So the Utah Jazz lost last night at home to the Memphis Grizzlies. It was a wild finish, but even before that I think you could say that our young guys had a chance to win the game, but did not finish off the game as well as a playoff hardened team did. That's fine. We're a young club trying to learn. A win would have been nicer, but the schedule rolls on. Tonight Utah is in the Pacific Northwest to face the Portland Trail Blazers. The Northwest division leading Blazers were idle last night, but are kind of hurting. They are locked in the #4 seed, but unlike to have homecourt in the first round, and are trying to just finish this season without anyone else dropping. They are 7-3 in their last ten games, but far from invulnerable at home -- having lost 8 games there this season.
The Utah Jazz will be without Alec Burks and Trey Burke. Portland will be without LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Arron Afflalo, and Dorell Wright.
Damian Lillard and Steve Blake are better than Dante Exum and Bryce Cotton. Nicolas Batum, Alonzo Gee, and Allen Crabbe are worse than Gordon Hayward, Rodney Hood, Joe Ingles, and Elijah Millsap. So they have a huge advantage at point, but at wing things move towards our side of the court, in my opinion.
Of course, this game should be determined in the paint. I like Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Trevor Booker, and Jack Cooley over Robin Lopez, Chris Kaman, Meyers Leonard, and Joel Freeland.
But it's not just about the players, it's the sum of their parts that matter.
The Blazers are a very solid team, you don't win 50+ by accident. Terry Stotts is a better coach right now than Quin Snyder, and when healthy, Portland is a Top 10 team in ORTG, DRTG, PPG, and 11th in Opp PPG. That's a very solid team.
Utah is on the second night of a back to back, and the third game in four nights. Portland isn't nearly as good as they can be because of injuries.
Also, Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter suck.