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Game Day: Portland Trail Blazers @ Utah Jazz - Pre-season Game 2

What's going on with the Blazers

Despite roster turnover and missing their team MVP in La Marcus Aldridge, Portland was able to run small ball on the Jazz and cause all kinds of mismatches. And despite being at a size mismatch, the Blazers outscored the Jazz in the paint, 48-42.

Heading into their final pre-season game of the season, Nate McMillan will get his rotations squared away as they get ready to start the season Monday against the 76ers.

What's going on with the Jazz

Confusion reigns for now with the team. After a poor outing on Monday, the team will try to regroup and turn in a better performance in their second matchup against Portland. With the Blazers likely getting Aldridge back, post defense will become more important, something they struggled with two days ago.

The team is also in a state of flux as Corbin continues to work with lineups. Even on an off day after a road game, the Jazz still practiced with Corbin citing the team's poor performance Monday.

The Jazz won't go 1-12 from deep tonight though the Blazers are certain to improve upon their 26% mark as well. It's a lot to ask for the team to make a dramatic change and improvement in just two days and one practice for the game. I have a feeling that the Jazz continue to struggle with a few bright spots through at least the first ten game of the regular season.

Lineups, Records

Blazers - (1-0)

Starters: LaMarcus Aldridge, Raymond Felton, Wesley Matthews, Gerald Wallace, Marcus Camby

Jazz - (0-1)

Starters (guessing): Devin Harris, Raja Bell, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson

Likely Out: Paul Millsap

What to look for

  • More play from the rookies. Corbin has stated that he's evaluating everyone. A lot of that evaluation comes in practice, but he'll need game-time evaluation as well.
  • Perhaps we'll see some play from one of the third-string recruits? Jamaal Tinsley, Scottie Reynolds, and Keith McLeod all got DNPs. In fact, everyone without a guaranteed contract received DNP-CDs. I'm not sure why we didn't see any of them especially late in the game Monday when the score was out of hand.
  • How have the Jazz improved on D? Are they stopping penetration? Forcing baseline? Like I mentioned, Portland isn't going to shoot poorly from deep again so that interior D is going to have to improve.

Previous meetings

Portland shellacked the Jazz, 110-90, after an 11-1 run in the first quarter gave them a double-digit lead that they kept for most of the game.


Blazers Edge

Other notes

Game time -7:00 p.m. MST on ROOT sports (no NBA TV)

Game thread at 6:30 p.m.