Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 2/6/13
Another classic? 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. Key Matchup 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. Injury Report Portland: DAY-TO-DAY—Nicolas Batum Dallas: Doubtful—Chris Kaman, DAY-TO-DAY—Vince Carter Prediction 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!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Butler not thrilled with Rose’s work ethic

Colts still expecting Andrew Luck to start on TNF

Quinn: White’s role in offense not quite a ‘point of emphasis’

Odell Beckham Jr.: Prima donna nickname 'doesn't bother me'

Curtis Granderson downplays Matt Harvey’s tardiness

LeBron on Cavs: I will lead this team, but I don’t have to carry it


Jim Tomsula: ‘I want a confident’ Colin Kaepernick

Bill Belichick: Brandon Weeden 'can make all the throws'

Chip Kelly: Eagles coaching staff to blame for slow start

Tom Brady: I don't care about Greg Hardy's personal feelings

Report: Odell Beckham Jr. fined for punching Bills safety

Tannehill admits to beefing with practice squad players

Pettine clarifies remarks about Haden sitting out vs. Chargers

Report: Florida, Miami nearing deal to renew football rivalry

Report: Matt Barnes, Derek Fisher had fight over Fisher dating Barnes' ex

What was happening in the world when Manning and Woodson debuted?

Amidst NY AG’s investigation, DraftKings CEO blames 'bad reporting,' says he’s open to regulation

Carlos Correa after drinking first beer: ‘It tastes bad’

Beltran, Beltre and the greatest active players without a ring

Five critical questions that will decide NL Wild Card game

SnapFace? Belichick again botches social media platform

NFL through Week 4: What do we know?

NFL extends international series through 2025

No Fun League strikes again: Bailey fined for nap celebration

Five questions about the National League Wild Card game

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What was happening in the world when Manning and Woodson debuted?

NFL through Week 4: What do we know?

NFL extends international series through 2025

5 players who can win the NHL MVP this season

Warriors take next step in effort to build San Francisco arena

Greg Hardy: Ready to come out ‘guns blazing’ post-suspension

Report: CC Sabathia already at Connecticut rehab facility

NHL hockey is back and that’s awesome

Jake Arrieta's sweet ... sinker?

10 matchups to watch during NFL Week 5

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker