Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/9/14
The road trip begins The Portland Trail Blazers are set to take their first trip to the East Coast this Sunday, and it will begin a seven-game stint where the team will be away from the Rose Garden. Matchup: Portland (6-6) @ Brooklyn Nets (7-4) Venue: Barclays Center Time: 12:00 PM PT Date: Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012 The Brooklyn Nets have undergone a load of transitions since last season, and they’ll provide a big test for the Trail Blazers. Game Notes/How They Match Up Wallace was traded from Portland in the deal that helped the Blazers acquire Lillard (Photo: AP) At its most fundamental level, this contest is going to come down to the Blazers’ offense versus the Nets’ defense. The Blazers are 12th in the league in points per game (99.5) and 29th in the league in points allowed (102.3), while the Nets are 20th in the league in points per game (95.4) and 3rd in points allowed (92.1). The battle in the paint will be a big focus in this one. Brooklyn is a top-10 team when it comes to points scored down low, while the Blazers are one of the worst at defending that particular category. Brook Lopez is the team’s leading scorer at 19.4 points per contest, so Portland must move quickly on defense in order to double-team the big man without leaving open shooters. Portland hasn’t been as up-tempo of a team as we thought they would be, but it’s Brooklyn that plays at the slowest pace in the entire NBA. They have the talent to get out and run, but the influence of Joe Johnson, and the return of Brook Lopez, have created for isolation and post-up situations that give them much more of a slow-down style than the Blazers have run thus far. What to Watch: Portland The Trail Blazers are coming off a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves in which they allowed just 41 percent shooting from the field, and just 16.7 percent shooting from the three-point line. A similar performance is going to be needed against Brooklyn, as points may be tough to come by against one of the league’s best defenses. The Nets’ shoot the 11th-best field-goal percentage in the NBA, and the Trail Blazers are dead last in field-goal percentage allowed. Portland must play aggressively on the defensive side of the floor, and they cannot allow them to shoot better than 50 percent on the game. Brooklyn is a good defensive team, so if they hold Portland below their season average, the Blazers are going to be in need of stops all game long. What to Watch: Brooklyn Brooklyn hasn’t been a good three-point shooting team this season, but they’ve been very good at defending the deep ball, as they’ve allowed just 33.7 percent from behind the arc on the year. The Trail Blazers have been one of the better three-point shooting teams in the NBA this year, so it’s going to be crucial for the Nets that they stop Portland from getting open looks in transition. Getting back on defense is important in any game, but it’s especially crucial against a team that looks to score early. Hickson will have his hands full against Lopez. (Photo: Bruce Ely/Oregonian) If Brooklyn can stop Portland from taking advantage in the three-point game, the Blazers will have a hard time putting points on the board Sunday afternoon. Key Matchup Brook Lopez may be three inches taller than J.J. Hickson, but the Blazers’ center has a good chance of outworking the Nets’ big man in their upcoming matchup. J.J. Hickson has shown this season that height means nothing when you have an endless supply of energy. He’s boxed out well this year and he’s shown that he can chase down loose balls, which is something that the 7’0” Lopez has yet to prove he can do. Damian Lillard versus Deron Williams is going to be another fun battle to watch at the point guard position, but the production in the paint could help decide this game one way or the other. Prediction The Trail Blazers are going to face a big test Sunday afternoon, and unless they can get out and score against a tough defense, it could be a rough start to a long road trip. Blazers 89 – Nets 97 CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!

76ers fans can get free tickets with a box of Mac & Cheese

Grizzlies players battling team-wide stomach virus

Cut day: Three finalists named for Rays' manager job

ESPN suspends analyst from Twitter for defending evolution

Randy Moss thought call about trade to Patriots was prank

Why would the Nationals want to trade Jordan Zimmermann?


Kobe won't take paycut, hints at retiring after contract ends

Pete Carroll: Marshawn Lynch is 'our guy'

Eric Bledsoe: Kentucky could beat the 76ers

Kendall Wright lobs hilarious shot at Dez Bryant

Jonas Gray shows up late to practice, sent home by Patriots

Paul Pierce: Rivalry with Lebron like 'fighting for the same girl'

Video: Deron Williams destroys Jeremy Lamb with crossover

Jets-Bills game in Detroit will be free admission

New Yorker unveils powerful Redskins Thanksgiving cover

Biggest disappointments of the 2014 NFL Draft class

FSU will wear special #FSUnited ribbon decal on helmets

Food Lion disastrously insults teams in Super Bowl promos

Can Melvin Gordon break Barry Sanders' single-season record?

Game of the week: New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions

WATCH: Duke graduate asst. loses mind to pump up players

Golic recreates Kim Kardashian butt pic after losing bet

Five bold predictions for Week 12 in the NFL

Brian Cashman spends night sleeping on street for charity

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!

Bills-Jets game will be free admission

Pete Carroll: Lynch is 'our guy'

Which NFL team will get the #1 pick?

Game of the week: Patriots vs. Lions

Report: Padres join hunt for Sandoval

Golic recreates Kardashian butt pic

Adrian Peterson speaks out

NFLPA appeals Peterson suspension

10 best college running backs ever

DeSean Jackson mum on cryptic post

Revis on Johnson: 'A man among boys'

LeBron on challenge of leading Cavaliers

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
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.