18-13 Portland @ 4-26 Minnesota

Someone, somewhere is saying, "Minnesota is better than their record". That someone is not me. They are every bit as bad as you would think a team with that record would be. Where to start?

Let's start in the back court. Sebastian Telfair was once the point guard of the future in Portland. The problem is, he shoots like Jason Kidd but doesn't pass, defend, or rebound like Kidd. I have always thought Kidd was overrated because his poor shooting was the huge hole in his game that could be exploited when the playoffs rolled around and teams could concentrate on pin-pointing the weaknesses of particular opponents. Telfair is an even worse shooter, though, so the Wolves will struggle to get good shots and thus their shooting percentage will theoretically cause problems.

Sure enough, a quick check reveals they are shooting .436% for the season...and that ain't very good. They do outrebound the less than 1. So they struggle to score, struggle to stop people, and don't control the boards. How are they going to win?

Basically, they need the hot night from 1 or 2 guys with 3 or 4 others stepping up to have at the least average games. That is a formula for disaster. Jefferson might like it because he can accumulate the stats that will lead to a huge contract...but they are going to get blown up night after night.

This is one of those games that determines how much of the recent streak was a young, talented Portland team asserting themselves and how much of it was a nice home schedule and a couple solid road games mixed in. This is the type of road game that is not just winnable, it is almost a "must win" if they want to take that next step. Portland is more talented at every position, they have a better bench, they have a better coach...they should not just win this game, they should win it handily...double digits at the least.

I would not think the Jazz game is a reprise of the Philadelphia game...the confidence level should remain high, the players should take the floor knowing they are better and go about proving it. I would be very, very surprised...and, truth be told, disappointed...if they somehow lost this game.

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