What 2 Watch 4 - Trail Blazers Vs. Jazz

by Casey Holdahl
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Wesley Matthews vs. Gordon Hayward

In the fall of 2009, without a team and with his NBA future at stake, Wesley Matthews received his opportunity with the Jazz. And he took advantage. Once just another member of Utah’s training camp squad, Matthews’ ascension to the team’s starting lineup that same season was both stunning and emblematic of the type of player and person Portland’s fans know him to be today. And ever since he began strapping on Trail Blazers red and black the following season, Matthews has always seemed to have a little extra when he faces his former team. In 11 meetings with the Jazz as a member of the Trail Blazers, Portland’s “Iron Man” is averaging 17.8 points per game, 2.8 points above his scoring average as a Trail Blazer and his highest scoring output against any Western Conference team. And while Utah probably wouldn’t mind still having his services on its sideline, the Jazz have since drafted and trained a gifted shooting guard of their own. Gordon Hayward, the former Butler Bulldog well known for nearly hitting a half-court shot that would have beaten Duke in the 2010 NCAA National Championship Game, is one of only four NBA players averaging at least 16 points, five rebounds and five assists this season – He joins rookie standout Michael Carter-Williams and perennial NBA All-Stars Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

Wesley Matthews

• Ranks tied for third in the NBA with 52 3-pointers made and tied for fourth in 3-point shooting percentage at 50.0%
• Averaging career highs in scoring (16.6) and rebounding (4.4) this year
• Signed with Utah as an undrafted free agent in 2009 before appearing in all 82 games for the Jazz during the 2009-10 season

Gordon Hayward

• One of only four NBA players averaging at least 16 points, five rebounds and five assists in 2013-14
• Leads the Jazz this season in scoring (16.7), assists (5.1), steals (1.35) and minutes (36.9)
• A member of the Butler team that lost to Duke, 61-59, in the 2010 NCAA National Championship Game