Portland Trail Blazers Top 5 Must-See Games of February
Blazers Must-See Games of February
The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the league's up-and-coming teams, and rightfully so. They have some of the best young talent in the NBA-- Damian Lillard, J.J. Hickson and Nicolas Batum-- to go along with a solid veteran presence in LaMarcus Aldridge.
This is a team that's built around the power forward Aldridge and the supporting pieces that he has are more than adequate enough to make a run in the NBA playoffs in the spring.
The month of February may not be too kind to the young Blazers, however as half of their games come against contenders in their respective conferences and five games are against teams with a .500 record or better. It may not seem like a tough month, but teams that have a record below .500 include the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves-- all teams that could easily make a run at the playoffs and give any team a headache.
Here are the Blazers top-five must-see games of February that could decide their fate come late April.
@Utah Jazz-- Friday, Feb. 1
This divisional matchup with the Jazz is one of the tough games on their schedule in February because they are such a tough team to beat when they are at home. The Jazz are 16-5 at home this season while the Blazers have a brutal 7-14 road record. The matchup to keep an eye on in this game would be the one between J.J. Hickson and Al Jefferson. Both are aggressive rebounders that can score so it will be interesting to see who can come out on top.
Prediction: Blazers 101, Jazz 97
@Miami Heat-- Tuesday, Feb. 12
The Heat are one of the hottest home teams in the league with an 18-3 record. This will definitely be a test for the Blazers as they will try to slow down one of the best lineups in the NBA. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are one of the most dangerous one-two combos in sports and will likely be a matchup problem for the Blazers. The matchup to watch in this game is Wesley Matthews and Wade. Wade is a dynamic scorer that is hard to slow down while Matthews can score, but his defense is also solid.
Prediction: Blazers 93, Heat 102
@Los Angeles Lakers-- Friday, Feb. 22
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are just a ticking-time bomb lately, but it's just a matter of time before they realize their potential and put a solid run together. The Lakers are a solid home team at 15-6 and will put the Blazers to the test, possibly creating a matchup problem at the center and two-guard position. A matchup that will be one to watch out for is Steve Nash facing off against rookie Damian Lillard. One is a proven NBA veteran while the other is a budding star.
Prediction: Blazers 105, Lakers 99
vs. Boston Celtics-- Sunday, Feb. 24
The Celtics just lost their star point guard in Rajon Rondo and will proceed with the rest of their season short-handed at that position. The Blazers will look to Lillard to take advantage of the weakness at the point guard position and take over the game at home. Portland is 16-8 at home which is a solid record and a tough place for opponents to play. The Celtics find themselves under .500-- something that has been foreign to them since the birth of the "Big Three". A matchup to keep an eye on would be Aldridge taking on Kevin Garnett in the post-- a veteran power forward taking on a current star.
Prediction: Celtics 89, Blazers 98
vs. Denver Nuggets-- Wednesday, Feb. 27
The Blazers final game of the month comes against one of their toughest opponents and could be the most hyped game in February. The Nuggets are in second place in the Northwest Division while the Blazers find themselves in fourth. A win in this game could give the Blazers a run at second place by the end of February-- that is if they have a good month. Denver has one of the best offenses in the league while also featuring one of the worst defenses. The Nuggets are a poor road team, however, with a record of 10-15 which makes this game favor the Blazers. Kenneth Faried facing off against LaMarcus Aldridge will be a matchup that could decide the game.
Prediction: Nuggets 100, Blazers 106