Trail Blazers/Jazz Pre-Game
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 02/21/2010 12:35 PM

    Portland (32-25) ends their three-game home-stand and their season series against Utah (35-19) tonight. For the first three meetings this year between the two divisional rivals, Portland has been ran out of the gym before the 1st quarter could even expire. Utah has not only won each game handily by double digits (16,11,13), but done so with ease as the Trail Blazer defense has put up very little resistance. Normally, Portland holds their opposition to an average of 46.3% field goal shooting, but Utah shot an astounding 60% or better in every matchup to date, averaging 61.2% over the course of the three-game span. Not that Portland takes advantages of the breaks given to them (see last game when Boston was on a back to back), but it looks like Utah center Mehmet Okur will miss tonight's game as he is still with his newborn child and Ronnie Brewer will not be in action either as he was dealt for a future 1st round pick to Memphis during last Thursday's trading deadline.

    For whatever reason, the Trail Blazers are a very pedestrian 19-12 at home this year in the Rose Garden, compared to an admirable 13-13 on the road. Let those records marinate a bit. Division leading Denver has a worse road record, 13-14, but is 22-5 at home, propelling them to 2nd in the West. If only the Blazers could handle their business at home, even with these injuries, we could be fighting for the Northwest division crown and home court advantage in the playoffs. Trying to be as objective as possible, I feel the fans in Rip City are easily top 5 in the NBA, so the energy and fan support has been there the entire season. Maybe last season's 34-7 home mark gave the team a false sense of security, meaning other teams would automatically be intimidated by playing in Portland or the team thought they could turn it on or off at any point and find a way to get it done? Whatever the reason is, the Blazers must get these slow starts out of their system, as it was 21-2 the last time Utah came in here before anyone could blink, if they want a chance to get an all important win tonight.

    Focus. It is going to take 100% focus from the Trail Blazers tonight if they want to have any hope of slowing down the buzz saw that is the Utah Jazz offense. Utah averages 102.1 points a night, but they have made the Portland defense look like Swiss cheese getting 110.67 points during the three previous meetings. A lot of the buckets came from a lack of concentration. Not trying to single any one player out, because they all have played lackluster defense, but numerous times I have seen Martell Webster turn his head only to see his man make a mad dash to the hoop for an easy deuce. It is all about keeping one eye on the ball and one eye on your man. Not only do the Blazers need to keep their eye on their man, but please show some heart and fight through the screens! If there has always been one thing this team doesn't do well at all, is fighting through picks. Just like a lot of aspects in hoops, all it takes is effort. Bring more effort to the game tonight than Utah and our chances of winning exponentially increase. It really is as simple as that.

    B-Roy said he will continue to play through the pain, most likely another 30-35 minutes, but until he shows the conditioning is back and rust is off, the show needs to run through LaMarcus. I have only one mere request. When the ball gets dumped into the post, can we get some cutters to the hoop or back picks set up for our shooters? There is nothing more frustrating as fan than to see our team work one on one, while the other four players stand around, whereas the opposition is running an offense so beautiful, its impossible not to give credit to. LA is taller and longer than any player the Jazz can throw at him, but given a lack of height, the Jazz big forwards take on the persona of their head coach, Jerry Sloan and will fight you all game long. As long as Aldridge is up for the challenge of fighting for his spot on the blocks all game long, he should have an extraordinary night.

    As much as I want to not only predict a win but see a win, I don't see it happening tonight. The Jazz have ran a muck over us and each contest hasn't even been close, so what should make this time any more different? They have beat us with Greg and Joel in there, done it without Boozer before, and already got one win in the Garden. Even though the Blazers won't see Brewer and Okur from the last three matchups, right now the Jazz have our number and Jerry Sloan has a great system going on in Utah and could sub in a few D-Leaguers and I don't think they would miss a beat. I believe it will be much more of a game than the prior three, but our inability to stop them from scoring in the paint will be our downfall tonight. On a side note, I would love to see Dante and Jerryd get more playing time than they have accrued lately. Dante, because we need someone who can hit an outside shot and his ball denial defense is perfectly suited to defend Utah. Bayless, on the other hand, is the only one attacking the middle and could get us some cheap points at the line.
    Game 57 Prediction: Trail Blazers 97 Jazz 103
    I am a fan of
  1. BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 02/21/2010 1:20 PM

    Hopefully the Blazers can give the rabid Rose Garden crowd something to cheer about tonight, I don't expect them to win tonight, the Jazz are rolling this month with only one loss vs. the L*kers and they have had our number regardless of where we play this season. It seems we always play the Jazz after a bad loss (minus the Charlotte win) and Jerry Sloan just kicks us when were down, i can't wait for they guy to retire...looking for Camby to bounce back with a solid game (my fantasy team would like that as well) Roy is a big question mark, Martell, Bayless, and Batum need to step up, would like more effort and enthusiasm tonight too this is the NBA, your getting paid to play basketball this is not open gym Sunday at the Y.
    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
  1. Bruise10
    Posts: 3

    Posted 02/21/2010 5:53 PM

    The Blazers seem to have lost their heart this year and without it they won't be able to play with Utah.  I don't know if its all the injuries or maybe injuries to players that we don't know about?  I was suprised by the lack of playing time for Batum and Cunningham against Boston concerning Webster was a no show again.  It would seem that with the ineffectiveness of our point guards and small forwards throughout the game that Patty Mills would have gotten some game time as well as more time for Batum and Cunningham.  With the speed of Mills along with Batum and the other young guys on the team we could have run at Boston more.... So far this has been a disappointing last few weeks.
  1. Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 02/21/2010 6:47 PM

    I was also confused about lack of playing time for Nic and Dante, considering the clinic Boston was putting on.   Martell is an " inferno" one quarter every other game. 

    Mills is a season away from seeing any playing time under Nate.  I don't see a lot of blow outs the rest of this season with the way they played on Friday.  But today is a new day.

    Go Blazers !!!! Bring on the Jazz !!!!
    I am a fan of scrapping !
  1. Pizzlepye
    Posts: 2

    Posted 02/22/2010 5:36 PM

    Totally agree. I don't understand why Mills didn't get any time. I know that Coach probably isn't a big fan of Rookies. But this kid did some serious damage at the Olympics against Chris Paul and Deron Williams. If they need a spark, throw him in for a few minutes. We needed that in the 3rd and 4th against the Jazz. Camby can get up and down and with Batum and Brandon on the wings, we could put some serious numbers up in a hurry. Mills will obviously struggle on bigger point guards, but used sparingly, he could have a great effect off of the bench. I hope coach Nate realises this.
    I am a fan of Patty Mills
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