At this point, it’s not inconceivable that the Portland Trail Blazers won’t win a second road game before playing in New Orleans (5-17) on December 21.

Granted, the Blazers are only playing three games on the road by then, but those three don’t look very promising on paper for the Blazers (10-10) who are 1-9 this season away from the Moda Center.

The Blazers play Utah on Monday night, return home for four games, then play Golden State (18-2) on December 8. The Warriors handed Portland a 118-103 loss to San Francisco on Friday. The Blazers then return home for four more games before traveling to Memphis (10-1) on December 20 to begin a two-game trip that ends in New Orleans on December 21.

From how the Blazers have played on the road this season, this Memphis game looks like a loss for now. But Portland has a few weeks to improve in time for this game.

That process begins Monday at Jazz, a team that is a horrible game for the Blazers, especially away from the Moda Center. The Jazz have the highest-rated offense in the NBA (114.2) and are tied for seventh in defense (105). Utah ranks second for net score (9.1) behind the Warriors (13.6).

The Blazers’ offense is easily disrupted, but mostly by teams committing to playing solid defense by forcing Portland to move on to their third and fourth options within their offense. This is an area where coach Chauncey Billups has repeatedly said the Blazers lack consistency on the road.

Offensively, the Jazz start slowly with three shots (35.3%) but they allow only 32.1% of three shots (fourth best in the NBA) while still scoring 112.3 points per game (fourth ).

Portland hasn’t proven its ability to survive offensively on the road without shooting all three well. Utah will make it a challenge while testing the Blazers’ three-point shooting defense, which ranks 29th (38.5% shots allowed).

In a 124-95 loss to Denver on Nov. 14, the Blazers allowed the Nuggets, who rank 26th in three-point shooting (32.6%), to shoot 47.5%. It’s an example of how this Portland defense rolls away from home.

Utah’s three-point shooting problems may be linked in part to the slow start of all-star goaltender Donovan Mitchell, who shoots 32 percent from three to 38.6 percent last season. He’s still averaging 22.8 points per game but hasn’t broken 30 points in his last 11 outings.

Still, Jazz has Mike Conley Jr. (44.3% of three) and Bojan Bogdanovic (39.7%) doing their part. Plus, center Rudy Gobert (14.9 points, 14.5 rebounds per game) will make the adventure inside the paint risky for Blazers guards.


Be sure to check out this breakdown of the Blazers across 20 games. It’s a comparison of last season to this season based on the areas Billups hoped to generate improvements. Some areas are progressing well but most are still under construction.


What: Trail Blazers (10-10) at Jazz (13-7), 6 p.m. Monday

Or: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Radio: Rip City Radio (KPOJ 620 AM).

TV channel: Root Sports Plus (in Portland: Comcast 1253, DirecTV 687-1).

Watch the match live online: You can watch this game live for FREE with fuboTV (free trial). You can also get this game on DirecTV Stream’s “CHOICE” package (promotional offers), if you run out of trials on fuboTV or just prefer this platform and its pricing plans. If you already have a cable or satellite provider that broadcasts Root Sports and want to watch it online, you can watch this game live on Root Sports Live.


Moneyline: UTA -330 | POR +270

Distribution: UTA – 7.5 | Above / Below: 222.5


Jackets: g Norman Powell (right quad contusion) came out.

Jazz: Royce O’Neale (right foot / ankle; sprain) is questionable and Udoka Azubuike (right ankle; injury) came out.


The Blazers return home to host Detroit (4-15) on Tuesday, then San Antonio (5-13) on Thursday. It begins a streak where the Blazers will play eight of nine at the Moda Center.

– Aaron Fentress | [email protected] | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook).

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