Portland Trail Blazers game previews between October 31 and November 6, including games against: Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors.
Golden State Warriors
Tuesday, 1 November 2016 at 10:00 PM ET Home
Well, at least they have a chance. Right? Pretty rough way to start the week, but if we take into consideration very early advanced statistics via RealGM, the Warriors are ranked 5th worst in the league in defensive efficiency, allowing 110.8 points per game. The biggest weakness of the Warriors is their interior defense, as Zaza Pachulia has shown to be inferior in that capacity, compared to what Andrew Bogut brought to the table. Exploiting this is going to be key for the Blazers on offense, but as we all know, the Warriors starters can shoot the ball well. The main keys for Portland come on offense, as all they need to do is outplay the Warriors bench, which has been horrendous scoring points to start the season, and on defense, they need to contain Curry and Durant as they are the only two Warriors starters to play well to start the season. With these points in mind, an upset is possible, as the home loss against the Spurs showed that the team is not invincible and has its flaws.
Wednesday, 2 November 2016 at 10:00 PM ET Away
While the Suns have very nice pieces in Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, TJ Warren, Brandon Knight, and the slew of young guys on their roster, they are very underrated in terms of their ability to play defense, which was shown in their matchup against the Warriors, which was a close battle all the way until the end. On the other hand, the Blazers offense is more cohesive as a unit than the Suns and can generate points easily. Their experience outweighs anything the Suns can throw their way. Don't be surprised though if the Suns defense makes the score interesting down the stretch.
Friday, 4 November 2016 at 08:30 PM ET Away
In recent years, the Blazers biggest issue has been containing the offense of the Mavs ageless wonder, the now 38-year-old Dirk Nowitzki. The two biggest wild cards for Dallas would have to be Harrison Barnes and the former Blazer, Wesley Matthews. Assuming the Blazers can protect the three-point line, his effectiveness will be limited significantly as he has lost athleticism since tearing his Achilles back in 2015. The Mavs as of late have turned to Harrison Barnes to run the offense, but at times is very streaky shooting the ball and as shown in the past, doesn't need to be shut down if played properly. Assuming Dirk doesn't go off for 40 points, the Trail Blazers defense can easily lead the way, even on the road.
Sunday, 6 November 2016 at 03:30 PM ET Away
The Memphis Grizzlies biggest addition this offseason was the signing of Chandler Parsons, but unfortunately for the Grizzlies, he has yet to suit up for them on the court, as he has been continuing to recover from knee surgery in March. The Grizzlies defense, like the Warriors, has gotten off to a slow start in containing opposing teams from scoring, but Memphis has always been a matchup nightmare for the Blazers, so if anything, a close win by the Blazers would be a sight to see.