Photo via Derick E. Hingle (USA TODAY Sports)
It was a very successful but unsurprising week where the Blazers won every game on their home streak but fell to Denver on the road in an extremely competitive matchup. Now, the team looks to continue their high level of play. As their schedule deems to be easier compared to many other playoff contenders, it is imperative try to gain some ground on the competition. Who can the Blazers defeat in order to move past the fourth seed? Find out on this edition of Blazers Weekly Preview.
01/14- Blazers @ Kings
The Blazers begin their week with another matchup with the Kings, this time on the road. While the Kings have faltered a tad, they are still a very dangerous team. Their pace continues to be a threat to teams. The Kings will have the ability to throw in a new element with rookie forward Marvin Bagley, who was injured in the last matchup. In order to win this game, controlling the pace will be imperative.
01/16- Cavaliers @ Blazers
After losing Jeff Green and a few other insignificant players over the offseason, the Cavs have embraced the rebuild once again. The team, to put it plainly, is just awful. Especially with Kevin Love out for all but four games, the team has had to rely on the likes of Larry Nance, Tristan Thompson, and Jordan Clarkson. While the team does have some promising with Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman, they have taken their expected lumps to start the year. As long as the Blazers handle their business, it should be another opportunity for players like Anfernee Simons, Gary Trent Jr., and Zach Collins to get some extended run.
01/18- Pelicans @ Blazers
It seems that since the infamous playoff series last spring, anytime the Pelicans come on the schedule, the mood of the game becomes more intense, with Portland trying to prove that the series was indeed a fluke. After opening the year as a highly touted team, a rash of injuries to key starters Elfrid Payton and Nikola Mirotic depleted an already thin team. Despite Anthony Davis’ monstrous almost singular effort, the team is currently on the outside looking in. In order to exact another measure of revenge, the team needs to take away the secondary contributors on the team such as Jrue Holiday, Julius Randle, or Mirotic, and the Blazers should be in good shape.
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