Capitalizing against the East

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

AP Photo/Chuck Burton

After a week where the Blazers had two convincing wins against the Rockets and Kings, but faltered against the Thunder, the team looks to get some momentum while at home. The team’s rare Eastern Conference home trio should offer somewhat of a breather compared to the gauntlet that they have faced in December. How can the Blazers win each of their games? Find out in this week’s edition of Blazers Weekly Preview.

01/07- Knicks @ Blazers

The Knicks have continued their tanking ways, putting more emphasis on their younger players, and slowly phasing veterans out of the rotation. Players such as Enes Kanter are getting snubbed for the Luke Kornet’s of the world. Despite their #TankforZion movement, the team still has quality players to be wary of, such as Tim Hardaway Jr., who is having a career year, and former Blazer Noah Vonleh, who is finally getting the opportunity to play through his mistakes and show off his potential. The key to a Blazers victory is relatively simple: do not overlook the opponent. Even though this seems to be an easy victory, the NBA has shown time and again that if teams do not respect their matchup, they can get burnt. However, I do not see Terry Stotts and his team to make these mental mistakes, and I see an easy victory.

01/09- Bulls @ Blazers

The Bulls have been one of the most entertaining teams in the NBA, but almost none of them have to do with basketball. Their coaching change leading to the hire of Jim Boylen and his questionable tactics have been one of the NBA’s leading comedy bits. Aside from who is leading the team, the Bulls also seem to already be preparing for next year. The team traded forward Justin Holiday in order to give rookie Chandler Hutchinson more minutes, and are playing their veteran big man duo of Bobby Portis and Robin Lopez increasingly less minutes. The team is now in the young hands of Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, and Wendell Carter Jr. The key once again will to not underestimate this young but exciting team. The Blazers should be 2-0 on the week after this game.

01/11- Hornets @ Blazers

It has been the Kemba Walker show this season for Charlotte, who have been almost single handedly kept in the playoff race by their All-Star guard. The problem is that this team continues to have inconsistency across the board from their secondary players, such as former Blazer Nic Batum, Marvin Williams, and Cody Zeller. However, the team is finding sparks from Jeremy Lamb, Miles Bridges, and Tony Parker, who is showing that he has something left in the tank. Ultimately, this team lives and dies by Walker. As long as the Blazers do not allow Cardiac Kemba to show up, the Blazers should be able to finish this week undefeated.

01/13- Blazers @ Nuggets

Currently leading the Western Conference in terms of record, the Denver Nuggets are on the NBA's most surprising teams. When you look at their roster on paper, you can see why. However, their team has been hit with the injury bug, with Gary Harris, Will Barton, Jamal Murray, and Paul Millsap all missing extended time. To the credit of superstar Nikola Jokic and coach Mike Malone, the team not only persevered, but thrived in their absences. As the aforementioned players slowly work their way back into the lineup, it seems that the team can only get better, especially when the team is arguably 11 players deep. Although it will be an extremely tough game, the key to a Blazers victory will be taking advantage of Denver's defense, who while statistically performs well, has holes that can definitely exposed.

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