photo from tophatal
The All-Star break has come and gone, and now it’s back to business for the Blazers, who are looking to regain some ground between them and the rest of the conference battling for the third position in the Western conference.
The first matchup for the team coming off of the break will be the Spurs. Once again, break time is over. This will be a great test and a real chance for the Blazers to knock a team down a rung as they move up in the standings, and Tony Parker will be unable to play, so look for Damian Lillard to have another explosive night.
With a victory over San Antonio, the Blazers can use that as some momentum heading into future games, and momentum is a huge aid when battling up a tough mountain, also known as the West. By now it is very clear that Portland is indeed a playoff team, but there are still some holes that need to be filled if they want to break the trend of being bounced in the first round.
Their defense, it needs help. While it is much improved from last year, they still rank 27th overall when it comes to points allowed. That simply will not fly against scoring machines like Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant. The presence of Thomas Robinson down low certainly helps, and he has plenty of room to improve, but there is still work to be done, and with an injury that could sideline Joel Freeland up to the end of March, these next few weeks could be a challenge.
This team has faced many challenges already, however, so there really is no reason why they can’t make the correct adjustments and continue to be competitive. This is where the season starts heating up. Let’s see what the Blazers have in store for the second half of their year.