SALT LAKE CITY — Combining the fact that former Weber State guard Damian Lillard has become one of the best guards in the NBA for the Portland Trail Blazers with the fact that Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio is a good defender, the point guard matchup should be a good one when the two teams square off Wednesday night at Vivint Arena.
Before the game, Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said much of the responsibility for containing Lillard will fall on Rubio, but that it’ll be a team effort.
“It’s not just on Ricky, but clearly Ricky’s going to have to work,” Snyder said. “(The Trail Blazers) work hard on offense, and they read very, very well. I think Ricky’s an intelligent player, and that’s something that he’ll have to be tonight. He’ll have to feel and compete.”
While Lillard and his backcourt mate CJ McCollum are the key cogs in Portland’s offensive machine, the duo’s effectiveness has helped allow players such as Pat Connaughton and Al-Farouq Aminu get open shots from the perimeter.
“I think the other guys on their team right now are all collectively shooting the ball very well...they’ve got a lot of guys that are confident,” Snyder said. “Those two guys make a lot and take a lot, and when the other guys have them, they’re usually open.”
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.