View Full Version : 2012 Mock Offseason Playoffs: 2 Portland Trailblazers vs. 7 Utah Jazz

08-09-2012, 02:05 AM
Every summer, PSD holds a game which mocks that year's NBA offseason. This year, users from the site were randomly assigned the reigns of NBA franchises and had to utilize their skills via draft, trades, and free agency to improve their teams. At the end of the game, GMs voted on how they believed the regular season of this game would shake up. These are the playoffs of PSD's 2012 NBA Mock Offseason.

Please take the time to consider each line up, the match-up itself, and vote on which team you believe would win in a seven game series.

The Blazers have homecourt advantage in this Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Blazers Depth Chart:

PG: Russell Westbrook (38)/ Steve Blake (10)
SG: Wesley Matthews (32)/JJ Reddick (16)
SF: Nicolas Batum (36)/Deshawn Stevenson (12)
PF: Luis Scola (32)/Kenyon Martin (12)/Boris Diaw (4)
C: Andrew Bynum (36)/Boris Diaw (12)

Jazz Depth Chart:

PG: Devin Harris/Jamal Crawford/Nolan Smith
SG: Marcus Thornton/Jamal Crawford/Raja Bell
SF: Rudy Gay/Thaddeus Young/Mike Scott
PF: Elton Brand/Thaddeus Young/DeJuan Blair/Tiago Splitter
C: Brook Lopez/Tiago Splitter/DeJuan Blair

Blazers Write-up:

First off, we would like to congratulate homestarunner and MWC for making the Jazz a much-improved team and for making it to the playoffs. With that being said the Portland Trailblazers are just too much for the Jazz to handle.

The Trailblazers are lead by two of the best players in the game in Russell Westbrook and Andrew Bynum, both who, although very young, are very experienced when it comes to postseason play. Not only do we have these 2 superstars leading the way, we have filled the rest of the roster with players who would flourish around Andrew and Russell as well as creating one of the deepest teams in the league.

Depth Chart:
PG: Russell Westbrook (38)/ Steve Blake (10)
SG: Wesley Matthews (32)/JJ Reddick (16)
SF: Nicolas Batum (36)/Deshawn Stevenson (12)
PF: Luis Scola (32)/Kenyon Martin (12)/Boris Diaw (4)
C: Andrew Bynum (36)/Boris Diaw (12)


Point Guards:

It's clear that Westbrook would just abuse Devin Harris, who at this point is fast and not much else. Westbrook is explosive offensively and capable defensively, and Harris would get totally dominated.

Shooting Guards:

Thornton is a true talent offensively, but is so bad defensively that he coughs up a lot of his value. Matthews, on the other hand, is solid at both and would definitely thrive when the defensive attention is on Westbrook and Bynum. We'll call it a draw.

Small Forwards:

Rudy Gay, at different times in the mock offseason, has been called one-dimensional, a chucker, overpaid, and overrated. While he can score, that's just about all he can do. We love the versatility Batum brings us on both ends of the court, and we think he is still developing. Batum can slow down Gay's offense, and take advantage of his piss poor defense.

Power Forwards:

Scola and Brand are both players in the twilights of their career, both having been amnesty cut this season. We think that they both actually have value, Scola more offensively and Brand more defensively. However, we think in the scheme of things this matchup is secondary. Scola will take advantage of opportunities given to him by the defensive attention on Bynum and will be a useful scorer for us.


Andrew Bynum is coming off his crowning season, cementing his status as #2 center in the NBA and quieting the doubters. Brook Lopez is coming off an injury shortened season, and has proven to be nothing short of soft in the NBA. Bynum would mutilate Lopez on the boards and show him how a real center plays.

Overall: The starting lineup has everything you can ask for in a unit. We have great running mates who can play with Westbrook’s style in Batum and Matthews, who can hit the 3 ball while Westy continuously attacks the rim. Scola will be the pick and pop player who will help spread the floor with his patented mid range jumper and then we have the best offensive center in the game in Andrew Bynum down low. With Westbrook attacking, the defense is going to have to make a choice in whether to come up and help on Westy or leave Bynum open down low, and the Jazz just don’t simply have the answer to stop them. There is a reason that we are the 2 seed, and Utah is the 7 seed. We have too much firepower for them to handle..

Jazz Write-up:

I love this matchup for the Jazz because, quite frankly, the Trail Blazers have some serious flaws that this team can exploit. PL and Baller have a fine collection of talent, but the team element is seriously lacking here, in my opinion. Why the Jazz will win:

1. Team Chemistry – Andrew Bynum and Russell Westbrook on the same team, as the two leaders of a team, is a disaster waiting to happen. Both of them want to be the #1 option, and both of them can get down on themselves and their game when they aren’t scoring like they want to. The fact of the matter is, someone is going to end up unhappy here because of it. The Trail Blazers don’t have a Durant or Kobe type either to smack them into shape when they are acting out. The Trail Blazers are Westbrook and Bynum’s team, which is a very scary thought for anyone with a grasp of team chemistry and the way these players have acted in the past. On the other hand, the Jazz have a team that fits together very well. An undisputed #1 option in Rudy Gay, with Brook Lopez filling the #2 option role, with Marcus Thornton as the #3 scorer. Devin Harris is allowed to distribute, while Brand can be a sneaky offensive option with an efficient post game. Jamal Crawford and Thad Young off of the bench are two great 6th men who allow this team to be quite flexible. With a distributor PG, two wing scorers, a good defense/offense post duo, and a good bench, this Jazz team fits together perfectly.

2. Defensive Matchups – At first glance, this looks like a big issue for the Jazz, right? Bynum on Lopez and Westbrook on Harris would be a disaster for this team, no doubt. But that’s not how NBA teams play defense. With some shifting around, this becomes a big positive for the Jazz. Brand is a physical big who can handle and even frustrate Bynum, so he would guard him. Once he gets in Bynum’s head, Bynum will predictably resort to pouting. When Brand has to come out, Tiago Splitter can guard Bynum just fine. Rudy Gay will guard Russell Westbrook. This would present some huge challenges to Westbrook, given the fact that Gay is a plenty good enough defender to stick with him, and is 6 inches taller than Westbrook, which will limit his ability to penetrate. Although Gay will play a ton of minutes, Thad Young may come in at SF and guard Westbrook for a small amount of minutes, still a net win for the Jazz. As far as the rest of the team goes, it is really simple. Scola is a perfect matchup for Lopez as an older, declining, finesse PF. Lopez won’t have to exert a ton of effort on defense, and won’t get banged around insider either. Outside of the post, Devin Harris will guard Wes Matthews. This is a solid matchup for Harris, who is a taller PG at 6’3’’ and only two inches shorter than Matthews. Matthews isn’t much more than a shooter anyways, and Harris has the quickness to stay in front of him if he attempts to drive. That means that, in the starting lineup, Thornton shifts down on Batum. This is the worst matchup for Utah, but we’ll take it. Thornton is smaller than Batum, but Batum isn’t a huge offensive threat. He’s a quality 3rd option, but he’s prefers to lurk around the three point line and shoot. Thornton can handle that. Worst comes to worst, the Jazz severely limit Bynum and Westbrook, forcing Batum to beat the Jazz. That is a scenario that Utah will gladly take every single time.

3. Offensive Mismatches – Interestingly enough, Utah holds both an offensive and defensive advantage here against Portland. We’ll start again in the post. Bynum is a good defender, but Scola is incredibly poor on defense. He has never been good defensively, and with a terrible year last year, he’s looking like a borderline starter at best. Now, with a formidable #2 option in Lopez, the Trail Blazers have to make a big decision here. Either they put Bynum on Lopez, which allows the incredibly physical and efficient Brand to simply crush Scola in the post, or they put Bynum on Brand to prevent that, and Lopez gets tons of scoring opportunities. This is a serious problem here for them. Either way, they’re going to give up a good deal of points in the post. They don’t really have the bench bodies in the post to fair any better defensively than what they have with the starters. Moving away from the clear post advantage, they are going to have a heck of a time guarding Rudy Gay. Batum at times can be a good defender, but he can also get very lazy defensively. They can’t afford that here. Although, they don’t really have any better options to put on Gay other than Batum. Wes Matthews is a worse, smaller defender than Batum, and Westbrook is probably too small to really be a factor on Rudy Gay. Needless to say, Gay is going to get his fill in this series. Marcus Thornton, like Batum, is the type of guy who is going to camp around the three point line a lot. With Matthews on him, he will have about equal opportunity to score in this series as Batum as well. Devin Harris’ role on offense is simply to distribute and hit open shots. Regardless of whether Westbrook or Matthews guards him, his role won’t change.

4. Bench Advantage – The Jazz here have a huge advantage on the bench. With two high quality 6th men in Jamal Crawford and Thaddeus Young, the rotation is instantly deep. Throw in good bigs like Tiago Splitter and DeJuan Blair, plus a veteran SG like Raja Bell, and the Jazz can play 10 deep with no problems. This is essential to keeping the starters fresh throughout what would seem to be a deep series. The longer the series goes, the bigger the advantage for Utah is. As for the Trail Blazers bench counterparts, their best bench player is JJ Redick, a guy whose only skill is outside shooting. Their backup PG, Steve Blake, is garbage. Their backup SF, DeShawn Stevenson, has played mostly SG in his career thus far. Not to mention that his only asset, his defense, would be greatly diminished against the big SFs on the Jazz, Gay and Young. Kenyon Martin was not very good last year, and Boris Diaw is a fat slob that plays good only in very small stretches, when he feels like it. The fact of the matter is, the Portland bench is just bad. They are going to struggle with fatigue when they can’t expect their bench to keep up good production, like the Jazz can. Even with Bynum and Westbrook, someone is going to have to spell them for about 10 minutes per game. The lack of bench depth would certainly kill this team in a tough series.

08-09-2012, 02:28 AM
Interesting write-up from the Jazz, but the Blazers are too talented.

08-09-2012, 02:28 AM
This is an extremely interesting match-up.

I'm going to have to think about it for a bit, but I'll say that the Jazz write-up was a lot more convincing (although, I admit, I don't like some of the things they would be implementing in this match-up).

I'll vote here soon.

08-09-2012, 05:26 AM
I agree with the previous posters in saying that the Jazz's write-up made me think long and hard about the match-up, but needless to say I still think the Blazers are just too much to handle for the Jazz.

Blazers in 6, possibly even 7.

08-09-2012, 05:36 AM
Like the Westy and Bynum combo, however the Jazz have good depth, tricky.

Mr. Baller
08-09-2012, 07:32 AM
Nice writeup by homie, which PL and I had more time to write a better one up.

Mr. Baller
08-09-2012, 07:56 AM
Please note: Nic Batum will not be punching anybody in the balls so do not hold that against him!

08-09-2012, 10:57 AM
I would just like to mention that putting Gay, a bad defender, on someone as quick and explosive as Westbrook would be extremely unwise and that anyone who thinks Brand is "incredibly physical" doesn't watch Sixers games.

08-09-2012, 11:01 AM
Tough choice but I went with Portland.

08-09-2012, 11:04 AM
I would just like to mention that putting Gay, a bad defender, on someone as quick and explosive as Westbrook would be extremely unwise and that anyone who thinks Brand is "incredibly physical" doesn't watch Sixers games.

Proof that Gay is a bad defender? If anything, he's above average to good.

08-09-2012, 11:09 AM
It's been a long time since a writeup really made me want to vote for someone.

08-09-2012, 11:12 AM
I didn't expect to have to think about this matchup so much. I'll still take Blazers in 7 because of their talent in the starting lineup, but I have to give props to Utah for that writeup.

08-09-2012, 11:36 AM
Wow what a write up, I don't even know who to vote for. I'll see some debate before voting if there is any..

08-09-2012, 01:41 PM
Homie, I almost didn't read your writeup (and just voted Blazers) but I need to think and look at a couple things you put in it. Great effort on that regardless.

08-09-2012, 02:09 PM
Portland is going to win this series, but I voted for the Jazz in by far the toughest vote I've had to do for the mock.

I think Homie's write-up would turn it into an ugly series and when frustrated and with their backs against the wall I think the Westy-Bynum combo would crumble.

Also I had no clue Gay's defensive numbers were as solid as they are 102 DRtg (improved big-time each of last 3 years), 1.5 steals a game, and 3.3 DWS. Pretty solid but of course Tony Allen always takes the other team's best guy.

08-09-2012, 02:51 PM
Yeah, it's a shame that people just see Russell Westbrook and Andrew Bynum and vote for them, even though that is an absolute disaster waiting to happen, but oh well. What can you do.

08-09-2012, 02:54 PM
Oh, and if you're going to say Rudy Gay is an inefficient chucker, then I suppose Westbrook is too considering the eFG% are .01 off, and the TS% is only .18 off.

08-09-2012, 03:43 PM
Yeah, it's a shame that people just see Russell Westbrook and Andrew Bynum and vote for them, even though that is an absolute disaster waiting to happen, but oh well. What can you do?

That is the question for me in round 2 ;) Time to start my writeup lol. But those two will definitely be crumbling with Kobe talking in their ears, I'm sure he's got a whole list of things to saying to Bynum haha.

Mr. Baller
08-09-2012, 07:24 PM
We ain't scurred!

08-09-2012, 08:07 PM

Perfect complements. Your poor poor coach :pity:

08-09-2012, 08:09 PM
I actually REALLY like the way the Jazz's final roster looks. Lopez/Brand are perfect together and Gay is capable of carrying the load offensively. The problem is I don't see an edge that puts them over the top. Batum is talented enough to slow down Rudy and Bynum guards Lopez. Unfortunately Brand is not the same offensively anymore and would not swing this series by dominating Scola. Meanwhile Harris would get torched by Westbrook and even if they switched Rudy Gay on Westbrook, that's a mismatch as well.

Blazers in a slugfest but I want to give some rare props to the Jazz GMs for a good writeup.

Sadds The Gr8
08-09-2012, 08:14 PM
Utah haad a nice writeup but its not enough to beat the talented Blazers. If the teams were more evenly matched I probably woouldve went with Utah

08-09-2012, 09:23 PM
blazers have to much talent and i dont see any way that rudy gay can carry the load as a number one option and defend westbrook the whole game

Mr. Baller
08-09-2012, 09:33 PM
Utah haad a nice writeup but its not enough to beat the talented Blazers. If the teams were more evenly matched I probably woouldve went with Utah

Probably would've wrote a better writeup tbh. We literally put this together right before the deadline.

Lakers writeup has already begun :nod:

08-09-2012, 09:39 PM
Blazers are the better team man. Jazz did a great job if they were in the east they would be a tough out. Shh No need for PSD to stop looking at stars and voting for them :D