The NBA’s tradition of an exciting slate of Christmas Day games will continue on Tuesday. Five games are on the board for Christmas Day. One of these games will bet between the Utah Jazz and the Portland Trail Blazers. The game between the Jazz and the Trail Blazers will end the day of NBA action at 10:30 PM Eastern on ABC.
Portland has put up a record of 19-14 to start out the season. The Trail Blazers are currently sitting in sixth place of the Western Conference. Portland has won four of their last five games. Their loss came to the Utah Jazz on December 21. The Trail Blazers will look to bounce back with a win against Utah on Tuesday night.
The Jazz have started out the season with a record of 16-18, which has put them in twelfth place of the Western Conference. Utah lost their last game to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but have won two of their last three games. The Jazz will look to continue to move up in the standings with another win on Christmas night.
Tuesday night’s matchup will be the second game between Utah and Portland. The Jazz and the Trail Blazers will meet two more times this season on January 21 and January 30. Both of these teams have played well recently, and I believe it will lead to a good game on Christmas night.
The Jazz and the Trail Blazers met up a total of four times last season. The season series was split 2-2, with each team winning one game at home and one game on the road. Portland won the first two games of the series and the Jazz took the last two games. Utah went on to make the playoffs as the fifth seed, while the Trail Blazers finished the season as the third seed.
The first game of this season’s series was hosted by Portland on December 21. Damian Lillard had 19 points for the Trail Blazers, while Jusuf Nurkic had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Portland did not get much support though. Ricky Rubio had 24 points and 8 assists. Kyle Korver and Jae Crowder combined for 34 points off the bench. The Jazz were able to finish with a 120-90 win on the road.
Three Point Shooting
Utah has not been a great team shooting from behind the arc. The Jazz have been shooting around 34 percent from behind the three-point line. Utah has been allowing their opponents to shoot around 35.6 percent from behind the arc. The Jazz have been around the middle of the league at slowing down other teams from behind the three-point line.
The Trail Blazers have been near the top of the league when it comes to shooting three-pointers. Portland has made 36 percent of their three-pointers. The Trail Blazers have been the worst team in the NBA this season when it comes to guarding the three-point line. Portland has allowed the opposing team to make 37.8 percent of their three-point shots.
Both of these teams have not been great at guarding behind the arc, which could lead to a high scoring affair. The Trail Blazers have been the better team at shooting three-pointers, which makes me believe that they have the advantage in this game. If Portland can move the ball well to get open shots, I believe they could dominate this game from behind the arc.
Donovan Mitchell has continued to develop into a star on Utah’s roster this season. Mitchell is averaging a team-leading 20 points per game this season. Rudy Gobert has had a solid start to the season at the Center spot. Gobert is averaging 14.5 points and 12 rebounds per game. Ricky Rubio is averaging 13 points and 6.5 assists per game. Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles are both averaging 12 points per game this season.
The Trail Blazers have been led by their Guard duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Lillard has had a really strong start to the season, averaging 27 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds per game this season. McCollum has averaged 21 points per game this season. Portland has had some help from Jusuf Nurkic at the Center spot this season. Nurkic is averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Lillard and McCollum will matchup with Mitchell and Rubio on Tuesday night. I believe that Lillard and McCollum will both have a solid night. They were both shut down in their last game against the Jazz, but I believe they bounce back with a big night. Nurkic and Gobert will both have an exciting matchup. Gobert is known as one of the best defensive Centers and Nurkic is one of the more underrated defensive Centers in the league in my opinion. This should make for a tight battle in the paint.
The Trail Blazers will visit Utah on Christmas night with hopes of getting revenge for their loss in Portland. Utah put up a dominant performance on December 21, but I believe that the Jazz will not be able to win the first two games against Portland this season. The Trail Blazers have some enticing matchups at the Guard spot this season. I also believe that Portland’s three-point shooting will help give them an edge.
BetOnline has the Jazz listed as a -6 against the spread. Portland is on the road, but I believe that they have a chance to get a pretty dominant win on Tuesday night. If the Trail Blazers can put up a good performance from behind the three-point line, they should be able to win in a bigger fashion. Even if Portland is struggling, I believe they will be able to keep this close until the end. I am taking the Trail Blazers with the points.