Originally written January 29, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Blazers vs. Mavs Round 2 The Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks have faced off once already this season, and while Portland hung in tight most of the way, an ugly fourth quarter resulted in a 114-91 road loss in November. Matchup: Portland (22-22) vs.  Dallas Mavericks (19-25) Venue: Rose Garden Arena  Time: 7:00 PM PT Date: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 The Blazers will be looking for their revenge Tuesday night, as the Mavs are one of the teams looking to make a second-half push for the 2013 postseason. The last time the Blazers faced the Mavericks they fell 114-91 (Photo: AP) Game Notes/How They Match Up If the stat sheets are any indication, Tuesday is going to be an offensive battle. The Mavericks’ offense has been better than Portland’s this year, but the Blazers are more than capable of going off on any given night. These two teams are going to look to score, and they’re going to look to score quickly. Unfortunately for both teams, the bigger story may be two struggling defenses opposed to two fantastic offenses. Both groups will look to take advantage of poor rotations and bad transition coverage. If one of these groups can step up on the defensive end, they’ll have the edge from start to finish Tuesday night. What to Watch: Portland The Blazers have a few go-to stats this season that indicate a win is in their future. None, however, is as convincing as their 15-1 record when leading after three quarters. When the Blazers play well enough to take a lead into the fourth quarter, they are simply one of the best in the league at finishing the job. Dallas hasn’t been great by any means this season, but they have the offensive weapons to take advantage of a Portland team that isn’t scoring the ball. Portland’s offense must be clicking early, because if they can get themselves ahead before the final 12 minutes, the odds turn in their favor drastically. What to Watch: Dallas In typical Dallas fashion, this team is all offense and no defense. The Mavericks are near the bottom of the league in points allowed, as they’re giving up 103 points per contest at this point in the season. The problem for opponents is that they average triple digits and they can challenge any team in the league when their offense is rolling. In case you haven’t been watching the Blazers this season, that could spell trouble for their struggling defense. LaMarcus Aldridge is set to face off against Dirk Nowitzki for the first time this season. (Photo: AP) If Dallas is hitting their shots—especially from deep range—it’s going to turn into a scoring marathon; one in which the home team could struggle to keep up. Key Matchup The first time these two teams met, Dirk Nowitzki was out with an injury. This time he’s back in the lineup, and we’ll finally get to see the matchup we all craved the first time around. LaMarcus Aldridge got to know Nowitzki’s game quite well during the 2010-11 playoffs. The two forwards matched up for six straight games, and they battled both in the paint and on the perimeter. Neither player is great defensively, but at this point, Aldridge has the edge in that department. You can expect a lot of points out of this matchup. Nowitzki’s health is still somewhat in question, but he’s capable of going off at just about any moment. LaMarcus Aldrdige has had a number of memorable performances against this team, and there’s no reason to believe that won’t be the case come Tuesday. Injury Report Portland: DAY-TO-DAY—Jared Jeffries Dallas: N/A Prediction Dallas’ offense is going to be tough for Portland to contain, but if the Rose Garden can bring the energy, home-court advantage might be enough to take down a struggling Mavericks squad Tuesday night. Blazers 103 – Mavericks 100  CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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