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NBA Preseason 2015: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz Game Thread

Catch Tonight's game on NBA TV at 7:00 PM MT! Or on the radio at 1280 The Zone!

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know how important preseason games are. Sure, you don't win the title if you are killing teams right now. But by the same token, if your team looks like garbage there's no automatic switch to flip that ensures a smooth start to the regular season. In Hawaii the Utah Jazz (2-2) looked defensively sound and ready to grind teams up. After returning from paradise the team has fallen back to earth and dropped two games to Western Conference foes the Phoenix Suns and the Portland Trail Blazers. That last game, their first at home, was a downer as Portland (2-2) was playing without their best player Damian Lillard. Lillard has vowed to play tonight, and the Jazz are resting their big three of Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert.

By the laws of irony alone Utah should win, right?

We'll have to see what happens on the court. The Blazers will still be without starting shooting guard Gerald Henderson, and bigman Cliff Alexander. But otherwise they are ready for action. The Jazz will be playing without four of the five starters from last season as Hayward is out with a low back contusion, Dante Exum is still out for the season, and Favors and Gobert are out for rest.

What could a starting line-up look like tonight? (N.B. These are not the official starters, I am writing this hours before the game starts)

In the last game the Jazz were having increasing difficulty on defense against mobile or orbital bigmen -- guys who didn't need to be in the paint to be in the play. Will Booker (or Trey Lyles) tagged up with Pleiss (and Jeff Withey) do a better job? Or will the Jazz have to somehow shoe-horn Joe Ingles as a Euro-four during stretches? Also, in somewhat related news, why didn't Dennis Lindsey give Andrei Kirilenko a call back in July?

I know, too soon.



Who is going to win tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    The Utah Jazz (2-2)
    (26 votes)
  • 61%
    The Portland Trail Blazers (2-2)
    (41 votes)
67 votes total Vote Now