Blazers Start Season with Difficult Schedule?
In most NBA seasons, the schedule has a way of evening out over the long haul of 82 games. But for the Portland Trail Blazers, I’m not sure that’s going to happen this year. Overall, I just don’t much like this schedule.
Neil Olshey has done all the right things in finding key bench players. Terry Stotts’ defensive emphasis during the exhibition season is showing signs of taking hold… all of that is good. But when you take a look at that schedule, well, it’s not going to help.
Portland opens on the road, which isn’t so bad because the Blazers Wednesday night will be playing arguably the worst team in the NBA, which will be playing without Markieff Morris, who will be serving a one-game suspension for an errant elbow during preseason. But Portland has lost its last four in a row at Phoenix and overall, is just 29-72 in the Valley of the Sun. But with the way the schedule sets up, the Trail Blazers — expected to be in the race for a playoff berth — cannot afford to lose games to obviously less-talented teams.
From Phoenix, the Blazers move to Denver — another historically difficult place for Portland to play. The Trail Blazers have lost nine straight in Denver, haven’t won there since 2007, and the Nuggets are expected by most experts to finish well ahead of Portland in the conference race. This will be a difficult game, to say the least.