Tonight the Utah Jazz *finally* get to play a home game this preseason. (#44United members stand up) They face off against the Portland Trail Blazers. For me, I consider the Blazers to be one of the team's chief rivals. Sometimes we beat them in the playoffs. Sometimes they beat us. There is a give and take, of sorts. Or at least I don't think it's as lopsided as it actually is. Nevertheless, tonight we'll get to see them at home. And for most #WeAreUtah area Jazz fans, their first peek at this year's Jazz squad.
Utah is 2-1 this preseason, with road wins against the Los Angeles Lakers, and a road loss against the Phoenix Suns. Portland is 1-2 this preseason with two losses to the Sacramento Kings (home and home), and a home win against the Golden State Warriors. During the regular season I would expect these two teams to fight for 2nd place in the division . . . but really, on paper it looks like it's the Jazz who should take command of it by the All-Star break.
Portland still is powered by San Antonio Spurs. went to the Charlotte
Bobcats Hornets. And went to the Dallas Mavericks. Who is left? is still there, though ESPN lists him as their third string center now. Sometimes it just be that way for a caveman.
Who is new? Well, from the Hornets they received . He projects to be their new starting shooting guard, keeping guys like (Don't call me Gollum) and on the bench. They did reload their bigmen by adding , , and to Kaman and .
What's particularly cool is that Gordon Hayward. It's going to be fun to see them go at one another tonight.is on this team, he was picked a few spots ahead of
- Damian Lillard (POR) -- ankle injury sustained in practice, will not play tonight even though it's a minor ankle sprain
- Gerald Henderson (POR) -- had hip surgery
- Moe Harkless (POR) -- probable for tonight, after going through the NBA's concussion protocol, limited to a maximum of 20 minutes
- (POR) -- confirmed bone bruise in his left knee, out
- (UTA) -- out
- (UTA) -- out
When considering the injuries, and who will then start, I think the Jazz have some edges to exploit.
Mason Plumlee / Meyers Leonard / Al-Farouq Aminu are worse than Alec Burks. While there's a revolving door at point guard for the Jazz this preseason, I really don't know if we have to fear or Phil Pressey. Of course, since I mentioned it it's clear that one of them will have a career night./ / Gordon Hayward. Furthermore, I don't think C.J. McCollum is better than
Prediction: I hate Portland. They people over there are weirdos.