Found February 06, 2013 on
NorthWest Sports Beat:
The Portland Trail Blazers have begun to establish a bit of a history with the Dallas Mavericks. Whether it’s Game 4 of the 2011 playoffs, LaMarcus Aldridge‘s game-winner in 2012 or the most recent matchup that involved both an improbable comeback and a last-second shot in Portland’s favor.
Matchup: Portland (25-23) @ Dallas Mavericks (20-28)
Venue: American Airlines Center
Time: 5:30 PM PT
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013
The Blazers are coming off a matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves, in which they nearly blew a big-time lead. They gave up 40 points in the fourth quarter, and they’ll need a full four-quarter performance Wednseday if they hope to take down Dallas.
It took a big comeback, but Aldridge and the Blazers beat the Mavs 106-104 on Jan. 29. (Photo: Sam Forencich/NBAE Images)
Game Notes/How They Match Up
The big story the last time the Blazers played the Mavs was the comeback. Portland found itself down big in the third quarter, and it took a massive turnaround for the game to turn in the Blazers’ direction.
This time, the team will look to make life easier on themselves by staying close the entire way. The home crowd will be in Dallas’ favor, and a fourth-quarter comeback becomes much less likely on the road than it is at home.
What both teams have in common is that they’re both better on offense than they are on defense. The difference is that while Portland has struggled to play well defensively, Dallas has been hands-down the worst team in the NBA when it comes to points allowed.
This game has the potential for a lot of points, and if the Blazers can forget about their road struggles and just play their brand of basketball, they’ll put up enough points to get the win away from the Rose Garden.
What to Watch: Portland
The Blazers are going to need a good offensive game if they hope to take down the Mavericks. They’re averaging 96.9 points per game, but if all goes according to plan, they’ll need more than that to take down a Dallas team averaging 100.5 points per contest.
In the Blazers’ near-debacle against Minnesota, scoring was never the problem. They scored triple digits, they had three players who exceeded the 20-point mark and they shot an impressive 58.6 percent from the field. The problem was turnovers, and it nearly cost them by the end of the game.
Portland turned the ball over 28 times by the time it was all said and done. That’s the most turnovers by any team in the league this season, and it’s the reason they almost let the Timberwolves come back and steal a victory.
Taking better control of the ball will be a priority against Dallas, as they’re the fourth-best team in the NBA when it comes to fast-break points per game.
What to Watch: Dallas
When it comes to the Mavericks’ plan of attack, the No. 1 thing to watch is how they defend LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Blazers’ 6’11″ forward has taken the life out of the Mavs twice in recent memory with two game-winners at the buzzer, but the big man has done so much more than that against one of his favorite opponents.
Since the 2010-11 season, Aldridge has averaged 27.2 points per game against Dallas. That’s his highest points-per-game average against any Western Conference opponent, proving that the Mavs clearly haven’t figured out how to stop him just yet.
Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs have had trouble containing LaMarcus Aldridge as of late.
His jump shot is his most dangerous weapon, but his ability to play down low is what makes him so dangerous. If Dallas wants to truly contain the 27-year-old, they’ll have to figure out how to get the ball out of his hands. Double-teaming him becomes the most likely approach, so it’s just a matter of which Blazers player they leave open, and whether or not his jump shot is falling.
Normally this is the part where we focus on the matchup between Dirk Nowitzki and LaMarcus Aldridge. The two power forwards have had some great battles throughout the years, and their offensive styles have resulted in a lot of points between the two players.
That being said, Nowitzki hasn’t looked like himself coming back from injury, and so the focus of the game shifts down to the point guard position.
The last time these two teams met, Damian Lillard didn’t shoot the ball well. He managed to record eight assists, but 10 points on just 3-of-11 shooting was a big reason the team fell into a hole early.
Darren Collison, on the other hand, finished with 17 points on 60-percent shooting to go along with his nine assists and four rebounds.
These two players have the ability to become the focal point of their offenses, and whichever one has the better performance will give his team an extra push come Wednesday.
Portland: DAY-TO-DAY—Nicolas Batum
Dallas: Doubtful—Chris Kaman, DAY-TO-DAY—Vince Carter
The Mavericks have never been an easy matchup for the Blazers, but with momentum on their side, Portland could be the ones escaping with a victory Wednesday night.
Blazers 99– Dallas 95
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
It is well known that what separates the Portland Trail Blazers from being a bona fide playoff contending team and a pretending playoff team is their bench. What is disheartening is that their bench is home to a number of their recent first round draft choices. One of those former first round picks is point guard Nolan Smith, the Blazers 21st selection from Duke in the 2011 NBA Draft...
LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 13 rebounds to help the Portland Trail Blazers avoid a late collapse and hang on to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-98 on Monday night.
Wes Matthews scored 22 points and Damon Lillard added 21 points for the Blazers, but they each had five of the team's season-high 28 turnovers. The Blazers never trailed in the game, but the Wolves had...
The Dallas Mavericks are currently 21-28 and in danger of missing the playoffs if they cannot turn things around quickly. Injuries have been an issue all year. Dirk Nowitzki missed the first 27 games of the season while recovering from a knee injury, and he is banged up once again as he battles a strained muscle in his leg. Dallas has been one of the streakiest teams in the league...
Coming off a 105-99 big win against the Utah Jazz that saw the Portland Trail Blazers (25-23) tighten up the Northwest Division of the NBA’s Western Conference, Portland had to hold out against the Minnesota Timberwolves (18-27) until the very last second in a 100-98 win.
Portland entered the fourth quarter leading the T-Wolves 77-58, a relatively large margin by...
DALLAS-- Chris Kaman's frustration over being sidelined since Jan. 28 with a concussion caused him to criticize the NBA's "concussion protocol crap" on Tuesday as he continues to undergo tests that might allow him to return to the team's rotation no sooner than this weekend.
"It's the stupidest test ever," the Dallas Mavericks center said. "...
MINNEAPOLIS It's in part thanks to the Timberwolves that Nicolas Batum got his four-year, 45 million deal this offseason, a contract that many assumed to be more than what the small forward was worth.
It was the result of a bidding war between the Timberwolves and Trail Blazers, and Portland eventually won, matching Minnesota's offer for the restricted free agent. Since...
Dirk Nowitzki has joked that he's using "deer antler spray'' to recover from a leg-muscle strain and tonight in Oklahoma City, he'll join the Dallas Mavericks in being put to the test by the 35-12 Oklahoma City Thunder.
"It's OK,'' said Nowitzki, who has missed the last two Mavs games with the injury. "I'll give it a go.''
Most sports leagues now have some sort of concussion protocol in place. As we finally step into the 21st century in the sporting world, people are acknowledging that head injuries are bad. But athletes are not as willing to sit around waiting to be cleared by doctors after suffering a concussion. The Dallas Mavericks' Chris Kaman expressed his displeasure with the NBA...
I have for the last several seasons, defended the Dallas Mavericks, it’s organization, it’s owner and people in the decision making that controls this team. I knew that it was a matter of time before they would win the NBA Championship and Dirk would put another mark by his name, and he did; and that they would be known for something other than the “one and done boys”, and...
Vince Carter is averaging 17.6 points on 49.0 percent shooting over his last eight games.
Concussions are a serious issue. It isn’t something to be taken lightly. No matter how big you are, whether it’s 6’0″ or 7’0″, you can’t mess with the brain. Chris Kaman has recently received a concussion and is trying to get back onto the court but has to pass a concussion test. He isn’t too [...]
[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links...
That’s Johnny Manziel at a Super Bowl party holding what looks to be a cold beer. The young lady on the right is CBS 42 (Birmingham) reporter Alex Corddry ( @ACorddry). She ran into Scooby in New Orleans on Saturday at what looks to be the HDNet party where Manziel was hanging with Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel.
Before anyone gets crazy over Scoob hitting a cold one at...
According to ESPNDallas.com, Dirk Nowitzki will “give it a go” against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. “I’ll give it a go tonight,” Nowitzki said. “It’s going to be a little tight, I guess, but if I wait until this is all gone, we might sit out another two weeks. I don’t know how [...]
[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links...
OKLAHOMA CITY -- When Dallas has taken on Oklahoma City this year, the Mavericks haven't looked like a team fighting to reach .500. In the two previous matchups, the Mavericks lost both, but the Thunder had to go into overtime each time. However, the Mavs reverted back to form of sorts Monday in the teams' third meeting. The Thunder dominated from the opening tap and rolled...