The Utah Jazz host the Portland Trail Blazers in Salt Lake City Tuesday night after returning home from a four-game road trip. The Jazz ended their road trip with a win last week against the Memphis Grizzlies and will look to continue the momentum with another win against a rebuilding Blazers team. It may be a little hard for Utah to shake off some rust after having three full days off since they were last in action. Added to the intrigue is the fact that the NBA’s new in-season tournament has been exciting so far and the winner of this match will find themselves no worse than tied for first in west group A.
Portland comes into this game with a record of 3-6 and have lost three in a row. Despite being a young team, Portland has been relatively competitive in most games so far this year. The team is led by borderline all star Jeremi Grant, but part of what makes this team so tough is that they are chock full of versatile, athletic players. The Blazers aren’t the deepest team in the league but they have six players averaging double figures and they have been better than expected on the defensive side of the ball. Coach Chauncey Billups has really coached this team up after not very many expectations coming into the season. The Blazers will be down two of their key contributors in Robert Williams and Malcom Brogdon.
Utah dropped 3 of 4 on their recent road trip, but the team looked improved with each game played. Though the defense has struggled this year, they were able perform in the clutch against the Grizzlies last time out. Portland is a team that can take advantage of a weak defensive team, so the Jazz need to avoid having a letdown. The key for Utah in this game will be setting the tone early on both ends of the floor and not letting the youthful Blazers gain any undue confidence. This will be a good test for the Jazz to see if the early season struggles have been a fluke/lack of chemistry or if they are really improving. Utah will potentially be without forwards John Collins and Taylor Hendricks who are both game time decisions.
Whatever the outcome, when these two teams match up it’s almost always entertaining. Ultimately this game is only 1 of 82, but you never know, maybe the winner will catch a little fire and start climbing up the standings. Not likely but it will be fun to watch two western conference bottom dwellers battle it out to see who can increase their chances to win that inaugural in-season trophy. GO JAZZ!!
When: Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 7:00 PM MT
Where: Delta Center, Salt Lake City, UT
TV/Streaming: Jazz+, KJZZ
Radio: KSL 97.5 FM
We haven’t gotten an update yet for who’s going to be playing, but here’s the latest injury report. With no reported injuries, it’s likely for this to stay the same.
Utah Jazz Injury Report:— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) November 8, 2023
*DOUBTFUL - Walker Kessler (left elbow sprain)
PROBABLE - Keyonte George (left foot soreness)
OUT - Josh Christopher (Two-Way)
OUT - Taylor Hendricks (On Assignment)
OUT - Johnny Juzang (Two-Way)
OUT - Micah Potter (Two-Way)
OUT - Brice…