FanPost

NW Division: Portland or Utah?

Hello guys, I'm a Portland fan from BlazersEdge and I'm here to ask: what do you think about the NW division as of now with all those projected transactions?

I must say I'm from Brazil and I was a Jazz fan (watching Malone/Stockton) but now I'm a Blazers fan for 5+ years and been watching a lot of NBA in that span, while still having the Jazz as the second franchise in my heart (and Gordon Hayward as my favourite player after retired Brandon Roy).

Last season the Jazz were poised to make a big run that didn't panned out as all of you know, and my impression is that this year -barring injuries again- they'll make that run even stronger with those reinforcements. On the other hand, OKC is a mistery and the Wolves are on the rise. Portland, though, surprised everyone and clinched the 4th seed in a strangely weak West, despite being projected as the second or third worst team in the league by some annalysts.

So, with Utah underachieving, Portland overachieving and the other teams in the division shuffling, do you think the Jazz are better than the Blazers this next season?

(hint: I personally think so, talent-wise. Hope your coach can keep this up and the Jazz players don't get hurt or inconsistent this season).

I was posting on BEdge recently saying that Utah has one of the best (if not the best) frontcourts in the League (counting Hayward as SF), but a "meh" backcourt... and I like Neto. Now with Hill as a starter (my guess) and Joe Johnson's veteran presence the scenario is much different, but still some way to go compared to Portland's Lillard and McColumn. On the other hand, Portlands frontcourt is bad defensively (but that may be that the guards don't help also) and not really good offensively. Aminu is OK, Plumlee too but they are really limited on what they can do.

With development on both teams (a lot of young players involved) and all the reinforcements (Evan Turner and Shabazz Napier so far on Portland.. not much), I think even OKC can't hold the Jazz, hopefully Porltand can keep in pace.

Share your thoughts with me, and correct me if I'm wrong but I'm thinking the lineups should be like (Porlant is chasing a backup center but I guess that doesn't add much):

POR:

PG: Lillard / Napier

SG: McColumn / Crabbe

SF: Evan Turner / Mo Harkless

PF: Aminu / Ed Davis

C: Ezeli / Plumlee / Meyers Leonard

UTAH:

PG: George Hill / Exum / Mack / Neto

SG: Hood / Joe Johnson / Burks

SF: Hayward / Joe Ingles

PF: Favors / Diaw / Lyles

C: Gobert / Withey

Portland now has some height on the C spot (Ezeli signed and Meyers resigned), but I still think Utah visibly is better overall it seems.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.