Precap - Jazz/Clippers & Jazz/Blazers

This really doesn't have anything to do with the precap, I just likes this pic.  And where do I get those shoes?
This really doesn't have anything to do with the precap, I just likes this pic. And where do I get those shoes?

I haven't done a precap in a long time.  Basically it's a preview of tonight's game along with a recap of the last.

The sweep of the Clippers can be be attributed to the strong third quarters that the Jazz had over LA.  Here are the third quarter scores from the three game series,

30-13, 27-14, 31-18

That's a total of 88-45.

Last night's third-quarter charge was led by none other than Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward.  Both put up 10 points though they went about it a bit differently.

Hayward was 2-3 from deep, had 2 from the FT line, and another field goal.  Big Al's work came primarily from the left block as his push jumper was dropping most of the night.

Both of them were once again at it in the fourth to help put the Clippers away.  Gordon had another 7 and Jefferson put up 9.

Combined, they totaled 20 of the team's 30 third quarter points and 16 of the 22 fourth-quarter points.  That's 70% of the team's points in the second half.

For Hayward, it's a big sigh of "finally."  I think you have to attribute part of his success to Sloan going to him in the fourth quarters of the previous 2 games.  Some of it is his work with Hornacek and the extra work he's put in.  And part of it is simply getting a couple of shots to finally fall and get his confidence going.

Now that he has that game out of the way, the next step is to show some consistency.  I guess you could say that for the rest of the team as well though.

For Al, this is what we've been waiting for all season.  He doesn't necessarily have to put up 30 a night, but if he can start knocking down those hook/push/weezy shots, that will go a long way to the consistency on offense that we've been looking for.

Click on through for the preview against the Blazers...

So the night after they beat the Jazz in Utah, Portland goes to Denver and gets blown out by a Carmelo-less Nuggets team.  Aside from Aldridge and Batum, the Blazers had no offense.

The Jazz couldn't get an offensive rebound to save their lives (or the game) against Portland on Monday in the fourth quarter.  They may have been able to pull out a win had they not given up three offensive boards in a row.

It's going to be another tough game tonight as AK (back), CJ (flu), and Memo (back) will be out.  That means a lot more G-Time and some more Fess and Evans.  

Given that Camby, the rebound vacuum, will be back, we'll likely need all of those extra bigs.

Utah finally got out to a good start in the first quarter against the Blazers, going up 27-20 after one.  They didn't win another quarter after that which is completely bizarro Jazz.  I'm not going to say they should give up a first quarter lead and then come back (again).  They just need to learn to play with the lead and not let up.  They're going to have to match Portland's energy out of the gate and be efficient.

The Blazers offense has been struggling.  If the Jazz can win the rebound battle (like they did against the Clippers), they can get another win in Portland.