Night in and night out, the Trailblazers are a model of consistency. The enter this contest winning 7 of its last 10 games. Since the beginning of December, the road schedule has been light, resulting in only 3 wins in the team’s last 10 road games. Surprisingly, Portland is the NBA’s 2nd leading rebounding team at 48.1 RPG. This is a testament to the team’s tenacity on the defensive end of the court. If the team has a weakness, it lies in the fact they lack scoring depth. There are only three players, who currently average double-digits. Fortunately, two of those players are the backcourt dynamic duo of Damien Lilliard (26.1 PPG) and CJ McCollum (20.6 PPG).
After struggling through the first half of the season, the Utah Jazz are finally delivery on the promise the team showed last season. They have won 8 of its last 9 games and 6 in a row at home. They are doing this with an offense and defense that rank mid-pack in most relevant categories. The team’s current success can be attributed to two things: a defense that has allowed just over 101 PPG, well below the league average, and the play of reigning Rookie of the Year Donovan Mitchell, who has overcome and early season scoring slump to average 28 PPG over the team’s last 8 games. It’s a great sign they can play this well with starting PG Ricky Rubio out with an injury.
Prediction: Both of these teams are playing very good defense of late. In Utah, the defense is playing at an elite level. Assuming Utah will get control of the pace, this game figures to duck right under the total. Play under (score – Utah 107-102)