Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers March 24 matchup against the OKC Thunder. The Blazers began the current five-game road trip with two losses, but back-to-back wins over the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks have given fans hope that the playoffs might be a possibility. This group plays up to its competition, and that’s what it will have to do on Sunday. The key matchup is at the point guard position. Damian Lillard said coming into the year that he pictured himself being a Russell Westbrook-type point guard, and he’ll look to have a big game to close out the road trip.
Jason Hartzog previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ March 21 matchup against the Chicago Bulls. Portland is coming off another tough loss the other night to the Bucks. Jason says for Portland to truly wish to compete for this playoff spot, they must win on the road. Of the 15 remaining games on their schedule, 7 of them are on the road. Chicago has struggled to score this season with the absence of Derrick Rose. For this game, Jason will be watching Nicolas Batum versus Luol Deng.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ March 17 matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. Portland is coming off a 112-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Philadelphia is eight games behind the eighth seed out East, but they’re the ninth-best team in the league when it comes to points allowed. The key matchup in this one will be at the point guard position. Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday will face off for the second time.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers March 16 matchup against the Detroit Pistons. Portland has played both up and down to its competition this season. Detroit enters the Rose Garden as the coldest team in the league, which means the Blazers need to assert themselves as the alpha dogs early in the contest. The key matchup falls at the point guard position where Damian Lillard will take on either Brandon Knight or Jose Calderon. Lillard was outplayed by Knight last time around, but the Pistons’ floor general is doubtful with an ankle injury.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ March 14 matchup against the New York Knicks. The last time these two met, the Blazers shocked the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. PDX won 105-100, and it spoiled the return of Amare’ Stoudemire. Stoudemire will be out for this one, and Carmelo Anthony is less than 100 percent. The key matchup is going to be at the point guard position. Although Nicolas Batum matching up against Anthony may have a bigger impact, Portland fans need to see Damian Lillard have a great game against Raymond Felton.
NWSB Editor and Insider Chris Anderson talks about the current state of the Blazers and where they stand in relation to the NBA Playoffs. Now they are five games under .500 (29-34), third in the Northwest, and four games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 8 and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 19 games to go. And while Portland could regroup and make a run for the playoffs, the recent play of the Lakers Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash is going to make it tough.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers March 7 matchup against the San Antonio Spurs. Portland is coming off of a close loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, while the San Antonio Spurs most recently blew out the Chicago Bulls. The Blazers know what needs to happen in San Antonio, but getting it done is a whole different concept. The key matchup is going to be between LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ Jan. 4 matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies. Portland is coming off a disasterous performance against the Toronto Raptors, and things aren’t getting any easier with a visit to a surging Memphis team. The key matchup in this one is between LaMarcus Aldridge and Zach Randolph. Meyers Leonard is out with a sprained ankle.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers writer Rick Stella gives us his weekly Rick’s Picks, naming the All-Star performances showcased in Rip City. Damian Lillard, JJ Hickson, and Eric Maynor all put on the show in Minnesota, ultimately leading to all three of them receiving a selection to this week’s picks.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers March 4th matchup with the Charlotte Bobcats. The first time these two teams played, it proved to be one of the more dramatic showings of the season. Portland executed a massive comeback to perfection, and it ended up winning 118-112 in overtime. They key matchup this time around will be at the point guard position between Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ Dec. 20 matchup against the Denver Nuggets. The Blazers will play host to the Nuggets Wednesday night, and a lot of points should be scored in front of a national television audience. The key matchup in this one is going to be between LaMarcus Aldridge and Kenneth Faried, but Damian Lillard and Ty Lawson will also be fun to watch.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ Feb. 22 matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers. Staples Center has been a tough place to play for the Blazers throughout the years, and that’s not expected to change at this point in the losing streak. The key matchup is going to be between Damian Lillard and Steve Nash. Wesley Matthews is questionable, while Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill are out.