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Game 74 Preview: Jazz vs. Blazers

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I'm in one heck of a hurry this evening and probably won't see the keyboard again until tomorrow A.M. so I'm giving you a semi-recap of the last Jazz preview we did here...at least the "What I'd Like To See" part.  As for the rest...they're darn good, they've run away with the division, they're the guaranteed playoff team that nobody's talking about, and aside from a small hiccup a couple weeks ago they've been winning consistently.  Also it's not entirely unreasonable to put up a mostly-repeat-preview because outside of injuries this team is a model of consistency.  Thank Jerry Sloan for that.

Here you go...

What I'd Like To See:

  1.  Unless the world tilts funny we're going to get pounded on the boards tonight.  That means we better hit the shots we get, which means working for smart ones.  "One and done" doesn't hurt as much if the "one" goes in for "two".  But if we shoot 38% tonight we're in trouble.  
  2.  I haven't heard if Lamarcus is playing but I'm assuming he will.  We need a big game from him.  He won't be able to stop Boozer but he can help us out by playing smart offense and staying reasonably close to Carlos on the points scale.
  3.  Outside of Okur and Harpring they don't have any real threats from distance.  In general you want to push Utah as far outside as you can get them while still keeping a man on those two shooters.  This sounds simple but somehow every time I say this the Blazers manage to let the opponents' excellent shooters roam free.
  4.  The Jazz are all about ball and player movement.  I have wished all year for us to get a chip on our shoulder and start bumping cutters and harassing passers.  Tonight would be a great night to start, but I'm not holding my breath.  Failing that, at least make them go one-on-one against you.  Only Boozer and Williams are really good at it and one of them ain't playing.
  5.  If all else fails, just fill up the hustle board.  Sometimes the Jazz do get a little complacent.
The Blazers almost always bounce back from awful efforts with good ones.  Here's hoping that happens tonight.

Update: O-Live has the story. Lamarcus is out "indefinitely" while doctors seek the cause of his ticker flicker. Bad news for us on this, or any, night.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)