After a bit of a topsy turvy opening night in the NBA, we continue on to night two. On Wednesday night, the Utah Jazz will square off with the Portland Trailblazers as both teams make their season debut.
It’s Donovan Mitchell vs Damian Lillard on only the second day of the NBA season. Christmas comes early if you will. The Jazz finished 6th in the West last season, with 44 wins on the season. The Blazers finished at 39 wins.
Terry Stots and Quinn Snyder both return as the respective head coached in the matchup. A matchup that should be one of the best we see here at the start of the season. This could be the season that one of these two take the next step and go deeper into the playoffs.
Making that Sweet Music
Donovan Mitchell has led the Jazz for a couple of seasons now. He has been far from a disappointment for Jazz fans. The issue with the Jazz has been there depth the last couple of seasons.
Beyond Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, who the Jazz just locked up for 4 more years, there hasn’t been much in the way of front-row talent.
They have some of the best depth and role p[layers in the league, but they need a member to add to Mitchell and Gobert to make it a trio. This year, rookie 7-footer Udoka Azubuike gets to audition for the role. Udoka comes in as the only Jazz rookie on the NBA roster.
Whether the Jazz added enough to make a deep playoff run remains to be seen, but have they added enough to beat the Blazer? Absolutely.
Put Some Respect on the Name
Damian Lillard keeps this team in the running every season, and while he has a little help behind him, much like Mitchell, he needs more. CJ McCollum and Jusuf are certainly no slouches, but the Blazers are another team that is likely a player away from greatness.
The Blazers added Keljin Blevins and CJ Elleby via the draft this off-season. They should pair nicely with the last few year’s rookie crop in Gary Trent Jr and Nassir Little. Trent Jr made leaps and bounds a season ago, will Little do the same this year?
Without some massive improvement amongst the young players and the rookies, the Blazers are likely the same team they were a year. Can Terry Stots get his guys to outplay the Jazz to kick the season off? Absolutely.
Picking From Closely Matched Teams
It’s ironic that these two teams kick the season off against each other because I often think of the other team when thinking about one of these teams. They should have similar seasons in my opinion.
BetOnline has the Blazers favored by 1.5 points headed into their first match, and rightly so in my opinion. The Trailblazers, with Dame at the helm, come out hot and easily beat the Jazz. Take the Blazers.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -1.5