Most Important Games
Considering the amount of questions about the Trail Blazers heading into this season and the lack of optimism I have about how they’ll perform this year, it’s hard to look at their schedule and pick important games and stretches because it feels like they’re just going to end up in the lottery. However, let’s first operate under the impression that they’re going to be surprisingly good this year.
If the Blazers are going to sneak into the postseason despite all of the changes in Portland, then how they start the season is going to be incredibly important. What this team looks like in their season-opener against the New Orleans Pelicans through their Nov. 5 matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies will give us a good indication as to what to expect from this team. All six games over that span are against Western Conference foes, there is an even 3-3 home-road split, and there’s a solid mix of levels of expectations regarding those six opponents.
Moreover, the Trail Blazers will have a big stretch coming into All-Star Weekend as they play five games at the start of February that are against projected playoff teams. How they look and where their record sits after that stretch could very well determine how they play the rest of the season, meaning it will decide whether they look to tank or try and make a postseason run.
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