Game 33 Preview: Jazz vs. Trail Blazers

Game Time:  7:00 p.m. Pacific  TV:  KGW

The Blazers played the Jazz two games ago.  The information from this preview should suffice if you're looking for info about the opponent.  Suffice it to say that Portland's victory in that game was quite impressive considering the games that bracketed it....a fourth-quarter loss to Golden State and a shellacking by Denver.  It was also impressive because it was one of the truest team efforts the Blazers have shown this year, with each piece fitting into the other and the whole becoming more than the sum of its parts.  The Blazers will need another such effort tonight.  Home or not, the sum of Utah's parts is still greater than the sum of Portland's right now.  On the bright side, if the Blazers show even a glimmer of the effort they showed in that game the Rose Garden fans should inspire more.  But it'll still be a rough haul against Utah, as it was then.  They've played too many dominant games against the Blazers in recent history, even in Portland, to call it any other way.

Especially given the lack of a detailed preview, this thread will also serve as your Blazer Chat thread of the day.  The obvious question on game days:  What is your assessment of this matchup?  Do the Blazers win again or does Utah get revenge?  Why or why not?  What are the most important factors determining this game?

Also a secondary question:  How pleased (or not) will you be with the Blazers' performance as of late even if they win this game?  In the past couple of weeks we've tried to describe (somewhat objectively and somewhat subjectively) the overall disappointment of Portland's progress this year.  We all know the score there.  But given the circumstances--no Oden, limited Roy, fractured centers--how happy have you been with Portland's post-tragedy play?  What are you looking for from them right now?  Are your current expectations being met?

Of course you're welcome to throw in any other Blazer-related chat you wish that's not being covered in a separate post.  The thread is open.  Enjoy!

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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