NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down Portland’s quarterly report. With a fourth of the NBA behind us, Portland’s performance is right about where it should be. The starters continue to push this team forward, while the bench continues to drag it back. After a torrid start to the NBA season Nicolas Batum’s production has taken a turn. There cannot be any doubt about Damian Lillard for rookie of the year.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down five questions Portland is facing on the young season. With 19 games in the bag—to the tune of a 8-11 record—there’s plenty for Portland to answer for. Can rookie sensation Damian Lillard keep it going? Will Nicolas Batum ever be good enough for his contract? Nicolas Batum looked ready for a breakout All-Star season. J.J. Hickson is enjoying a great season as Portland’s starting center.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down the Blazers vs Celtics matchup. The Headline: LaMarcus Aldridge comes alive, but a dominating Celtics defense holds Portland to 34 percent shooting in this ugly loss. L.A. and the bench show some great signs of life, but there’s never anything positive about 34 percent shooting.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Nov. 28 matchup with the Washington Wizards. Portland is coming off a disappointing loss to the Detroit Pistons, and a bounce-back win is needed against the worst team in the NBA. The battle between the starters and the battle between the bench units are two matchups to watch out for in Wednesday’s game. Meyers Leonard and Nene are both day-to-day.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down the Blazers vs Pistons matchup. The Headline: despite a nagging back injury, LaMarcus Aldridge comes alive for Portland; unfortunately, it’s not enough to hold off the Pistons in this 101-108 loss. Also, the rookies show promise while the stars fade. The Blazers rolled with four bench players in this one, rookies Will Barton and Meyers Leonard were prominent.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Nov. 26 matchup against the Detroit Pistons. Portland has a legitimate chance at taking down an Eastern Conference foe on the road, but they’ll have to worry about Greg Monroe in the middle. They key matchup in this one will be between Moroe and whichever big man gets the assignment—J.J. Hickson or Meyers Leonard. LaMarcus Aldridge is questionable.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down the Blazers vs. Suns matchup. The Headline: the Suns come out blazing, shooting a near 60 percent against an ailing Portland team. The duel rookies Lillard and Leonard play pretty good ball, but a lack of defense and control lets the Suns runaway with this one.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down the Spurs vs. Blazers matchup. The Headline: Nicolas Batum asks for the ball in the fourth and delivers, but not even that saves Portland from falling just short. Batum and L.A. have solid nights, but still can’t match a small Parker-less Spurs.
NWSB Writer Bryant Knox explains why the Portland Trail Blazers would be better of bringing J.J. Hickson off the bench this season. The Blazers bench is averaging just 12.8 points per game, which is hands-down the worst in the entire NBA. Meyers Leonard may not be ready to take the starting center role, but Hickson would be a far better leader off the bench at this point in the 2012-13 season.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down the Blazers vs. Mavericks matchup. The Headline: The Blazers can’t do anything to stop O.J. Mayo, as they fall to the Mavs 114-91. L.A. and Matthews really came alive on defense, and the team played great on the boards. But ugly ball control—and an inability to defend the perimeter—led to this big loss.
NWSB Editor and Writer Jon Irwin talks about the ways the Portland Trail Blazers can overachieve and underachieve in the upcoming 2012/2013 NBA season. Big play from their rookies—especially Damian Lillard—could help Portland overachieve. But if Nicolas Batum and the centers falter, Portland’s going to lose a lot of games.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers writer Rick Stella previews the 2012-13 season. If Portland has any shot at earning one of the eight playoff spots, they have a lot of work ahead of them. Stella predicts that patience will be required with Terry Stott’s team, and that Rip City’s final record will be 35-47. He also projects the season’s stats for LaMarcus Alddridge, J.J. Hickson, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard.