The Portland Trail Blazers have been having a tough time as of late.
After ascending the Western Conference rankings due to impressive play by the entire team, the Blazers saw a drop in their momentum the past week and a half as they dropped six straight games (albeit by close margins) to teams that they should have easily handled.
Before this streak of six losses the Blazers were one of the up-and-coming teams in the NBA. They had a youthful roster that could make a decent playoff run, had the veterans in place to educate those younger about durability, and had already proven they could win the big game if asked to. Their six game losing streak was a complete turnaround from previous thought.
The Blazers looked lackluster at best and could not put together any streak of impressive play as they lost some of the faith of their fans and NBA analysts.
Needing a victory to get out of their rut, many wondered how far Portland would fall with games against the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers on the horizon. The free-fall would halt, however, on Wednesday night when the Blazers took complete control of their game against the Pacers and blew them out with an impressive 100-80 victory. The victory, which came at the Rose Garden, put the Blazers back into the 8th and final playoff spot in the West at 21-21 on the season and gave the Rip City faithful something to cheer about once again.
Here’s what we loved and hated from this game.
Back in the Win Column
This one was almost a given. After struggling to put anything together on the court that resembled talent, the Blazers were able to handle one of the best teams in the league in the Pacers.
Not only does the win stop the skid Portland was on, as mentioned above, it places the Blazers in a decent playoff position once again. Hopefully a win over a good team like Indiana gives Portland the confidence to play just as well against any team in the league.
LaMarcus Aldridge is an All-Star
LaMarcus Aldridge is one of those players that is teetering right on the edge of being selected to the 2013 NBA All-Star Game.
And while the game is quickly approaching, Aldridge may have made his best case for a selection to the prestigious game last night. In their blowout victory Aldridge put up 27 points while collecting six rebounds and doling out one assist and one block — pretty impressive numbers if you ask me.
Even more than just his numbers, Aldridge was able to do this against a very talented and tough Indiana team that was looking to continue making its case for being one of the NBA’s top teams.
A selection to the 2013 NBA All-Star Game would be more than recognition for Aldridge, though it is well deserved. The selection of Aldridge to this game would help Portland solidify its case as a unique NBA destination that can produce a high level of play, something that players do take into account when they decide what teams they wish to play for.
Coming off of a big win like this there is not much to hate, so the only thing unfortunate about this game was the fact that the posters that were supposed to be given to fans did not come out right. Had they been printed correctly, the posters were to feature J.J. Hickson and be the first of the year for the organization.
Fortunately for fans, even Blazers management did well on Wednesday night as they said anybody with a ticket to Wednesday’s contest would be able to redeem a poster for free next week.