Blazers

Blazers Off to Not-So-Encouraging Start

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Well, this isn’t the start the Portland Trail Blazers had probably imagined.

Through seven contests, they’ve posted a subpar 3-4 record. Now, this isn’t horrible, but it isn’t great either. Let’s dive in.

Portland’s Schedule to Date:

Game 1: L 100-108 vs. Denver

Game 2: W 122-112 @ Sacramento

Game 3: W 121-119 @ Dallas

Game 4: L 110-113 @ San Antonio

Game 5: W 102-99 @ Oklahoma City

Game 6: L 128-129 vs. Philadelphia

Game 7: L 118-127 @ Golden State

The Nuggets (sort of) avenged last year’s Western Conference Semifinal result on opening night, but bouncing back with two road wins against competent and potential playoff contending teams is the right way to end Portland’s opening week.

Since then, it’s been a little concerning.

Overall, the Blazers are currently allowing 115.3 points per game– good for 4th worst in the Western Conference and 6th worst overall. Teams allowing more include the bottom-feeding New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies.

The above quote was from Monday night’s brutal loss to the Golden State Warriors– a Steph-less, Draymond-less, D’Angelo-less (Klay-less) Golden State Warriors.

Instead, it was the Eric Paschall show. The second-round rookie lit Portland up for 36 points.

As for the Blazers, they continue to get out-worked in the defensive and 50/50 ball portion of the game. See below.

Now, the game was effectively over at this point, but this was the general trend. The Warriors got everything they wanted, and made Portland pay for it.

Offensively, the Blazers are performing just as we thought they would– 114.4 PPG; 6th in the West and 10th overall. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are off to great starts– on that end of the floor.

What’s Next

Portland is still a very good team and should be respected as such, but it’s what next that may be additionally concerning for their hopes of returning to the playoffs for the 7th consecutive season. The rest of November sees Portland on the road nearly every night.

11/7: @ LA Clippers

11/8: vs. Brooklyn

11/10: vs. Atlanta

11/12: @ Sacramento

11/13: vs. Toronto

11/16: @ San Antonio

11/18: @ Houston

11/19: @ New Orleans

11/21: @ Milwaukee

11/23: @ Cleveland

11/25: @ Chicago

11/27: vs. Oklahoma City

11/29: vs. Chicago

A lot of these games are winnable, but multiple back-to-backs while on the road can be extremely grueling. And as the Blazers just experienced on Monday night, you can’t take anyone lightly. Though they are essentially a buzzer beater (Philadelphia) and a couple of extra shots (San Antonio) removed from being 5-2, they’ll need to buckle down for what is potentially the hardest part of their season schedule.

Worst of all, PF/C Zach Collins isn’t returning anytime soon:

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About Eric Peterson

CEO and Content Manager of TLSM. Twitter: @EricTLSM

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