10* Western Conf. NBA GAME OF YEAR! (Won Eastern on 12/28) Sunday
Conference GAME OF THE YEAR
at 9:00 ET.
These teams both treated me well in their last game. Playing their second game in as many nights, I backed the Jazz against Boston, citing that the back-to-back situation wasn’t likely to pose as much of a problem for the Jazz as the long layoff would for the Celtics. Though the line was about a pick’em, Utah would win by 15 points. My play on Portland was perhaps even easier. Despite being prohibitive underdogs, the Trail Blazers won by 32 points. I don’t normally like to toot my own horn but will admit that I did mention that the Blazers were playing so well right now that I thought they had a real shot at upsetting the Warriors, something not many teams do and something I wouldn’t normally say.
Anyway, enough reminiscing. Among the reasons why I backed the Jazz and the Blazers in their last game is that they are both much better home teams and both were playing at home. The Blazers are up to 17-11 in games at Portland. While they’re 18-10 in games at Utah, the Jazz are only 9-17 on the road. You may have seen that Lillard went off for 51 points on Friday. It was more than that though as he also made several outstanding defensive plays, ones which were important at the time. He’d finish with six steals (and 7 assists) without turning the ball over. Speaking of Lillard, the Blazers are 0-1 against the Jazz this season without him in the lineup but 2-0 against them when he plays. Homecourt advantage means more to some teams than it does to others.
These are two teams that it means a great deal to. It’ll mean a lot again tonight, as the Blazers win their eighth straight home game against Western Conference opposition.