• Khaleel

Predicting Disney: Portland Trail Blazers

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

The Trail Blazers would be in a much better situation had they not gotten off to a 5-12 start on the season. They went 24-25 after that, and they still have a chance to see more than eight games in Orlando. You definitely can’t count out Damian Lillard, who has the talent to keep his team in almost any game when he turns it on. He will be going to Orlando with so much fire and a desire to burn so many teams with those flames in his suitcase. Only time will tell if Dame's pyrotechnics - and the return of two starters in Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic - will be enough.

Eight Game Schedule

July 31 vs. Memphis Grizzlies - W

The Grizzlies won the only matchup between these two teams this season, but that was with some big help from their rookie. No, not Ja Morant. Brandon Clarke made 12 of his 14 shots, scoring 27 points off the bench. Portland will need to keep an eye on the uber-athletic Gonzaga product but should be able to start their stint with a win. 1-0

August 2 vs. Boston Celtics - W

Lillard did not play when these two clubs faced each other in the regular season. In that game, Jayson Tatum went off for 36 points in a 118-106 Celtics win. Dame is set to play in the next clash, where Portland will look to make things even and walk away victorious en route to a potential play-in for the eighth seed. 2-0

August 4 vs. Houston Rockets - W

There were three matchups between these teams this season. Lillard was off in the first, only scoring 13 points in a loss. In the other two matches, he totaled 61 points and took home two wins. Look for him to know this and come out balling, heaving thirty footers early in the shot clock and showing off his elite scoring acumen. The Blazers are tough to beat when Dame Time starts, and this could be a one-hour special. 3-0

August 6 vs. Denver Nuggets – L

The Nuggets won all three contests in the series this season by a total of 51 points. The matchups on the court were heavily in favour of the Nuggets, and I'm not sure if head coach Mike Malone is too worried about the return from injury of two former starters for Portland. This one will not be pretty and Denver will walk all over Portland here in a long night for the Blazers. 3-1

August 8 vs. Los Angeles Clippers - L

The Clippers won both matches this season by a total of 26 points. Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and company will look to put this game away early. Portland starts their first losing streak in the bubble, much to the chagrin of a likely hot-shooting and playoff-obsessed Lillard. 3-2

August 9 vs. Philadelphia 76ers – L

Philadelphia was missing Joel Embiid the last time they played Portland and still snuck out a one-point win. Damian Lillard went off for 33 points and 9 assists, but it just wasn’t enough. Throw in the return of a presumably healthy Embiid and this will likely be another loss, making it three in a row - a potentially devastating stretch for Portland's play-in chances, should their competition surge whilst they falter. 3-3

August 11 vs. Dallas Mavericks – W

The Blazers and Mavericks played each other three times this season. Portland won the first game and Dallas won the next two. Luka Doncic had his way, averaging 30.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.3 assists. However, Lillard wasn’t too shabby himself averaging 36.3 points and 7.7 assists. He will also be “Playoff Dame” form here and looking to break a three-game losing streak, willing his team to a win despite Dallas having the best player on the court. 4-3

August 13 vs. Brooklyn Nets – W

This will be a fun game if you are a Blazers fan, as the Nets are seriously shorthanded, and Dame will be expecting to get a win. I would not be the least bit surprised if he went for 60 points here, looking to earn an emphatic victory and book his team's ticket to a play-in for the West's final playoff spot. 5-3

Final Record: 34-40 (5-3 at Disney)

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