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 struggled this past week, but a few solid performances continue to give this team hopes for the postseason. LaMarcus Aldridge, JJ Hickson and Nicolas Batum earn All-Star recognition, while Meyers Leonard takes home honors for Dunk of the Week.
NWSB Editor and Insider Chris Anderson talks about the Blazers’ victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night in Minnesota. Portland entered the fourth quarter leading the T-Wolves 77-58, a relatively large margin by NBA standards. But despite this big lead, the game turned interesting as Minnesota was able to put on an impressive fourth quarter, scoring 40 points along the way. A huge block by LaMarcus Aldridge that stopped what could have been a game-tying shot with the clock winding down.
NWSB insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Bryant Knox breaks down how Nicolas Batum has earned his contract through the first half of the NBA season. Batum signed a four-year, $45 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves this past summer, and the Blazers needed to make a decision. Let him walk, or risk paying too much money. Needless to say, the Blazers matched the Wolves’ offer, and it’s paid off up to this point in the year.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down the Timberwolves vs Blazers matchup. The Headline: Damian Lillard scores a season high 28 points in this big Portland win. Damian Lillard has a career night, and J.J. Hickson looks strong in his return. With the growing rivalry, Kevin Love hands down won the battle with L.A..
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin, in collaboration with Timberpups.com blogger John Flesta, previews the Minnesota-Portland matchup. These bloggers got together for a great Q&A. Not only do they highlight plenty about the game, but also give some insight on the ensuing drama between these two organizations. NBA matchup insight from NWSB.
NWSB Writer Bryant Knox states why the Blazers will make the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Portland had one of its most disappointing seasons in recent memory in 2012. But with a new point guard, a new coach and a new outlook on things, the team can get back to the postseason much sooner than some may have anticipated. Damian Lillard was selected with the sixth overall pick by the Trail Blazers for a reason. To Lead!
NWSB Writer Bryant Knox states five “what if” scenarios for the Portland Trail Blazers 2012/2013 NBA campaign. Every NBA season tips off with more questions than answers, but the Portland Trail Blazers have been home to the unexpected more than most the past few seasons. With as much talent as Damian Lillard brings into the league, it’s easy to see how the Blazers’ success will rely heavily on how well the point guard adjusts to the game.
NWSB Insider Bryant Knox outlines what Nicolas Batum must do now that he’s signed his big money contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. He says he must become a reliable No. 2 scoring option behind LaMarcus Aldridge. He says if Batum wants to become an integral part of the Blazers’ success, he’ll have to stay aggressive on both ends of the floor. Neil Olshey believes that Batum will absolutely live up to this contract.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Byrant Knox gives us his 2012 projections and predictions for the Blazers starting lineup in the fall. Unless the Blazers pick up a big man in free agency, expect the youngsters to make starting debuts. The stating center spot in Portland goes to Meyers Leonard, Wesley Matthews at SG, LaMarcus Aldridge at PF, Rookie Damian Lillard at PG, and Nicolas Batum at SF.
NWSB Writer Jonathan Irwin debates whether or not Nicholas Batum is the solution to all of Portland’s woes or if they should think about trading him. Nicolas Batum—the current incumbent—is sitting on a four year, $45-$50 million, offer from Minnesota. Portland seems fully prepared to match. However, Minnesota is determined, reportedly exploring multiple sign-and-trade opportunities.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trailblazers blogger Steve Lee chimes in with a some destinations he sees fit for Jamal Crawford’s talents. With Ray Allen rumored to go to Miami, Boston would be an ideal fit for Crawford. He could come in and start, and help them with another deep run in the playoffs. Or there is the Timberwolves, they could rival the Trail Blazers as a northwest favorite with all of the northwest talent on their squad.
Should the Blazers trade one of their top-12 picks? NWSB insider and writer Steve Lee lists the pros and cons of past draft-day trades. Analysis includes Brandon Roy, Rudy Fernandez, James Jones, Deron Williams, and LaMarcus Aldridge. With two picks in the top twelve this summer, there is a good chance that the Blazers might be able to restock the shelves.