NWSB Editor Bryant Knox gives us a few things to watch out for entering the Portland Trail Blazers’ second week of the 2013 NBA preseason. Despite seeing players like LaMarcus Aldridge and Mo Williams return from injury, expect Nicolas Batum (and CJ McCollum with a broken foot) to miss time. Allen Crabbe, Will Barton and Victor Claver will earn time in his place. When it comes to Damian Lillard, look for a solid defensive outing. Offensively, the team must commit fewer turnovers.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers Blogger Steve Lee breaks down which players may not be in Rip City for the 2013-14 NBA season. Will Barton, Terrel Harris, Joel Freeland, LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews make the list. Players such as Thomas Robinson, Robin Lopez, Allen Crabbe and CJ McCollum will have a huge influence on the aforementioned players’ Portland tenure.
NWSB Editor Bryant Knox recaps the Portland Trail Blazers Las Vegas Summer League and gives us his takeaways from the team’s showing. Meyers Leonard tried to show he can shoot the three-pointer; relatively unsuccessfully. Thomas Robinson is an energy guy who can rebound. CJ McCollum can score; however, he needs to facilitate more. It’s also fair to wonder if Allen Crabbe was actually a steal in the draft or not.
NWSB insider and Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down his take on four players with a tough road to making Portland’s opening night roster. The Blazer’s have taken on a lot of talent this offseason, which leaves plenty of names to shave before fall. Topping Jon’s list are names like Wesley Matthews and Thomas Robinson.
NWSB Editor Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ Las Vegas summer league tournament with five questions. Knox wonders if the second-year players, such as Meyers Leonard, Will Barton, Joel Freeland and Victor Claver have improved. He also wonders what Damian Lillard’s role will be, and whether CJ McCollum can run an offense. Finally, he asks who will make the final roster and if Allen Crabbe and Thomas Robinson are ready to compete.
Bryant Knox breaks down three spots where the Portland Trail Blazers need an upgrade. With JJ Hickson’s future up in the air, starting center is the obvious one. Eric Maynor’s future is also questionable in Rip City, so backup point guard is a priority as well. Wesley Matthews has become a very good player, but neither he nor Will Barton are great enough to hold down the 2-guard spot by themselves.
Jason Hartzog previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ April 17 matchup against the Golden State Warriors. Damian Lillard versus Stephen Curry is a fun match-up to watch. These two guys can fill it up on any given night. They have had some great games against each other already. LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews have all missed the past few games. Jason is hoping the all come back soon.
Jason Hartzog previews the Portland Trail Blazers’ April 16 matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Blazers are currently on an 11-game losing streak. They will look to end the season on a strong note in their final two contests, but they’ve been playing without starters Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMArcus Aldridge, and/or JJ Hickson for most of their current skid. The key matchup in this one will be at the center position between Meyers Leonard and DeAndre Jordan.
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.
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.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jon Irwin breaks down the Blazers vs Cavs matchup. Portland finally nabs a game on their East Coast swing, aided by a big game from the starters—all scoring in double digits. But Wesley Matthews slump continues, and the Blazers struggle to box out the Cavs.
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.