Jason Hartzog previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ April 14 matchup against the Denver Nuggets. Jason says they key matchup he’s watching is Wilson Chandler versus Will Barton. If Barton can have a nice game and keep up with Chandler’s defensive intensity then it could open up things for Damian Lillard. Lillard will likely see a lot of double teams in this one if Lawson is limited again as he was last game.
Jason Hartzog previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ April 12 matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jason says the Thunder are still playing for the top seed in the west. They won’t let this one slip away without a fight. Can we get more Lillard please? Damian Lillard was outstanding as he scored a new career high 38 points vs. LA. The Blazers got off to a quick start, shot the ball well, and really looked in control the whole game.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers April 10 matchup against the LA Lakers. Portland took down the Lakers to start the year, but this LA team has seen a drastic change since the All-Star break. Whether Kobe Bryant is a scorer or a facilitator will play a big role in this one. Nicolas Batum, Steve Nash and Wesley Matthews are questionable, while Metta World Peace is out.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers Blogger breaks down Wesley Matthews’ post-game interview following the loss to the Houston Rockets on ESPN. Matthews has emerged as the vocal leader on this team. LaMarcus Aldridge has always been quiet and Damian Lillard doesn’t have the experience, leaving Matthews to encourage this team along the way. Matthews spoke candidly about this team’s effort Friday night, and he set the tone for what needs to happen down the stretch.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers April 7 matchup against the Dallas Mavericks. These two teams have established a history, with the most dramatic game taking place back on Jan. 29. Portland won the game on a last-second shot. Now, Portland is officially out of the playoffs, but Wesley Matthews has urged his teammates to continue playing with pride. The key matchup will be between Dirk Nowitzki and LaMarcus Aldridge. Nicolas Batum is out
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 30 matchup against the Golden State Warriors.Portland made a major comeback the last time these two played to make it a game late, but a strong start would have avoided having to do that. The key matchup in this one is going to be at the point guard position, as Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard have proven they can carry their teams. LaMarcus Aldridge is out.
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.
Bryant Knox breaks down what we learned about the Portland Trailblazers during their recent five-game road trip. Despite going 2-3 on the trip, we saw more good things than bad. LaMarcus Aldridge is playing like the best power forward in the NBA, as he’s more well-rounded than Blake Griffin and Kevin Love is sidelined with an injury. This team is going to fight no matter what its record is, but there’s no denying that the final month of the season is going to be tough when it comes to making the playoffs.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers March 24 matchup against the OKC Thunder. The Blazers began the current five-game road trip with two losses, but back-to-back wins over the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks have given fans hope that the playoffs might be a possibility. This group plays up to its competition, and that’s what it will have to do on Sunday. The key matchup is at the point guard position. Damian Lillard said coming into the year that he pictured himself being a Russell Westbrook-type point guard, and he’ll look to have a big game to close out the road trip.
Jason Hartzog previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ March 18 matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. Portland is coming off a 101-100 loss to the 76ers on Monday night. Jason says for Portland, they have to keep up this fire and intensity. Losing these close games is rough, but you have to keep fighting. This will be a hard fought game. Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum will have their work cut out for them guarding J.J. Redick and co.
Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers March 10 matchup against the New Orleans Hornets. Portland is coming off a dominant performance against the San Antonio Spurs. If there is a defining moment in this season, that game could be it, and it could be the one that sparks a push toward the postseason. The key matchup is going to be between Wesley Matthews and Eric Gordon T the 2-guard position.