Trail Blazers @ Jazz Game Thread
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/25/2012 12:32 PM

    Who was the player of the game?
    JJ Hickson: 20 points, 10-13 shooting, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks (4)
    Jonny Flynn: 18 points, 6-14 shooting, 11 assists, 3 turnovers, 1st double-double of career (2)
    Nolan Smith: 16 points, 6-12 shooting, 7 assists, 2 turnovers (1)

    April 26th, 2012
    5:00 PM | Energy Solutions Arena | Salt Lake City, UT
    Trail Blazers (28-37) At Jazz (35-30)

    What 2 Watch 4

    Luke Babbitt must make at least two 3-pointers Thursday night against the Jazz in order to qualify for the league leader in 3-point shooting percentage. Currently, Luke is shooting .457 from 3 while the leader, Steve Novak, is shooting a blistering .468. Assuming Novak's percentage stays the same, Luke could tie him by going 2-2 from behind the arc. I'd assume that Luke will continue to get the starting nod over the injured Batum and will make at least two triples in Utah. But, I think it's going to be hard to hit a bunch at a high clip. He definitely will get open looks though as Gordon Hayward isn't known for his perimeter defense.

    Like Luke Babbitt, Jamal Crawford is in the running for being a league-leader. Currently, Crawford is sitting atop the NBA's free-throw percentage leader-board, by shooting an astounding .927 from the charity stripe. The big question with Jamal these days is whether he will play or not. The rotation had been set. Jamal would play when Nicolas couldn't. But that didn't play true to form Monday night in San Antonio as Nic sat, but Raymond Felton got the nod over Crawford. Batum's still feeling pretty sore due to the left quad tendenonitis, so my guess is he's out again. And since Ray got the playing time in San Antonio, one would assume it would be Jamal's turn. The bottom line is, if Jamal doesn't play, he ends up as the NBA's best free-throw shooter. And really, even if he does play, the title is his. He would have to go 0-5 from the foul line to slip behind Orlando's JJ Reddick. I simply don't see that happening.

    This will be J.J. Hickson's final audition for the Trail Blazers. And it will also be a redemption game of sorts for Hickson who has been outplayed by the Utah frontline both times the two teams met earlier this month. During the April 2nd contest, J.J. played 28 minutes but only managed  4 points (2-8 shooting) and 5 rebounds while Paul Millsap had 31 and 11, Al Jefferson put up 13 and 10 and even the Utah bigs off the bench, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter combined for 16 and 12. Obviously, those numbers don't fall squarely on Hickson's shoulders but they don't look too favorable either. In the most recent matchup against Utah, Hickson performed better as he put up a respectable 16 points, on 4-11 shooting, and 9 rebounds while none of the Utah Big Four had more then 11 points of 10 rebounds. The only downside was that Portland was blown out 112-91 on Fan Appreciation Night. I know the guys have nothing to play for in terms of positioning. But they can play for pride. This is going to be a true test to see what J.J.'s made of. We know when the spotlight's on, he performs. But what about when no one's watching? With just 48 minutes left in his season, will he be a leader? Will he fight inside for rebounds? Will he dive on the floor to keep possessions alive? This performance in Utah will show me more then his 29 point outburst against the Clippers or any of his highlight dunks have. Here's to a great finish by J.J.!

    Trail Blazers At Jazz Highlights
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  1. D_pickett
    Posts: 726

    Posted 04/25/2012 7:39 PM

    We can't even knock the Jazz out of the playoffs. Everyone has clinched their playoff positions in both conferences, so everyone's 66th game is garbage. Hope the young guys have fun and this looks better than a JV high school game. But nobody's best basketball will show up for this game.
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  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 04/25/2012 8:15 PM

    Nope, yup, Utah;s in the playoffs allright. They probably want to rest some guys. Great opportunity for the Blazers. Winning this game would mean SO MUCH to us. It's been like a month you guys.

    GET THE DUBBAYA ..... GO BLAZERS!!!!!!!!
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/26/2012 7:42 PM

    Unfortunately Luke Babbitt shot just 1-8 from 3, so not only did he not qualify for the 3-PT percentage title, but  it was probably his fifth or sixth straight poor shooting performance. It seemed like as soon as he got the start for Batum, he tensed up and his shot stopped falling. He had the deer in the headlights look in his face a lot last year and while I don't see that now, he still is shy on the trigger after he's missed a couple in a row, which can't happen. Shooters need to shoot.

    J.J. Hickson, on the other hand, answered all of my questions. With nothing to play for, Hickson still scrapped, fought, and clawed all night long. He was supremely efficient as he scored 20 points on 10-13 shooting to go along with his 9 rebounds and his patented highlight jam over Jeremy Evans!

    But I thought the real story of the game was how well the point guards looked. Both Nolan Smith and Jonny Flynn played fantastic. Flynn recorded the first double-double of his career, going for 18 points and 11 assists but the beautiful number was just 3 turnovers. I didn't like his decision at the end of the game, running down the clock to 3 seconds before a timeout had to be called from the sideline. Nolan Smith had arguably his best game as a Blazer, scoring 16 points and dropping 7 dimes. And Nolan took care of the ball as well, turning it over just 2 times.
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  1. daddylogan
    Posts: 188

    Posted 04/26/2012 8:21 PM

    As I will agree we saw the potential our point guards had tonight there are still so many aspects to each one of their games that needs to be developed and worked on and I don't really think the Blazers want to wait that long to have a good point guard running this team. At best, we might keep one of them around but I really don't see it. Jonny needs to get rid of the "globetrotter" type of play out there. Sure, it is nice eye candy once in a while but more then not it leads to turnovers. I was happy to see him finish plays though which resulted in a good amount of assists which in my book are as good as points. Involving the team is so very important. Nolan needs to work on his shot and floor vision and both need to work on their foul shooting. If your gonna have your hands on the ball most of the time, you HAVE to be able to knock down free throws. 

    As for Luke I don't know what happened to him tonight shooting wise. He seemed "flat" on his shot and he needs to pull the trigger while he is in a the flow of the play instead of doing that "fake move" that everyone has already caught on to. I do think he needs to get aggressive on offense because to me I like when he goes to the whole, but he should make it his first move at times and catch the defense off guard. Also his defense needs to improve greatly...better movement of his feet and closing on a player as well as blocking out on the boards. I think he has a future here...lift some weights and get aggressive Luke!

    Watching the Blazers on the foul line has made me sick all year long...not shooting them, but rebounding them. They fall asleep on the 2nd (or 3rd) shot and they give up position way to easily. I saw many times tonight alone where the Jazz were shooting free throws and on the 2nd shot they let the Utah's big's move right around us. they did because WE let them...we just stood there. If I was on the coaching staff I would remind them each trip to the line to get tough and never forget how 2nd chance points and possessions can kill ya and be the difference in the game.

    Almost a nice ending to the season...thank you ref's for blowing it again. I really think the ref's should be fined for crap like that and for laughing and ignoring the Blazers in the game at San Antonio. Just takes the air out of ya.

    peace out,
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/26/2012 8:59 PM

    Post-Game Quotes:
    Coach Kaleb Canales on Jonny Flynn's play-

    “I thought Jonny had a good game. I thought him and Nolan complemented each other well out there again. Jonny’s been good for us in terms of change of pace. He was making great reads today and we just came up a little short there down at the end.” 
    Wesley Matthews on not being able to close out the close games-
    “We played well enough to win it. We just didn’t get enough rebounds. That’s the story of the year. We didn’t do just enough to get over the hump. There are easily 18 games like that this season. In a short season, you can’t bounce back from that. Credit the Jazz. They played well. They played hard. The reserve guys came out and played with a lot of energy. But at the same time... our guys really fought.” 
    Matthews on the season-
    “It’s one you try to forget about. You know me. I’m not going to be able to, but it’s something you try to do.”
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  1. barnettfan
    Posts: 392

    Posted 04/26/2012 8:59 PM

    What a frustrating season. So many Lows with a couple of bright spots. With everything that has gone on I consider us lucky to have the record that we did. Could we have done better? Absolutely. After an amazing start it was like the wind went out of the sails and the entire organization got dead calm and everyone scrambling around trying to find out who the Jonah was. A couple of sacrifices seemed to help but in the end nothing worked so we held tryouts. For next season. I for one am looking forward to next season. I see a positive light at the end of this dark tunnel some call the 2011-2012 season. Until the draft. Later.
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/26/2012 8:59 PM

    Game Notes:
     With the loss, the Trail Blazers finish the season 28-38 and end the season on a seven-game losing streak, their longest of the season ... The Jazz become the only team to sweep the Blazers in a four- game series this season ... Portland was led by J.J. Hickson with 20 points on 10-13 shooting ... Jonny Flynn had a season-high 11 assists ... Wesley Matthews is the only Trail Blazer to play in every game this season and has now played in every game during his three-year career ... Portland now trails the overall series 71-90, including 16-64 on the road.

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  1. CarlJ1
    Posts: 399

    Posted 04/26/2012 11:19 PM

    I for one am glad the season over not because of how it went I accepted that, we put ourselves in a good position and if everything goes right this summer we will be on the rise again so here's to a summer of smart moves and to a 82 game season instead of a 66 Go Blazers.
    I am a fan of Respect, Loyalty, Honor & Pride the same thing the Blazer & their true fans are made of RIP CITY STAND UP!
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 04/27/2012 4:23 PM

    Hey, going from a 35 point loss to a 2 point loss shows a lot of improvement.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
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