The Jazz and Blazers for the final time this season. With as close as these last three games have been scheduled, it almost feels like we're in a playoff series with them.
They just got Brandon Roy back and he's not quite back to the Roy we know. He only played 15 minutes in his first game back against the Clippers in a Blazers win. A couple days later he played 35 minutes against the Celtics and they got pounded.
Boston didn't do us any favors earlier today as they couldn't complete their 20-point comeback with a win. JR Smith was on fire in that game and single-handily put the Celtics away in the fourth quarter.
So the Jazz will need a win just to stay 1/2 game back of Denver tonight.
The Blazers are 5-5 over their last 10 with one of those Ls coming at Utah a couple weeks ago and lost one at home against the Jazz just before that 10-game stretch.
I'm sorry to say, but they're long overdue for a breakout game. They're at home, they just got blown out by Boston, and the Jazz beat them pretty good the last time they were there; they're going to want to play well tonight. I'm sure that's the goal every night, but they're going to have a little something extra tonight.
The Jazz on the other hand haven't been playing the ball that we saw during their winning streak but they have been playing well enough to win and playing well late to hold off teams.
I don't have a good feeling about tonight's game though Sloan stated, "We seem to be playing happier than we’ve ever played in a long time."
They've had a lot of mental toughness with their recent play. I haven't seen much head-hanging and finger pointing. It was good to see them pick things back up after that horrible loss to the Lakers before the break.
Even if they don't pick up the win tonight, I think we have a team that's able to re-group now and now let it get them down.