Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers prediction and preview

Durant Batum

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Jan. 13 matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Damian Lillard is coming off his best performance as an NBA point guard, but he’s going to need help if the team wants to stay close against OKC. The key matchup is going to be between Kevin Durant and Nicolas Batum—a matchup that belonged to Durant last time these two met. LaMarcus Aldridge is day-to-day.

Miami Heat vs. Portland Trail Blazers prediction and preview

LeBron James

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Jan. 10 matchup against the Miami Heat. The Blazers are one of the hottest teams in the Western Conference, but the Miami Heat are the defending champs for a reason. Whichever team plays better defense should come out on top. The key matchup in this one is between Nicolas Batum and LeBron James. LaMarcus Aldridge is Day-To-Day.

Orlando Magic vs. Portland Trail Blazers prediction and preview

Nikola Vucevic

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Jan. 7 matchup against the Orlando Magic. Rip City is coming off a successful road trip, in which they found wins over the New York Knicks, Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves. Orlando struggles to close out games, which could be a key factor in this one. The key matchup is between J.J. Hickson and Nikola Vucevic. Meyers Leonard and Glen Davis are both questionable.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves prediction and preview

Damian Lillard Minnesota Timberwolves

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Jan. 5 matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rip City has had both highs and lows on the current road trip, and it’s tough to tell which team is going to show up against the Wolves Saturday night. Nicolas Batum could be primed for a big game. The key matchup in this one is between Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge. Love and Ricky Rubio are both quesitonable.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Portland Trail Blazers prediction and preview

Photo: Bruce Ely/The Oregonian

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ Dec. 29 matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. Portland is coming off a disasterous performance against the Los Angeles Lakers, and a bounce-back performance is needed before they travel away from the Rose Garden for a four-game road trip. The key matchup in this one is between Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday. LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews are questionable.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers prediction and preview

Aldridge Lakers

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ Dec. 28 matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers. Staples Center hasn’t been kind to the Blazers throughout the years, but the team from PDX has shown once this season that they can take down the talented team from L.A. The key matchup is going to be between J.J. Hickson and Dwight Howard. Wesley Matthews is questionable.

Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers prediction and preview

Kings vs. Trail Blazers

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ Dec. 26 matchup against the Sacramento Kings. The Blazers are 1-3 against the Kings this season, and they’ll look to even the series Wednesday night at the Rose Garden. DeMarcus Cousins will return from a team suspension, and his battle against J.J. Hickson will be the key matchup of the contest. Wesley Matthews is questionable.

Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers prediction and preview

Trail Blazers Blog

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ Dec. 22 matchup against the Phoenix Suns. The Blazers are back to .500, but they must continue to beat inferior teams if they stand a chance at the postseason. The key matchup in this one is going to be between J.J. Hickson and Marcin Gortat, but the rematch between Damian Lillard and Goran Dragic will be fun to watch. LaMarcus Aldridge is questionable.

Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers prediction and preview

Andre Miller

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ Dec. 20 matchup against the Denver Nuggets. The Blazers will play host to the Nuggets Thursday night, and a win at the Rose Garden would put the team back to .500 for the 2012-13 season. The key matchup in this one is going to be between Damian Lillard and Ty Lawson. LaMarcus Aldridge is out for this contest and Wesley Matthews is questionable.

Toronto Raptors vs. Portland Trail Blazers prediction and preview

Kyle Lowry was one of the player the Portland Trail Blazer targeted during the 2012 offseason. (Photo: US PRESSWIRE)

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Dec. 11 matchup against the Toronto Raptors. Both teams are good offensively but struggle on the defensive side of the floor. Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard need to hit their three-pointers in this one. Lillard and Kyle Lowry make up the key matchup. One player to watch out for in this game is Luke Babbitt.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Indiana Pacers prediction and preview

David West, Portland Trail Blazers vsv. Indiana Pacers

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Dec. 5 matchup with the Indiana Pacers. The current road trip hasn’t gone how the team planned, but they have a chance to finish strong with a big win over Indiana. J.J. Hickson’s rebounding will help against the best rebounding team in the league. The key matchup in this one is going to be between LaMarcus Aldridge and David West.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Charlotte Bobcats prediction and preview

Kemba Walker Charlotte Bobcats

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Dec. 3 matchup with the Charlotte Bobcats. Portland and Charlotte are both rebuilding, but it’s safe to say that the Blazers havve more star power. Charlotte’s leading scorer is Kemba Walker, but LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard are all averaging more points. The key matchup in this one is going to be between Walker and Lillard.

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