by Alma Bean
Featured image courtesy Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.
After a nail-biting win on Friday night, the Utah Jazz (11-6) travel to face the Portland Trailblazers (10-5) on a back-to-back.
What to Look For
Utah is coming off an emphatic 134-133 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday. They will now have to bring that same energy to Portland, the number one team in the western conference. Though they are the number one team in the west, Portland is ranked in the bottom five in the league in ppg with 109.7 points. Utah has been exceling in that department scoring 117.6 ppg. Utah will have the challenge of facing Portland along the perimeter as they are fourth in the league in three-point percentage with 39.1%. There will be a bit of relief when it comes to the free throw line as both Portland and Utah shoot 76.6% from the line but Portland gets fouled frequently being third in the league (23.1 fpg). Utah will look to utilize Mike Conley as Portland allows the fourth most assists per game in the league with 27 assists. This is just under Utah’s average with 28.1 apg.
After his career-best performance, it will be interesting to see how Lauri Markkanen will be used for tonight’s game. With a stat line of 38/6/3, curious to see if Markkanen will continue raising his ceiling or if he will begin to coast and come back down to earth.
Portland- Nassir Little: Questionable (calf), Keon Johnson: Out (hip), Gary Payton II: Out (abdomen)
Utah- Ochai Agbaji: Out (G League), Leandro Bolmaro: Out (G League), Rudy Gay: Out (hand), Johnny Juzang: Out (G League), Micah Potter: Out (G League)
Where to Watch
Tonight’s game between Utah and Portland is Utah’s first nationally televised game on NBA TV at 8:00 p.m. MT. The local broadcast will also be available on AT&T SportsNet.