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Trail Blazers look to silence Jazz at home, but injuries could silence both teams -- Game Preview

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Portland Trail Blazers (44-25) @ Utah Jazz (31-39)
EnergySolutions Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
7:00 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports • Radio: 1280 AM / 97.5 FM

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Utah Jazz attempt to pick up the pieces after dropping a bad game to the Minnesota Timberwolves, on their own home court, in Overtime. Losing to the worst teams, when they are burdened by fatigue and injury, seems to be a hallmark of this Jazz season. Another one seems to be beating some of the best teams out there. It's going to be a funny game tonight hosting the Portland Trail Blazers for sure because they are one of the best in the West, but haven't been winning a lot, and right now have a bunch of injuries.

Does this mean the Jazz will play down to their competition, or get up for them? We'll have to watch the game to find out. Us fans aren't the only ones, there could be a lot of good players watching as well! Starting shooting guards Wesley Matthews and Alec Burks are both out for the season. Occasional starters Chris Kaman and Rodney Hood are also both out tonight. LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum have both been upgraded to questionable for tonight, while Gordon Hayward remains doubtful.

Player HT Age G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG Player HT Age G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG
D.Lillard 1 6'3 24 69 36.2 21.4 4.8 6.2 1.3 0.3 D.Exum 1 6'6 19 70 21.4 4.7 1.7 2.3 0.5 0.2
W.Matthews [X] 2 6'5 28 60 33.7 15.9 3.7 2.3 1.3 0.2 A.Burks [X] 2 6'6 23 27 33.3 13.9 4.2 3.0 0.6 0.2
N.Batum [?] 3 6'8 26 61 33.9 9.4 5.9 4.8 1.1 0.6 G.Hayward [D] 3 6'8 25 68 34.8 19.6 4.9 4.2 1.4 0.4
L.Aldridge [?] 4 6'11 29 61 35.7 23.5 10.4 1.8 0.7 1.0 D.Favors 4 6'10 23 66 31.7 16.4 8.3 1.6 0.8 1.7
R.Lopez 5 7'0 26 46 28.3 9.6 6.8 1.0 0.3 1.5 R.Gobert 5 7'2 22 70 25.0 7.6 9.0 1.2 0.7 2.3
S.Blake 1 6'3 34 34 19.3 4.3 1.8 3.5 0.5 0.1 T.Burke 1 6'1 22 69 30.4 12.7 2.5 4.4 0.8 0.2
C.J.McCollum 2 6'4 23 50 13.5 5.5 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.1 J.Ingles 3 6'7 27 67 21.0 4.6 2.3 2.4 0.9 0.1
A.Afflalo 2 6'5 29 15 29.9 10.5 2.5 1.1 0.3 0.1 R.Hood [X] 3 6'8 22 41 19.8 7.4 2.2 1.4 0.5 0.2
J.Freeland 4 6'10 27 37 12.9 3.2 4.2 0.4 0.2 0.4 T.Booker 4 6'8 27 68 18.7 6.7 4.8 0.9 0.5 0.4
C.Kaman [X] 5 7'0 32 64 19.4 8.7 6.6 0.9 0.2 0.8 J.Cooley 4 6'10 23 5 4.2 1.6 0.6 0.0 0.6 0.0
A.Crabbe 2 6'6 22 42 12.0 2.8 1.0 0.8 0.4 0.3 B.Cotton 1 6'1 22 6 4.7 1.3 0.5 0.5 0.2 0.0
A.Gee 3 6'6 27 9 8.2 2.4 0.8 0.3 0.7 0.0 I.Clark 2 6'3 23 22 6.7 1.9 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.1
D.Wright 3 6'9 29 43 11.5 4.3 2.1 0.8 0.4 0.2 E.Millsap 2 6'6 27 36 20.9 5.1 3.0 1.2 1.2 0.4
M.Leonard 5 7'1 22 46 14.3 5.4 4.0 0.4 0.2 0.2 J.Evans 4 6'9 27 28 5.1 1.4 1.5 0.3 0.2 0.4
G.Jerrett 4 6'10 21 1 3.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

That still leaves Damian Lillard, Arron Afflalo, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert -- four players who can have a huge impact on this game. Though, I suspect one of Nicolas Batum or LaMarcus Aldridge will suit up and play and give the Jazz trouble. Portland is deeper and more talented. But Utah has found a way to beat these teams before.

If the Jazz can control the boards, keep the turn overs down, and actually make some free throws -- it could be a pretty even match. If Gordon Hayward somehow gets bumped up to playing tonight, it could be another very solid Utah Jazz win.

Time will tell.