Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 12/31/12
On the Road Again The Portland Trail Blazers will be hitting the road after vanquishing the Philadelphia 76ers at home to put their record once again above .500 on the season (15-14). They will need to play particularly well on their road streak, however, to keep their heads above the water; especially when considering their first game on this road trip is against the New York Knicks. Matchup: Portland (15-14) vs. New York (21-9) Venue: Madison Square Garden Time: 4:30pm PT Date: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2012 This will be the first meeting between these two teams this year, New York being heavily favored as many believe this is the year they can once again contend for a championship. Should the Blazers wish to solidify themselves as a legitimate playoff contender, they must play a sound game against an extremely dangerous and impressive team. Game Notes/How They Match Up When you look at their statistics on paper these two teams are relatively similar, especially when looking at how many points they score and how many points they allow per game. The New York Knicks currently put up an average of right around 102 points per game while giving up 97 points. The Blazers, somewhat similar to the Knicks, put up an average of right around 97 points per game while giving up 99 points. Though these numbers do give the Knicks a slight advantage on paper, both teams can clearly put up a relatively good number of points. Can the combo of Lillard and Aldridge fuel a Blazers victory? One big thing that jumps off the sheet when looking at the Blazers in this game and wondering if they will have a shot is their current road record. Portland is just 4-10 on the road this year, compared to their impressive 11-4 home record (does that remind anybody of a certain Portland soccer team?). Clearly the Blazers have issues they need to settle on the road, and playing against the New York Knicks is not exactly the easiest way to start. Not only do the Knicks have a better paper trail, they look to have a little bit better roster that will give them quite an edge over the Blazers. Led by Carmelo Anthony actually sharing the ball this year, the Knicks’ roster is loaded with talent that should get by Portland. However, should Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge continue their impressive play, this game may be a lot closer than many would expect. Another reason this game may prove closer than many would expect is because there is the chance that Amar’e Stoudemire will still be recovering from his surgery, possibly keeping him out of this game. What to Watch: Portland The way the Blazers will stay in this game is if Lillard and Aldridge have big games, as they are more than capable of. The Knicks have a great offense that will be very difficult to stop, so Portland’s best shot at staying in this game is if their two star players (aforementioned) can keep up with the pace of New York. Increasing the likelihood of this happening will be Stoudemire’s expected absence. If he is out, Lillard and Aldridge will be all the more likely to be extremely productive on Tuesday. What to Watch: New York It will be very interesting to see what happens should Stoudemire sit out this game. Will Carmelo try to put more of this game on his shoulders? Will he still spread the ball around? As can be seen, a lot of the Knicks’ offense will be dependent on what Carmelo decides to do. If he regresses back to his selfish attitude, the Blazers may have a shot at the big upset. Key Matchup The big matchup in this game will be Lillard vs. Anthony, the two players who will likely be key in determining this game’s outcome. The two will likely see a lot each other throughout the night, playing the perimeter and looking to break up opposing attacks and offenses. Injury Report Portland: Doubtful – Meyers Leonard; Questionable – Wesley Matthews  Philadelphia: Questionable – Carmelo Anthony  Prediction Even with the potential absence of Stoudemire the Knicks should be able to take care of a Portland team that can’t seem to get anything going on the road.  New York – 105 Portland – 93 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

Ari Fleischer: Belichick 'can get away with' shutting down media

RG3 on team's expectatons: Not asking me to be Superman

Bills' Kromer issues suspension statement without apology

Report: Patriots restructure Rob Gronkowski's contract

Agent: Rory McIlroy not booked for PGA Championship practice

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tom Brady, NFL to appear before judge on August 12

Report: Bradford, Eagles hope to sign short-term extension

Aaron Rodgers: TV networks have ‘too much access’

Adrian Beltre completes cycle, gets mad when assaulted

Gruden had to convince Dan Snyder to bench RG3

Jim Mora turns P. Diddy fight into recruiting pitch for UCLA

Gronk, Big Papi go 'country' in latest Dunkin Donuts video

Phillies showing signs of future success

Mortensen on false Deflategate report: Still figuring Twitter out

Sheldon Richardson is down, but is he out?

Would Phil Jackson have taken Towns or Okafor first overall?

Seven Big 12 Heisman candidates for 2015

Will Manziel be good enough to be Browns’ backup plan?

Cowboys exec on Dez fight: 'I do think it's a good thing'

Baseball season in New York has been better than expected

WATCH: Giants players fight during training camp

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger Woods on Twitter

Report: Rousey to star in film based on her autobiography

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

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker