Thursday, October 10, 2013
Utah Jazz vs Portland Trailblazers Preview
Friday night the Utah Jazz are slated to play the Portland Trailblazer in Boise Idaho. Should be a bit of a home game for the Jazz even though they have Portland scheduled as the home team. This will be another good test for the young point guard Trey Burke. He had a successful first game against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Trey's line was 26 mins, 5-14 shooting, 2 rebounds and 3 assists. That was the kind of start he needed coming of a poor summer league and all the questions swirling about him. Lets take a look at some of the keys to this game....
The Jazz are going to need to be strong in their pick and roll defense again. Portland will look to run that set a lot with the likes of Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard and new addition Thomas Robinson. The Jazz will also need to duplicate their work on the boards against the Blazers. In addition to Robinson, the Blazers added Robin Lopez in the off-season. Lopez is a work horse on the boards and is a decent offensive rebounder. The boards will need to be another team effort. The Jazz should be able to get this win with the likes of Lamarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum being out of the line up. Its things like that that make this a bit of a trap game. The Jazz will need to come out focused.
Look for the Jazz to continue to get out and run. They did a good job Tuesday night against the Warriors pushing tempo. Trey Burke has really improved that part of his game since the summer league. This gave the Jazz opportunities for easy transition buckets. The Jazz also ran a considerable amount of pick and roll, from both the top of the key and the right wing. I look for that to continue. Trey, Gordon and Alec were all effective out of that set. Also look for Favors to establish early position on his man in the post. He was effective getting down there early, sealing his man and getting a step to the bucket. Just another facet of his development.
Last season the Trailblazers had the worst bench in the league. This year they have added some piece to their bench so that guys like Lillard won't have to play 38 minutes a game. Some of those players are former Jazz men Mo Williams and Earl Watson. I would look for Mo to come out with an "I told you so" attitude and try to take it to the Jazz. If the Jazz bench performs like they did against the Warriors, they should win the battle of the bench. I feel this is going to be the key for the entire game. Will Jeremy Evans continue to be effective from the perimeter? Can Alec Burks continue his attacking style as well as setting up others? Will JL3 continue to hit his jumper? X-factors, Dominic Mcguire and Andris Biedrins? It will also be interesting to see if the staff changes the rotations much. I know that they would like to look at a couple of other players, but they need to focus on developing the "Core".
This will be a fun one, with a number of former Jazz faces. Unfortunately it will not be on TV but you can pick up David Locke and Ron Boone and the radio broadcast on 1280 The Zone and 97.5. Look for the Jazz to come out with energy to continue to work hard and develop. GO JAZZ!!!