POSITIVES鈥擨deal size for an in-line blocker (6'5" Eddie Robinson Jersey , 257 pounds). Short arms may be a concern for teams looking to add the run-blocking specialist, however.鈥擰uick enough to be used as a move blocker, and he gets off the ball when asked to block at the second level.鈥擲trength was a plus on film even if he didn't do well in the bench press. Can handle bigger bodies just as well if not better than small targets.鈥擲inks hips and anchors well when asked to pass-protect.鈥擲hows more promise than production as a receiver (15 catches in 2017).NEGATIVES鈥擮ne-trick pony? Wasn't utilized much in the pass game, which may be due to quarterback play.鈥擫acks speed to be a threat up the seam.鈥擫imited route-running ability due to experience and slow feet in routes.鈥擱uns one speed through routes, so he struggles to separate.鈥擠oesn't create matchup problems for opposing defenses, so most linebackers will be able to stay with him.OVERALLSmythe is an exceptional blocker. His technique, strength and agility all look great. The knock on him is his lack of production and film in the passing game. A run-heavy Tom Glavine Jersey , two-tight-end-set team will love to find Smythe still on the board on Day 3. He will fill a role and provide depth at tight end while becoming one of the best in-line blockers in the NFL.GRADE: 5.75 (Round 5)PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Virgil Green, Denver Broncos
PORTLAND, Ore. — The No. 3 playoff seed in the Western Conference is on the line Wednesday night at Moda Center when the Portland Trail Blazers play host to the Utah Jazz is what will have all the feel of a playoff game.
Portland and Utah come into the final regular-season game with a 48-33 record, but the teams have taken decidedly different routes to get there.
The Trail Blazers enjoyed a 13-game win streak in late February and early March but enter Wednesday’s contest coming off a four-game losing streak. Utah, meanwhile, joins the Houston Rockets as the hottest teams in the NBA. Since Jan. 24, when they were 19-28 Youth Braden Smith Jersey , the Jazz are 29-5 and have won six straight coming into the showdown at Portland.
The Jazz aren’t just winning games, they’re beating opponents up. In their recent stretch of victories, they’ve defeated Minnesota 121-97, trounced the L.A. Clippers 117-95 and topped the L.A. Lakers 112-97. On Tuesday, Utah annihilated Golden State 119-79 at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
“More than anything, I’m just really proud of our guys,” Utah coach Quin Snyder told reporters. “What these guys did collectively to get better. … I don’t want to diminish what this group has accomplished.”
But the Jazz know there is more to accomplish.
“The next thing is getting that No. 3 spot and homecourt advantage (in the first round of the playoffs) Authentic P.J. Hall Jersey ,” Utah rookie guard Donovan Mitchell said. “That’s our big goal now.”
Utah will be playing the second of back-to-back games at Moda Center, but Snyder used no player more than 28 minutes in the rout of the defending champion Warriors.
More than a week ago, Portland was one victory away from locking down homecourt advantage. That win never came with the Blazers losing in succession to Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Denver on a highly discouraging road trip. Now, it comes down to one more chance to clinch the No. 3 spot in the West.
Portland’s offense has been struggling in recent games, but never more so than Monday night at Denver Authentic Kendall Wright Jersey , when the Blazers shot 33 percent from the field, including 7 for 33 from 3-point range. Was it a matter of just missing good shots?
“We can shoot the ball,” Portland point guard Damian Lillard said after the Denver game. “If we were shooting bad because we were taking bad shots, then that would be a problem. But we are getting good looks. … We shoot the ball. That’s what our team does. It’s not a concern. It always comes back.”
Portland coach Terry Stotts said he was encouraged by the defense the Blazers played at Denver, holding the Nuggets to 37.3 percent shooting. Another good sign: The performance of center Jusuf Nurkic, who scored 20 points and collected 19 rebounds — including a career-high eight off the offensive glass — against his old team. Nurkic’s matchup with Utah’s Rudy Gobert will be a key one Wednesday night.
The Blazers will be helped by the return of power forward Ed Davis, who missed four games with a sprained ankle. The veteran reserve Cheap Keke Coutee Jersey , who provides rebounding, defense and energy off the Portland bench, came back to play 15 minutes against the Nuggets and should be closer to 100 percent against the Jazz.
Portland’s starting small forward, Moe Harkless, remains out after undergoing knee surgery March 27. He is expected to be back for the playoffs.
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