NWSB Insider and Rip City hoops blogger Jason Hartzog reviews the Portland Trail Blazers April 3rd matchup versus the Memphis Grizzlies. He points out it was a rough night for Joel Freeland and Meyers Leonard. They both showed some of their offensive ability. However, it was their lack of defense that stood out in this one. Will Barton followed the rest of the team with horrible shooting.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers April 5 matchup against the Houston Rockets. The Blazers will be back on national T.V. (ESPN) for the second time in just over a week. Last time didn’t go so well against the Brooklyn Nets, and the team will look to restore its image with a young, energetic roster. The key matchup is going to be at the shooting guard spot. James Harden and Wesley Matthews will have the potential to score a lot of points in a up-tempo system.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers March 27 matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. Portland is coming off of a five-game road trip; one in which saw the team go 2-3 against playoff opponents and one near-playoff team. The push for the playoffs begins now, and a win at home is the best way to start. The key matchup is going to be at the small forward position. Gerald Wallace and Nicolas Batum used to fight for the starting spot in PDX, but when the team turned Wallace in Damian Lillard, it instantly became Batum’s.
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 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.
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.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Feb. 10 matchup against the Miami Heat. The Blazers took down the Heat in comeback fashion the last time they faced off, on they’ve historically found success in the state of Florida. However, Miami is a title contender for a reason, and AmericanAirlines Arena should be a difficult place to win. The key matchup in this one is between Nicolas Batum and LeBron James.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Feb. 10 matchup against the Orlando Magic. Since the last time these two teams faced off, Portland has gone 7-10 while Orlando is just 2-15. The Magic are in the midst of the league’s longest losing streak, and Portland will look to take advantage of a struggling team come Sunday. The key matchup is between J.J. Hickson and Nikola Vucevic. Hedo Turkoglu and J.J. Reddick are both questionable, while Glen Davis is out.
NWSB Editor and Insider talks about Portland’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. When Portland took the court against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night, there were plenty of similarities between this contest and their game in Minnesota. The Blazers established a lead, could not find a way to continue building that lead in the second half, LaMarcus Aldridge had a monster game, and Nicolas Batum was still missing.
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.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers Feb. 4 matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves. This will be the third time that these two teams have faced off this year, and Portland is 2-0 in the series. In fact, since the 2008-08 season, the Blazers are 19-2 against Minnesota. The key matchup in this one is between J.J. Hickson and Nikola Pekovic. For Minnesota, Kevin Love and Brandon Roy are out with injuries. For PDX, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and Ronnie Price are all day-to-day.