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Odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Utah Jazz||-6.5 (-110)
|O 229.5 (-110)
|Portland Trail Blazers||+6.5 (-110)
|U 229.5 (-110)
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The Portland Trail Blazers’ already unreliable defense has been weakened further due to their health & safety issues and lack of familiarity with exception players. Add on the fact that the Utah Jazz are a deep and consistent side, the Trail Blazers aren’t favored in this meeting.
Utah Jazz def. Portland Trail Blazers
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|Utah Jazz||Head-to-Head||Portland Trail Blazers
|Quin Snyder||Head Coach||Chauncey Billups|
|24-9 (3rd in West)||Standing||13-20 (11th in West)|
|117.5 (1st of 30)||Off Rtg||110.0 (14th of 30)|
|107.1 (6th of 30)||Def Rtg||113.0 (27th of 30)|
|98.7 (13th of 30)||Pace||98.0 (18th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|D. Mitchell (25.4)||PPG||D. Lillard (23.8)|
|R. Gobert (14.9)||RPG||J. Nurkic (9.9)|
|M. Conley (5.4)||APG||D. Lillard (7.5)|
|D. Mitchell (1.6)||SPG||R. Covington (1.2)|
|R. Gobert (2.3)||BPG||R. Covington (1.2)|
|R. Gobert (.713)/D. Mitchell (9.4)||FG%/FGM||J. Nurkic (.570)/C. McCollum (8.0)|
|M. Conley (.443)/D. Mitchell (3.2)||3P%/3PM||B. McLemore (.425)/D. Lillard, C. McCollum (3.2)|
|Udoka Azubuike||Utah Jazz||27 Nov 2021||Out (Ankle)||Azubuike is dealing with a right ankle injury. There is no timetable for his return.|
|Malik Fitts||Utah Jazz||26 Dec 2021||Out (Shoulder)||Fitts did not play in Utah’s Monday (Dec 27) game.|
|Donovan Mitchell||Utah Jazz||26 Dec 2021||Out (Back)||Mitchell is not expected to play in Utah’s Wednesday (Dec 27) game against Portland.|
|Cody Zeller||Portland Trail Blazers||12 Dec 2021||Out (Knee)||There is no timetable for Zeller’s return.|
|CJ McCollum||Portland Trail Blazers||15 Dec 2021||Out (Lung)||McCollum has recovered from his lung ailment, but there is no timetable for his return.|
|Dennis Smith Jr.||Portland Trail Blazers||24 Dec 2021||Out (Health & Safety)||Smith Jr. has been placed under league health & safety protocols.|
|Trendon Watford||Portland Trail Blazers||24 Dec 2021||Out (Health & Safety)||Watford has been placed under league health & safety protocols.|
|Ben McLemore||Portland Trail Blazers||25 Dec 2021||Out (Health & Safety)||McLemore has been placed under league health & safety protocols.|
|Keljin Blevins||Portland Trail Blazers||25 Dec 2021||Out (Health & Safety)||Blevins has been placed under league health & safety protocols.|
|Robert Covington||Portland Trail Blazers||25 Dec 2021||Out (Health & Safety)||Covington has been placed under league health & safety protocols.|
The Utah Jazz are one of the most versatile teams in the NBA. If they want to take down the shorthanded Trail Blazers, Utah must create better offensive opportunities for each other.
In their last game, a 6-point win over the San Antonio Spurs, the Jazz shot just 29% from three-point range while assisting on just 19 of their 39 field goals.
While they are not the most dynamic passing team in the NBA, the lack of Donovan Mitchell in the lineup forces them to put forth a more egalitarian effort.
?| flowers for JC#TakeNote | @ZionsBank pic.twitter.com/UgkJKmLM47
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 28, 2021
The Utah Jazz are missing Donovan Mitchell in this game, so naturally scoring duties fall to reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson.
The backup Jazz guard is coming off of a monstrous night against the San Antonio Spurs. Clarkson posted 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists on 9 of 21 shooting from the field and 32 minutes of play.
When it comes to Jordan Clarkson, efficiency isn’t the most important thing. That comes from the privilege of having one of the league’s best defence, so there’s no reason Clarkson shouldn’t get his shots up.
The Portland Trail Blazers have their hands full with this matchup against the Jazz. Not only have the Jazz had their number of the past few seasons, but Portland are missing a number of key contributors.
For Portland to beat the Jazz, they need to find a way to overcome Rudy Gobert at the rim. In their last game, the Trail Blazers shot just 12 of 40 from three-point range, and only 42.7% from the field overall. The only reason they weren’t blown out by more than 15 was their ability to get to the free throw line – where they went 35 of 42.
The Blazers aren’t the sharpest shooting team, but if they can manufacture good opportunities they’ll always have a chance behind Damian Lillard. Opening up the paint by hitting efficiently from deep is a great way to draw the Jazz out of the paint.
DUNK of the Night: May 10th
? Norman Powell of the @trailblazers pic.twitter.com/hxD0QXlpSd
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) May 11, 2021
With the Portland Trail Blazers suffering from player unavailability like many across the NBA, Norman Powell must improve on his last game with the Trail Blazers.
In a 132-117 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Powell posted 15 points on just 3 of 12 shooting from the field and 1 of 7 shooting from three. The one place where he deserves credit is his ability to get to the free throw line, where he was 7 of 8 on the evening.
With McCollum out of the lineup, Powell is expected to support Damian Lillard as the Trail Blazers’ secondary scorer and playmaker. If the 2019 NBA Champion has an efficient night from the field, they’ll have a chance against the Western Conference powerhouse Utah Jazz.
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|Utah Jazz vs Portland Trail Blazers Information|
|Teams||Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers|
|Location||Moda Center, Portland, Oregon|
|Time||10:00 PM EST, December 29th, 2021|
|How to Watch||Root Sports Plus, ATTSN-RM|
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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