Rick’s Picks Week 11: The weekly Portland Trail Blazers’ all-stars

LaMarcus Aldridge Tony Parker

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. The Blazers beat a struggling Heat team while helping their record, and LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews earn All-Star recognition, while Nicolas Batum takes home honors for Dunk of the Week.

Where does Damian Lillard rank among season’s best performances?

Damian Lillard Warriors

NWSB insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Bryant Knox ranks Damian Lillard’s most recent showing among the best performances of the 2012-13 season. Lillard made his homecoming against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 11, and he grabbed the attention of the national media with his career-high 37 points. LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and J.J. Hickson also make the list.

Rick’s Picks Week 10: The weekly Portland Trail Blazers’ all-stars

Batum

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. The Blazers completed a great four-game road trip, and LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews earn All-Star recognition, while Ronnie Price and J.J. Hickson take home honors for Dunk of the Week.

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. 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.

Blazers get revenge with 109-91 win over the Kings

LaMarcus Aldrige

NWSB Editor and Insider Chris Anderson talks about Portland’s easy victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. Not at all resembling the team that lost to a mediocre Sacramento team just a few days ago, Portland jumped out to a lead and kept asserting their dominance, proving they are at least above a certain tier of teams in the NBA. One of the players that has been essential to Portland’s uprising this season is LaMarcus Aldrige.

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.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Sacramento Kings prediction and preview

Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ Dec. 23 matchup against the Sacramento Kings. The Blazers have already played the Kings twice in the season, but they’re preparing for a home-and-home series in which they will see the team from California’s capital twice in a row. The key matchup in this one is going to be between J.J. Hickson and whomever he is assigned. DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans are out for the Kings.

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.

Lillard’s game winning buzzer beat leads Portland over Hornets

The shot heard around Blazer Nation (Photo: Bruce Ely / The Oregonian)

NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down the Blazers vs Hornets matchup. Hampered by a hip injury, Wesley Matthews has tried his best to get back in the game. He had yet to play since December 8th before starting Sunday. He also says the thing about this game—that seems to be getting buried—is how good Nicolas Batum was.

L.A.’s fourth straight double-double puts away Raptors 92-74

LaMarcus Aldridge

NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down the Blazers vs Raptors matchup. The Headline: playing without starters Nicolas Batum (back) and Wesley Matthews (hip), Portland comes up with a big win and halts their losing streak at two games. Aldridge and Hickson put together huge nights, and luckily it’s enough to outweigh disappointing games from Claver and Lillard.

Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers prediction and preview

J.J. Hickson photo credit Bruce Ely Oregonian

Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Dec. 8 matchup with the Sacramento Kings. Coming off a seven-game road trip, the Blazers are playing at the Rose Garden for the first time since Nov. 23. The team’s veterans—LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews—need to keep Damian Lillard and the rest of the youngsters from getting too comfortable at home. The key matchup in this contest is between J.J. Hickson and DeMarcus Cousins.

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