After the holiday break and a special gift of 50 hours off from Jerry Sloan, the Utah Jazz are set to square off against Wesley Matthews and the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. (Having been sick in bed for the last week, I have not been up to posting any Jazz material lately, and I want to apologize for that. I hope everybody who reads this blog regularly had a wonderful holiday and is ready for a nice flow of Jazz content starting today).
So getting back into things, the Jazz are ready to give Wesley Matthews a second reminder as to why leaving for Portland was a bad move from a team perspective. In their last matchup the Jazz beat the Blazers 103-95 behind 25 points by CJ “Doe” Miles, who actually hit 5 3-pointers in the final period of the game to help stave off Portland. Matthews was Portland’s second-leading scorer in that game as he dropped in 16 points. LaMarcus Aldridge, the 7-footer with a nice outside touch, led the way for the Blazers with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Aldridge should be a tough matchup for the Jazz once again in this one, but Utah needs to limit what he does offensively if they want to come away with the victory tonight. Wesley Matthews is going to be fired up returning to Utah for the first time since he left, and his 0-6 shooting from 3-point land last time is going to be a lot better this time around. With that being said, Aldridge must be limited on his effectiveness in the paint. If the Blazers are bombing 3’s successfully, and they are owning the interior, this could be a revenge game for Wes and the Blazers.
On the opposite side of the ball, the Jazz are going to need a great balance on offense. Obviously that starts with a top-notch performance by Deron Williams who controls the flow of the game in the palm of his hand. If he’s getting teammates involved, and he’s knocking down his mid-range jumper, I can see the Jazz cracking 100 points again in this one. With the paint being patrolled by the aforementioned Aldridge and the shot-blocking machine, Marcus Camby, the Jazz are going to rely on good perimeter shooting to get the job done. If the Jazz are rusty from the outside, look for D-Will to try a lot of penetrate and dump to Millsap and Jefferson who know how to finish around the rim with ease.
All in all this should be an exciting game between two good Western Conference teams. The crowd should be pumped up to welcome back Wesley Matthews for the first time, and there’s no doubt that the arena is going to be rocking.
Before the game I wanted to do an Add-A-Caption Contest, so here it is. What is Wesley Matthews thinking as Paul Millsap approaches him for the block? You know the drill, funny responses are the goal. Leave your Twitter Username if you have one.