Sports Out West

Portland Trail Blazers’ next road block looms in NBA playoffs

Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns

Portland Trail Blazers are in the playoffs.

They’re second in their division at 50-28 and look better than they did in mid-March.

Their improvement in largely in part to Damian Lillard‘s improved play and the makings of a great April from LaMarcus Aldridge.

The Trail Blazers need both Aldridge and Lillard to play well. So far in April, Aldridge is averaging 24.7 points and 13.3 rebounds at 49.2 percent from the field. Lillard is bouncing back from an awful March that saw his field goal percentage dip to into the 39s. With both players playing like their All-Star selves, the Trail Blazers should enter the playoffs with positive momentum.

The only issue is who they’re going to draw as opponents. 

It’s either the Golden State Warriors (Warriors lead the season series, 2-1) or the Houston Rockets (Rockets lead the series 3-0).

Both teams play the Trail Blazers well and play the Trail Blazers’ style. If it’s offense v. offense, the Trail Blazers stand a chance, but both potential opponents do what the Trail Blazers cannot: play defense.

While the resurgence in April was nice, and Portland can breathe again, the playoffs are coming. It’s a real thing. Unfortunately for one of the league’s feel-good stories, Portland may just find itself in a serious road block scenario.

The worst draw would be the Houston Rockets. This is one of the scariest teams on paper. A ridiculous starting lineup that definitely rivals the Trail Blazers, too many playmakers in Chandler Parsons, James Harden, and Pat Beverly, and some guy named Dwight Howard. They’re 3-0 for a reason over the Trail Blazers. They just match up supremely well.

The troubles may have just started for this group from Portland. Fans of the team, as well as the NBA, should be on watch if the Trail Blazers make it past Round 1, but the season statistics do not hold in their favor.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a sports and video game journalist born and raised in Southern California. He is great at finding the important detail in the mundane and ordinary. He has published articles for Riot Games, IGN.com, 1UP.com, Rotowire.com, and SBNation.

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