You know a team is top-tier when they semi-panic after losing to a struggling team like the New Orleans Pelicans. It wasn’t even like the Utah Jazz were beaten badly. They lost via a game-winning, transition 3 by Devonte’ Graham. After the game, the outspoken Rudy Gobert spoke out about losing and learning, and something about putting egos aside.
So in their very next game against the Pelicans, the Jazz did exactly that. They bounced back and defeated New Orleans by 22 points. They came out firing and didn’t stop. Seven players scored in double figures and the team shot 57 percent from 3 (20-of-35).
The Jazz aren’t in a bad place at all. They sit at third in the Western Conference, just behind the scorching Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. Yet somehow, a loss to the Pelicans got them talking. That’s a good sign for them.
It’s not a good sign for the Portland Trail Blazers though. The Blazers will face the Jazz after dropping their last two games to the Warriors and Sacramento Kings. They’ve been up-and-down to start the season, and it shows in their 10-10 win-loss record.
One thing going for Portland is that Damian Lillard seems to have gotten out of the funk he was in the first few games. Another thing is that Anfernee Simons and Larry Nance Jr. have been, for the most part, reliable off the bench.
The Jazz have their own bench mob to go against that, but the headliner is the Blazers’ backcourt duo of Lillard and CJ McCollum trying to outshoot the Jazz’s backcourt duo of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley. Up top, it will be Gobert and Jusuf Nurkic fighting for space.
The Jazz and the Blazers will be out to burn the nets. The Jazz are averaging 112 points per game as a team, while the Blazers are averaging 110. If you’re a fan who just wants to see a man possessed with the power of the splash, then you’d want to catch all the games of Damian Lillard.
The Jazz have their own version, and it’s dangerous because it comes in various forms. It may appear in one of those Mitchell scoring sprees, where he scoffs at defenses thrown his way. It may also appear in the form of a Jordan Clarkson flamethrowing show.
Either way, expect 3s to rain and points to pour in when the Jazz and Blazers face each other tomorrow at 10:00 AM on NBA TV Philippines via Smart GigaPlay app or Cignal TV.