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Portland Trail Blazers guards have historically set the Utah Jazz on fire

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A new way to blaze?

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz and the Portland Trail Blazers do have a history against one another. If you add it all up, the Blazers are up on the Jazz 97-80 overall in the regular season. They are a very impressive 61-28 in their gym. And in the NBA Playoffs, Portland is up on Utah again 19-12, with a 4-2 record in overall series wins. You could say that if there’s one team out there that has had Utah’s goat over the years (that’s not the Los Angeles Lakers) it’s been the Blazers. In terms of being annoyed by, frustrated by the outcomes of some playoff games, and overall infuriated by — what the Utah Jazz are to the Houston Rockets, the Portland Trail Blazers are to the Utah Jazz.

And a big part of that has been their guard play. Utah’s been torched by so many of their guards I had to look at the data myself. And even I had to stop counting after a while — but the list goes on an on. So sorry in advance to Isaiah Rider, Rod Strickland, Ron Brewer (yes, Ronnie Brewer’s dad) and others who did not make the cut. (Data courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com)

Blazers Guard MIN PTS FGA REB AST STL BLK PPS BARPS
1 Clyde Drexler 44 42 26 6 6 1 1 1.62 56
2 Terry Porter 38 41 14 6 7 3 0 2.93 57
3 Clyde Drexler 43 36 23 6 12 3 0 1.57 57
4 Jim Paxon 35 21 1.67
5 Clyde Drexler 44 35 21 4 3 4 3 1.67 49
6 Damian Lillard 40 35 27 4 3 1 0 1.30 43
7 Terry Porter 42 34 16 5 7 0 0 2.13 46
8 Jim Paxon 36 33 19 0 5 0 0 1.74 38
9 Clyde Drexler 29 33 16 3 0 1 0 2.06 37
10 Brandon Roy 43 33 22 8 0 0 1 1.50 42
Blazers Guard MIN PTS FGA REB AST STL BLK PPS BARPS
11 Wesley Matthews 40 33 12 1 3 2 0 2.75 39
12 Jim Paxon 32 20 1.60
13 Damon Stoudamire 43 32 18 4 4 1 0 1.78 41
14 C.J. McCollum 40 32 26 7 6 0 0 1.23 45
15 Clyde Drexler 41 31 20 11 9 6 0 1.55 57
16 Clyde Drexler 35 31 22 12 4 2 0 1.41 49
17 C.J. McCollum 37 31 21 1 3 1 1 1.48 37
18 Rod Strickland 38 30 18 7 11 0 0 1.67 48
19 Kenny Anderson 44 30 16 2 12 2 0 1.88 46
20 Brandon Roy 35 30 19 3 5 0 0 1.58 38
Blazers Guard MIN PTS FGA REB AST STL BLK PPS BARPS
21 Wesley Matthews 39 30 16 3 3 4 0 1.88 40
22 Damian Lillard 37 30 21 4 5 0 0 1.43 39
23 Kevin Ransey 29
24 Billy Ray Bates 29
25 Clyde Drexler 42 29 19 12 10 3 0 1.53 54
26 Brandon Roy 34 29 15 4 5 2 1 1.93 41
27 Brandon Roy 36 29 21 4 4 1 0 1.38 38
28 Lionel Hollins 28 28
29 Terry Porter 36 28 16 4 4 0 0 1.75 36
30 Clyde Drexler 38 28 15 8 6 1 1 1.87 44

N.B. Yes, some of this goes back to the New Orleans Jazz days, and as a consequence, the box scores are incomplete. PPS = Points per Shot. (So Points / FGA) BARPS is the sum total of Blocks + Assists + Rebounds + Points + Steals. You know -- the five things we look at outside of minutes and fouls.

Over the time we’ve seen changes in more and more players taking three pointers, but the common denominator here seems to be players having good shooting games. The league average for PPS is 1.22 (over the last four decades); but over the smaller sample size of the last 15 it has shrunk to 1.21. Only ONE of these times have we seen a Blazers player shoot “close” to average — C.J. McCollum ‘s 32 last season where he scored those points off of 26 shots (1.23 PPS).

As a fan from the Frank Layden days, I am still shell shocked by what Terry Porter and Clyde Drexler did to our guys in the NBA Playoffs in the 90s. The aftershock happened last season with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum having big games as well.

Hopefully we don’t see one tonight. After all, it’s just the preseason! Give us a break!