The Trail Blazers tip-off the 2020-21 regular season Wednesday night when the Utah Jazz make a stop in Portland.
After the Trail Blazers went 1-3 in the preseason, there are still many question marks that remain and not just on the defensive end.
Portland has listed Anfernee Simons (left hamstring strain) as questionable for Wednesday’s, while Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) and Nassir Little (Health and Safety Protocols) are out.
As for the Jazz, Derrick Favors (right knee soreness) is probable.
Here’s what our Trail Blazers Insider, Dwight Jaynes had to say about the expectations of this team ahead of the home opener Wednesday:
“It's possible to draw some conclusions from what has gone on in the last eight seasons of Terry Stotts coaching this team. There are common threads.
While it is dangerous to assume what has happened in the past will continue in the future, it’s not nearly as hazardous when it seems that there hasn’t been much change over Stotts’ tenure.
So why would we expect change now?
An absence of major changes and adjustments has been a hallmark of the last eight seasons in Portland. The Trail Blazers have tinkered with their approach at both ends of the court over that time, but not a lot has changed with their basic philosophy.
Not just from season to season, but from game to game and half to half.
Overall, Stotts’ teams have taken a very cautious and safe approach at both ends of the court.
On offense, the Trail Blazers have walked the ball up the floor most of the time, very often playing at one of the slowest paces in the league and when they do attempt to run, it often does not result in a score. At the same time, Portland has not turned the ball over much.
But the reality of the low turnover numbers is that there haven’t been many assists, either. In two of the last three seasons, the Trail Blazers have finished last in the league in assists.
Those numbers come from just not passing the ball much.”
Read more from Dwight here.
The Blazers are a –1 point favorite against the Jazz Wednesday, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about the Trail Blazers first regular season game of the year --
- Wednesday’s contest will be the only meeting between the two teams during the First Half of the Regular season schedule. The teams will meet two more times in the Second Half of the season.
- LAST SEASON: The Jazz won the season series against the Trail Blazers in 2019-20, 2-1.
- Damian Lillard averaged 42.3 points , 4.0 rebounds and 8.7 assists in three games against Utah last season. He made 24 three-pointers (of 42) against the Jazz. Lillard has scored at least 34 points in each of his last four games against Utah.
- CJ McCollum averaged 22.0 points 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in three games against the Jazz last season. In his last five games against the Jazz, McCollum has shot 48.4% from the three-point line (15-of-31).
- In his last four games against Utah, Jusuf Nurkic averaged 13.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 3.25 blocks and 1.00 steal.
- Robert Covington has scored in double digits in six of his last seven games against the Jazz.
- In three games against the Trail Blazers last season, Donovan Mitchell averaged 25.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
- Rudy Gobert averaged 12.7 points (75.0% FG, 50.0% FT), 13.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.67 blocks in three games against Portland last season.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -1 (-110) – Jazz +1 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Wednesday, December 23
Where: Moda Center | Portland, OR
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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