Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/8/12
Home Again The Portland Trail Blazers are coming back home following a 1-2 road trip that saw them put together one brilliant second-half comeback while collapsing in the fourth quarters of the other two contests. Matchup: Portland (2-2) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (3-2) Venue: Rose Garden Arena Time: 7:30 PM PT Date: Nov. 8, 2012 The Blazers may have home-court advantage on their side in this one, but the Los Angeles Clippers aren’t going to make things easy in the team’s first nationally televised game of the season. Game Notes/How They Match Up Chris Paul and the Clippers are set to visit the Rose Garden Thursday night. Photo: Fox Sports We all know that the Trail Blazers are running a much faster pace this season than in years past, but the Los Angeles Clippers are running the fastest pace in all of basketball. While the Blazers have become known for their “disorganized chaos,” L.A. has made their mark scoring the fifth-most points per game this year. They’re averaging 104.3 points per contest, which is nearly six points more per contest than Portland. Both teams also struggle on defense. The Clippers are allowing 102.3 points per game, which is only good enough for 25th in the NBA. The Blazers are right behind them at 26th, as they give up 102.8. This game should feature a lot of points, as we should see both teams running up and down the court trading buckets throughout the contest. What to Watch: Portland If the Blazers can stay close in this one early, it’s going to come down to late-game execution. The team fell apart in the fourth quarters against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks, which made their double-digit defeats look far worse than they actually were. Part of finding that production late in the game is getting solid contributions off the bench throughout the contest. If the reserves are playing well early, there’s no fear of falling behind by an irreconcilable deficit. Being able to rest your starters is a luxury in this league, and if they have energy at the end of the game, you’re going to be in good shape. Unfortuantely for Portland, the bench has been awful this season. The starters are playing way too many minutes as a result of incompetent play, and if that trend continues on Thursday, it’s going to be a long game. What to Watch: Los Angeles Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are always dangerous when on the court for the Clippers, but the player whom the Portland needs to stop is former Trail Blazers Jamal Crawford. Crawford signed with the Clippers this past offseason after one year in Rip City, and he has gone on to become a scoring machine. The 6’5” guard is averaging 24 points per game this season, and he is a top-5 scorer in the NBA at this point in the 2012-13 campaign. The stars area going to get their stats night in and night out, but if Portland can shut down their sixth man, who is averaging more points than the entire Blazers bench this season, they’ll take away a big part of L.A.’s offense come Thursday night. LaMarcus Aldirdge and Blake Griffin make up one of the key matches in Thursday night’s contest. Key Matchup There are two major matchups to keep your eye on during this game, and the first is Chris Paul versus Damian Lillard. NBA fans across the country have heard about Damian Lillard’s historic start, but very few have seen what he can do on the live stage. As great as he’s been up to this point, he’s struggled to remain efficient in his shooting percentage. Paul is hands-down the best defensive opponent he’s seen thus far, and this will be a matchup of veteran experience versus youthful ambition. The headlining matchup, however, will be between All-Star power forwards Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. Griffin’s numbers this season haven’t been what we’ve come to expect from him, while LaMarcus Aldridge has put up the kind of stats everybody wants to see out of the team’s go-to player. Both players like to get out and run, but it’s Aldridge who is the true danger in the low-post game. These two will fight for the boards all game long, so don’t be surprised if it gets extra physical at some point throughout the contest. Injury Report Portland: OUT—Elliot Williams Los Angeles Clippers: N/A Prediction A high-scoring contest benefits the Trail Blazers in most cases, but unfortunately for Rip City, the Clippers score at a higher rate and run at a faster pace than they do at this point in the season. Clippers 110 – Blazers 97 CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Here are your 2015 All-Star reserves and pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks president threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

ESPYs golf classic moving from Trump course

Report: Pierre-Paul could miss training camp, start of season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Spurs sign David West

Report: Marc Gasol signs five-year deal with Grizzlies

Manu Ginobili announces he will return next season

Robinson Cano dealing with stomach ailment all season

Tony Romo on Dez Bryant's contract: 'I think it will work out'

Dwayne Bowe: I’m here to fill Josh Gordon’s shoes

Bridgewater on Vikings: 'we’re not as good as what we think'

Floyd Mayweather Officially Stripped Of Welterweight Title

Mo Williams signs 2-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers

Carli Lloyd had vision she would score four goals in World Cup Final

Carli Lloyd needs help to carry all her World Cup awards

Russell Wilson abstaining from sex with girlfriend Ciara

Coach K on meeting Beyonce for first time: 'I felt like 13'

Three-star TE Michael Irvin Jr. commits to Miami

Bryce Harper skipping HR Derby because of dad's injury

Braves the most interesting team to watch at the deadline?

Video shows FSU QB De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Is James Harden dating Khloe Kardashian?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

Report: Jordan was tired of Chris Paul

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.