FanPost

14. Finishers Finish: The View from Salt Lake City

 

Timlogo-be_mediumSnips and clips from the Jazz camp, plus:

  • Talking Oden Contract with Jeff Seiffert
  • Timbo's Cavalcade of Crap Statistics
  • Haiku Game Review
  • Fried Rice
  • Blazers/Jazz Recap
  • Popcorn Machine + TBJ

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(1)

Miles' Hot Shooting Leads Jazz Past Blazers

by Brian T. Smith, Salt Lake Tribune

C.J. Miles saved the Jazz.

During a game when Utah's offense constantly dipped and plateaued, and the team again was badly beat up on the boards, Miles came to life, spotted up and fired away.

The inconsistent but at times deadly reserve forward was in rare form Saturday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, setting a career high by hitting 7 of his 10 3-point attempts during the Jazz's 103-94 victory in a Northwest Division matchup at the Rose Garden.

How special was Miles' evening? While walking out of Utah's locker room after the game and heading toward an interview, he was asked by a Jazz representative if he was aware that he had set a career high in 3s. Miles' reply: "How many did I make?" Told seven, he shook his head, laughed and kept moving forward.

"It felt that good that I could shoot the ball and start backpedaling," Miles said. "That's how I felt. In the second half, especially." * * *

 

(2) 

Crazy Game

posted by AllThatJazzBasketball to SLC Dunk gameday open thread

Crazy game. How did Utah win this?

Next question — how did Utah not roll? No Roy. No Oden. No Pryz...

 

(3)

Home and Away ... again.

by Shauna Brock, Utah Jazz 360

* * *
It's deja vu. Yup. Just like last night, only better. Maybe. I keep thinking that well, since Portland isn't as good as the Spurs, we'll see a little more energy and a little more hustle and a few more rebounds.

Hustle we've got. There's been some great hustle. For Portland.

As for the rebounding, I was about to say "Yes, this looks good" until I watched Portland get four offensive rebounds in a row.

And I won't even get into the turnovers. * * *

 

(4)

Good Win

posted by HolyToledo to RealGM Utah Jazz message board

Good win by the Jazz!

Nice to see Jefferson have a good game and finally he was aggressive on the boards. Miles was incredible tonight.

I wish they didnt give away the Spurs game, but this game should go a long way with an easier schedule in next week and do wonders for this team.

 

(5)

Handshakes?

posted by Jazzfan1971 to RealGM Utah Jazz message board

Did it seem odd how Portland walked off the floor without even accepting handshakes?

Or is that pretty common? I don't pay much attention usually after the final horn.

 

(6)

One Crazy Win

posted by Mikemaru to ESPN Utah Jazz message board

One crazy win. Threes and free throws win a game for the Jazz.

I think this is the first time I've been angry the Jazz won a game, just a terrible performance that was bailed out by C J Miles shooting.


(7)

Good Thing...

posted by Scow79 to ESPN Utah Jazz message board

Good thing Portland couldn't shoot tonight. There were at least three times in the game where Portland grabbed 4 offensive rebounds and still didn't score a bucket.

Jazz got lucky, plain and simple!

P.S. My man crush on Matthews is still going strong!! :)


(8)

Portland Shot Too Poorly

posted by Lownav67 to ESPN Utah Jazz message board

3pt shooting and 100% FT's helped the Jazz overcome some poor fundamentals (24 offensive rebounds allowed and 18 turnovers).

Miles 3 point percentag tonight was a big factor, but game ball really should go to Watson. He showed tonight that a guy doesn't have to score to be a positive factor in his team's success. 6 assists and 2 steals (with only 1 turnover) in 16 minutes. He was +12 while Williams was -3. That, ultimately was difference in late 3rd/early 4th quarter.

Portland just shot too poorly and also was sloppy with the ball at times.

Better to win ugly than lose ugly, but being outshot by 17 shots on most nights (while FT's are essentially the same) will usually lead to a loss, not a win.

 

(9)

Jazz's Miles Takes Flight — 'What are they going to have to say then?'

by Brian T. Smith, Salt Lake Tribune Utah Jazz Notes blog

The game was good to Jazz guard C.J. Miles on Saturday night.

He set a career high with seven made 3-pointers, while recording a game-high 25 points. Five of Miles' 3s came during a fourth quarter that saw Utah outscore Portland 38-20. *  *  *

The breakout against the Blazers offset what had been a dreadful run for Miles. He came into Saturday's contest averaging 10.1 points, while shooting 37 percent from the field and 27.9 percent on 3s. Moreover, Miles had hit just 4 of his last 29 3-pointers during a nine-game stretch, including 0 for 4, 0 for 6 and 0 for 5 outings. * * *

 

(10)

Utah Jazz Come Back to Top the Blazers

by Jody Genessy, Deseret News

Know that shooting slump C.J. Miles struggled through the past couple of weeks?

Yeah, it officially ended in a big way Saturday night.

If that wasn't clear after he drilled back-to-back 3-pointers in the first half against Portland, you might have had a clue his cold spell was over after he fired in a couple more long bombs in the third quarter.

After a sizzling fourth, the bottom of the snapping visitors' nets were simply calling out for mercy. That sympathy plea sounded like this: Swish, swish, swish, swish and swish.

By the time Miles was done tickling the twine and torturing the crowd, the Jazz's sixth man had drained a career-best seven 3-pointers, scored a season-high 25 points and shot his team to a 103-94 victory. * * *

 

The Bottom Line:

1. Yo, we're a 4th Quarter team. Yo, we're a road team. You've been jazzed, Blazers...

2. Truth be told, we got a little lucky tonight. Don't worry, we'll take it...

3. C.J. Miles — KABOOM!!!

4. We're on a roll, boys and girls, catch us if you can!

 

 

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Seijeff

Talking Oden Contract with Jeff Seiffert

I recently powered up the flux capacitor of my DeLorean and took a visit to the Summer of 2009 to collect nuts and berries and to demonstrate that EVERYONE at Blazers Edge thought that the Trail Blazers should give Brandon Roy a maximum contract extension to his soon-to-expire rookie deal.

What I discovered, much to my surprise, was that virtually NOBODY considered possible Worst Case Scenario implications of the Roy contract. There was a big majority who thought that Paul Allen and the Seattle dweebs were cheapsters, that KP was incompetent, that all of them were stupid and mean — and that Our Brandon deserved a max deal as soon as possible. And there was a significant minority who thought that Paul Allen and his Seattle crew and KP were gonna give Our Brandon his rightfully deserved max deal soon enough and that the majority was just impatient and getting worked up into a tizzy over nothing.

There was one, count him ONE, let me say that again ONE individual — a cat with the screen name "Seijeff" — who actually showed the ability to create some emotional and intellectual distance between the player and the negotiation and the team and to analyze the ongoing Roy negotiations logically, fully, and correctly. Indeed, while all all of us had opinions, this particular individual has his opinion bolstered by the virtue of actually having been right.

By standing in contrast to all of our massive wrong-ness on the 2009 Roy contract situation, our colleague "Seijeff" has earned the laurels of Grand Master Tealeaf Reader and Contract Negotiation Game-Theory Logician, or some such. Whom better to ask about the Oden deal, I ask?

I tracked down the mysterious Mr. Seijeff of the Blazers Edge and asked him to gaze into his magical crystal ball for us...

 

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Let's begin at the beginning, Mr. Seijeff... What's your name, where do you live these days, and how did you become a fan of the Red-and-Black team? What do you do for a day job?

My name is Jeff Seiffert, I was born in Portland and have lived in the area all of my life. I became a fan when I was in grade school in the mid-80s when Clyde, Buck, Jerome, Terry, and Kevin were on the rise. I have followed the team through to the dark times in the earliest parts of the last decade, when I took a break from disgust.

I started following them again when we signed Nate McMillan and drafted Brandon, LaMarcus, and Sergio. My wife and I have been an avid fans since. As far as my day job goes, I own a pizza restaurant here in Milwaukie. That takes most of my time these days, and it is why I'm not on Blazers Edge as much as I would like to be.

As is well-known, Greg Oden's knees are crap and his rookie contract expires at the end of the current NBA season. Assuming there is no lockout and the next Collective Bargaining Agreement replicates the current one, how should the Blazers proceed if they seek to bring him back to Portland? Does advancing the $8.8 Million Qualifying Offer to gain rights to match any other team's offer sheet make sense to you? Does this not present the real risk that the offer will be accepted and that Oden — after one overpaid "rehabilitation" season — will be gone with the wind as an Unrestricted Free Agent the year after that? 

Well, I wouldn't characterize Greg's knees as "crap" to start with. Yes, he's had a lot of trouble, but this is my theory on that issue.

1. Greg is resilient and has shown the ability to adapt in the past.

2. Greg has a great work ethic, and in fact, I'd say it is arguable that his work ethic was what caused his patella to fracture; meaning that his quadriceps was so incredibly strong that it literally pulled the bone apart. This wasn't caused by a genetic defect or poor bone density as you would expect. According to Jay Jensen in the press conference the other evening, Dr. Roberts, when performing the surgery to repair Greg's patella encountered a bone that was so incredibly dense and tough that he had do significantly more drilling than usual to get into the bone in order to reattach the two pieces. In that same interview it was stated that Greg's bone density is as high as anyone's on the team. The strength to pull apart his patella came from Oden's determination to strengthen and build up his legs while he was rehabbing from his first microfracture surgery. If there was any fault in his rehab from the first surgery, it was being overzealous.

3. All that to say that Greg is 22 years old, and despite the fact that he looks much older than he is, there are many cases when men his age are still growing. In that case, their skeletons and joints are still not settled into their final dimensions and thus they are prone to injury more so than someone who has finished growing completely. The musculature is also unable to mature fully until the bone has finished its growth, which can cause problems with coordination and balance, which in turn can cause problems with the joints themselves taking on loads in ways that aren't optimal and won't happen later on. I have no proof that is the case with Oden as I am not a physician, nor do I have access to any of his medical records, but that is what I attribute Greg's misfortune to.

If that understanding is correct, then we can take the misfortune and turn it around to an asset. Seriously, the more I think about this situation, the more I see it as a possible boon for Greg and the Blazers in a couple of ways. Again, Greg is only 22. Assuming he's nearing the end of his growth cycle and his bones are close to done changing, a microfracture surgery will only serve to strengthen the joint, because unlike someone in their late 20s to mid 30s who's joints have been punished with years of NBA playing and have also completed their growth cycle, Greg's are still finishing and that will contribute to the healing process. We've seen that very thing happen with Greg's right knee. According to Jay Jensen and the medical staff attending Greg, Greg's right knee is stronger now than it was before the surgery. There aren't many people who have had that type of procedure that can claim that kind of outcome. With any luck, Greg's left knee should experience the same healing process.

The other reason this will be an asset the to team when all is said and done is the fact that Greg will be entering the prime years of his career with significantly less wear and tear on his joints and the rest of his body than most other centers his age would otherwise have experienced. We've all seen how deteriorating joints have affected guys like Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, if my theory on Greg's growth pattern is correct, Greg will not experience this same problem and this will enable the team to contest for a title for several years more than if he had been playing consistently since he was drafted.

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How would you play it, then?

From my optimistic outlook, I'm sure you can see where I am going to come down on what should happen with this situation. In my mind, the only option the team has that makes any sense is to give Greg the qualifying offer and hope he comes back strong when he's done with this next round of rehab. 

According to StoryTeller's piece on Friday, giving Oden the qualifying offer this June would make him a Restricted Free Agent at the end of the next season. Not giving Oden the offer would allow him to become an Unrestricted Free Agent and is in my mind a very big gamble.

In my opinion, allowing him to walk, or a bidding war to ensue for his services would prove that the team has a skewed vision of Oden's potential and that the pendulum has swung way too far in the opposite direction from
where it was when he was greeted by thousands of fans in Pioneer Courthouse Square in 2007. That might just increase the chances that Oden would sign with another team, even if the Blazers offer him more.

For all the pragmatism and practicality of Richard Cho's approach without an emotional attachment to the individuals that comprise the team, there is nothing practical or pragmatic about letting someone of Oden's perceived value go for nothing. Even if we discount entirely the potential that people have attached to Oden, what he was last season in his brief time on the court was nothing short of game-changing. If Oden comes back and gives Portland 10 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks consistently and never does any more than that, he is worth the wait and he is definitely worth the money. The fact that Greg will be only 23 when he comes back means that he will have a good five years of playing until he hits the prime of his career.

The other half of the decision to give him the qualifying offer is that if he doesn't come back with the same capability, then the rest of the league will see that also and we won't have the threat of losing someone who could come back and cause the team serious problems in the future. He may be signed by another team, but he more than likely wouldn't be signed by a team on the fringe of contention and thus he wouldn't stand in the way of our own title run. In my mind, there is no downside to giving him one more chance.

Why not let Oden test the market as an Unrestricted Free Agent?

The consequences for allowing Oden to become an Unrestricted Free Agent are not pretty. The motivation for allowing Oden to become an Unrestricted Free Agent is obvious: See what his market value is after having had all of these setbacks.

What I fear will happen if the team allows him to become an Unrestricted Free Agent is that they will be in for a big shock and will need to come up with a lot more than the qualifying offer in order to keep him. They'll find out that several teams that have had success with players with physical problems in the past, such as the Suns and the Spurs, will be more than willing to take on the challenge and will be in a position to do so because of the age of their current stars and the inevitable restructuring they will need to do in the next few years.

However, Oden won't be popular only with this category of team, he'll also be popular with teams trying to gain the length necessary to get past teams like Orlando and Los Angeles, such as the Oklahoma City Thunder or teams replacing aging Centers such as Boston. This will cause the Blazers to either have to go deep into luxury tax land, or allow someone like Batum, Mathews or someone else in the core or on the fringe of it to go in order to make room for the contract they'll have to sign in order to keep Oden. In essence, someone will make a "toxic offer" for Oden which will put the Blazers in the same position they've put the Jazz in for the last two summers running.

Yes, this possibility is something that may happen anyway even if Oden is a Restricted Free Agent, but if I am reading StoryTeller's analysis correctly, the team can avoid this problem by offering him a new contract during the year of the extension produced by the Qualifying Offer. That will ensure that Oden will be off the table as far as Free Agency is concerned and the team doesn't need to commit to that decision until it is clear that Oden's rehab is successful.


*   *   *

 

Cavalcade_medium

Advanced metrics might turn some peoples' crank, but not mine. I'm a big believer in subjective assessment with one's eyeballs and the determinative supremacy of random events. It strikes me as dumb to attempt to reduce game strategy and athletic art to a printout of expected values — if you really think you can predict the river card, move to Vegas...

Anywho, give me a bunch of numbers and I just wanna be entertained. In my quest to kill a Saturday afternoon I traveled the far corners of the internets, found a bunch of numbers, and managed to entertain myself. I will now pass them along to you now, free of charge... BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!! As an extra special bonus, I'll throw in some pointless trivia, too!!!

Cambylma_mediumWell then — I give you the following ABSOLUTELY TRUE statoids and factoids:

  • Marcus Camby's two tattoos in Chinese characters read "Strive to be your best" and "Love your family" — or at least that's what the tattoo artist told him.
  • Andre Miller played quarterback on the football team in high school.
  • After 13 games this year, Armon Johnson has been hitting at a higher clip from beyond the 3 point arc (57.1%) than inside of it (51.3%). And he is shooting better from the field inside the arc than he is from the free throw line (46.2%).
  • Over their careers Los Angeles Lakers starting Center Pau Gasol (22.0%) is a better 3 point shooter than Trail Blazer starting Point Guard Andre Miller (20.7%).
  • When he comes back from injury, Brandon Roy will continue working on his streak of 32 straight made Free Throws this season.
  • Four of the 15 Blazers were signed as free agents.
  • Four of the 15 Blazers are foreign-born.
  • Mike Rice never actually answers the questions asked of him during the "Minute Rice" pregame segment. He does consistently come fairly close to one minute in not doing this, however.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge is listed as being taller than Chris Bosh and heavier than Chris Bosh. He is also younger than Chris Bosh. Bosh does outscore him 19.6 to 17.2 and outrebound him 9.1 to 7.2 on a 36 minute basis though. But let's see how that changes when Bosh is deemphasized while LMA is increasingly featured.
  • In all, Steve Blake played in 3.28 years worth of games in a Blazer uniform.
  • Going into the Jazz game, Nic Batum needed 18 points to reach 1,000 points scored for his career.
  • Andre Miller and Detroit Pistons Small Forward Tayshaun Prince both hail from Compton, California. We all know about Miller's durability, but did you know that Prince also played 6 consecutive seasons without missing a game? Maybe it's something in the water...
  • So how is Nic Batum doing compared to Prince? You knew that subject was coming, eh? For his career, Prince has put up 13.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per 36 minutes played; Nico sits at comparable averages of 12.8 and 5.5. So who wants to mortgage the Blazer franchise for such an "upgrade"?
  • Portland's worst offensive quarter of basketball this year was the first quarter of the Laker game on Nov. 7, when they scored just 14 points.
  • Brandon Roy, Gary Payton, and Gerald Wallace all have the same birthday.
  • Wesley Matthews has never missed an NBA game in his career. If he continues at this rate, he only has to play 6-1/2 more years without a miss to catch up to Andre's current streak, plus however much longer Andre manages to add to his string.
  • Sweet Wesley was a four year player in college, just like Brandon Roy. He averaged over 18 ppg. during his Senior year.
  • Nate McMillan still has a losing record as a Blazers Head Coach.
  • Rudy Fernandez loves Italian food.
  • Speaking of Rudy, it sure does seem like his shooting sucks this year, doesn't it? Actually, he's only down to an Effective Shooting Percentage of 54.6% from last year's 55.2% from the arc. He is also hitting long two pointers at a significantly better clip than last year. He's pretty much the same guy he ever was, we're just seeing him differently.

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By the way, the term "cavalcade" originally meant a procession of mounted riders. Think "CAVALry" + "parADE". Now you'll never misspell it again, unless you forget how to spell "cavalry"... Anyway, have some more pointless crap:

  • If Andre Miller is able to complete his 3 year contract with the Blazers without missing more than 25 games, he will have played more contests in a Portland uniform than he did as a Philadelphia 76er.
  • For the 2009-10 season, Joel Przybilla was a better free throw shooter than Marcus Camby.
  • On the other hand, over the course of their careers, Marcus Camby is statistically a better rebounder than Joel Pryzbilla. In fact, Camby gets 3.5% more rebounds per 36 minutes than Pryzzy. To be perfectly fair, Pryzzy has upped his rebounding numbers in the last 3 seasons and it's closer than that now.
  • During the four years of his rookie NBA contract, Greg Oden played almost exactly double the number of minutes he played during his one year of college ball.
  • The leading team in the NBA in terms of Defensive Efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions) is the Orlando Magic at 94.9. That's freaky since nobody regards that as a particularly tough defensive team or Stan Van Gundy as a defensive-minded coach. The Blazers have a Defensive Efficiency somewhat worse than the league average, but still slightly better than the Lakers. Hmmm. I'm sure the stat freaks will start wailing about small sam ple size when I pronounce this stat to be unadulterated horsepucky...
  • Then again, maybe Defensive Efficiency is highly correlated to Head Coach screaming... Hmmmm, I wonder. Get to work on that, KP2...
  • Dante Cunningham only wears the mouthguard with black marks made to look like his front teeth are knocked out in games played on the road.
  • The other night Steve Kerr was saying the Blazers are a "poor shooting" team from the 3-point line. He's actually right about that, Blazers and Utah are down near the bottom of the league. Wanna know who's worst? Kevin Durant's OKC Thunder — by a big margin.
  • By the way, next time you get worried about Durant's 28 points per game and how the Blazers missed out on him, just remember that he takes 21.5 shots to get those points. He's shooting 30% from the 3 point arc, which is somewhat worse than Jerryd Bayless shot last season. Just sayin'...
  • Although it seems like the Blazers are chuckers, they actually get to the rim somewhat more often than the league average of 22.1 times per game. They also allow their opponents to get to the rim at somewhat less than the league average — even with no Przybilla.
  • Armon Johnson's True Shooting Percentage with Portland is better than Jerryd Bayless's True Shooting Percentage was with the Hornets. So why does he drive me nuts so much worse than Rex?
  • It seems like LMA is an alley oop machine this year, doesn't it? Actually his shooting percentage at the rim is in the crapper, down from over 70% last season to 57.4% this year. Missed tips or something...
  • Even though the Rose Garden has been sold out all along, the Blazers drew more fans in the 2008-09 season than they did in either 2007-08 or 2009-10.
  • Roy's shooting percentage, rebounds, and assists are all off this year from the previous season. He is shooting 3 pointers better and nailing a much better percentage of free throws, however.
  • The Blazers' team leader in plus/minus this year is Andre Miller at +46. The team's worst is Sean Marks at -45. Of the regular rotation players, team worst is Wesley Matthews at -14.
  • LMA has played 80% of Portland's total game minutes this year, most of any Blazer by far.
  • Portland is 1 win and 4 losses in games in which Luke Babbitt makes an appearance.
  • Nate's most heavily used lineup is Miller-Roy-Batum-Aldridge-Camby, which has been on the floor just slightly less than half of all total minutes played. In terms of plus/minus, however, the best unit has been the small-ball lineup of Miller-Roy-Matthews-Batum-Aldridge, which is an astounding +23 in just over 11 minutes of action. The Blazers have never lost a game when the latter lineup has made an appearance.
  • The Blazers have achieved remarkably balanced scoring by position this season, with the PG, SG, SF, and PF positions all averaging between 20 and 23 points per game, with the defensive-oriented Center position kicking in another 12.

Well, that's all for this time. Catch ya on the flip-flop...

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Wesley in new gear

Trying too hard with no plan

Fourth quarter fizzle

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Break out the sake and beernuts, it's time for another heaping helping of...

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Point Guards can be lucrative...

"Everybody [who has played with him] misses Nash. You get paid real well when you play with Steve Nash."

 

They pay Ricey too much, methinks... Commenting on a picture of a Blazer fan in front of the Taj Mahal...

"He's standing in front of my summer home, I think."

 

Ricey talking about D-Will in a sort of grossly overgeneralizing sort of way:

"Anyone that makes $15 Million will be ready to play."

 

Who gets the block?

MB: "Andre Miller!"

Rice: "Nicolas Batum!"

MB: "You're giving it to him? Andre Miller got it first, he should get the block..."

Rice: "Yeah, but that was a little sissy block..."

 

Miles gets his head knocked off defending a Rudy drive...

"If Jerry Sloan were here he'd say, 'Just put some tobacco on it...'"

 

Game 14.

Jazz 103 at Blazers 94.

November 20, 2010.

Blazers' record is now 8-6 Jazz are 9-5.

1. Sweet Wesley got whistled for his second foul after just 4 minutes and change and had to leave in favor of Rudy. He was both amped up and forced to cover D-Will, a bad combo. Nico added one to the Blazers' season highlight reel with a no-look double-clutch up-and-under move that would have been a SportsCenter Top 5 play if Portland were in Maine. Utah had turnoveritis (a total of 6 in the quarter) and the Blazers capitalized on their extra opportunities in taking a small lead. Utah played from behind but stayed in touch, with their deficit no bigger than 6. LMA and Rudy decided to get into the act evening up the turnover parade. Portland recovered, however and finished the period in the black, despite 7 turnovers. PDX 24, UTAH 19, Portland shooting 52%.

2. Smart observation from Rice: "The Blazers are a step quicker than Utah tonight," Jazz being on the tail end of a back-to-back. Quite true. Portland pumped up its lead to 10, with AJ making a Rexian move to the rack. "The Blazers playing much harder than Utah — and that's very unusual for a Utah team when you say they're not playing hard," says Rice. Correct again. Jerry Sloan is not in the building, attending a funeral, which helped the Blazer cause... C.J. Miles drained back-to-back 3s and it was a game again, with Portland up by 5. Andre Miller is a nice player, isn't he? He's like a strong Nicaraguan cigar or a good bottle of Cabernet — an acquired taste, yeah, but fine, fine, fine if you know what's going on. Portland's sloppiness turned an 11 point lead to 4 double pronto. Not much Blazer offense happening. Alas... At the half it was PDX 48, UTAH 45, Portland just 2/10 from beyond the arc.

Halftime entertainment:

 

3. An even game, with a one point Blazer lead at the midway point. The Blazers hustled and I made some killer bean dip and they opened a little lead by the end. PDX 74, JAZZ 65.

4. Blazers continued their crappy 3-point shooting (now 2-for-14) while C.J. Miles nailed one against the shot clock buzzer from 4 feet behind the arc. Random events, my friends. First thing you know, it was a 1 point game. It got worse. Utah opened the quarter with a 19-6 run, taking a lead for just the second time in the game.

Champions play their best in the 4th Quarter, you know. "The Blazers need somebody to step up," noted Rice, correctly. Miles bombed a 3, LMA got picked, Miles scored again, and the Jazz lead was 7. The teams traded buckets down to the 4 minute mark. Nico fouled out and Miles got hotter yet, running his scoring total up to 22. Kiss it goodbye. 

Rudy hit a PUJIT trey at the 2:45 mark to cut the lead to 4. That was as close as it was gonna get for the home team though... Both teams were ineffectual in succeeding possessions, with the Jazz committing their 18th turnover with 1:51 showing. Coming down the home stretch it remained Utah up by 4. LMA hit a 20 footer with 1:20, but Miles dropped his 7th 3-point shot on the other end for DAGGER. Blazers shot and shot and shot from behind the arc, but couldn't hit — 4 of 20 behind the line ain't gonna cut it, boys and girls.

"They're the best team on the road in the NBA," says Rice. Big change from two years ago. JAZZ 103, BLAZERS 94. Blazers were outscored 38-20 in the final frame, Jazz shooting 72%, which pretty much sums things up.

 

Let's take at this thang graphically, shall we?

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Well, by golly, here's a little LINKETY LINK that will bring a colorful graphic representation of the game to your computer screen...

Here's are the pictures that I see in the ink blots:

A. Portland ruled the road for 3-and-a-third quarters and then the Jazz blew by. I think their license plate read "C YA." Or maybe it was "C J"... One of those.

B. Luke Babbit sighting! Now Portland is 1-and-5 when that happens (see above). He truly is Portland's Adam Morrison...

C. Three big Utah runs in the 4th Quarter settled it: 8-0, 13-2, 7-0. Portland simply went dry and couldn't buy a bucket during Brandon Roy Time (tm) (r).

D. The three top Utah players in plus/minus were Andre Kirilenko, Big Al Jefferson, and Earl Watson — but it was C.J. Miles who won the game for them. Draw inferences from this stat with caution.

E. Marcus Camby only had 2 points in 34 minutes. I understand that the Center is the Goalie, whose job it is to gather rebounds and defend the rim. I get that. Still, a little more production than that would be nice. Portland's story in this game was Tons of Offensive Rebounds, Nothing Much in Terms of Easy Putback Buckets.

F. The only Portland starter who wasn't in the red in plus/minus was Nic Batum, who was at zero in over 34 minutes of action. I speculate that this DOES mean something.

 

Finally, let's gather round for another installment of THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, eh?

Tbjlogo_medium

Here's highlights of the Thursday night TV show...

Here's the regular Thursday morning show...

Here's Wednesday's show...

Here's Tuesday's show...

In case you missed it, here is Monday's show...

Too damned many videos, Blazers need to play more!


The Basketball Jones is a NBA blog and video/audio podcast, written and recorded five times a week by J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Jason Doyle and Matt Osten. Assume that there will be a couple Not Suitable For Work words used in any given episode.


 

Photo Credits: Jeff Seiffert: Courtesy Jeff Seiffert. Oden: Don Ryan, Associated Press. Camby and LMA: Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press. Andre Miller: Greg Wahl-Stevens, Associated Press. All images heavily tweaked in Photoshop by Tim Davenport. 

Sources for the Cavalcade of Crap Stats: Portland Trail Blazers media sheets, Basketball-Reference.com, Hoopdata.com, DatabaseBasketball.com, 82Games.com.

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