The Portland Trail Blazers are indeed one of the strongest title contenders in the Western Conference this season. Whilst they entered the 2013-2014 campaign as underdogs, they have earned the contender characterization thanks to their incredible performances, especially during the first months of the season and also thanks to their consistency. The Blazers currently rank third in the conference, but it’s still unclear at which spot they’ll end up at the end of the regular season. Let’s examine who will the Blazers play in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
The truth is that the Blazers seem capable of beating almost any opponent, at least in the Western Conference. The Blazers won’t most probably meet the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first leg, so we’ll keep them off of our discussion.
If the regular season ended today, the Dallas Mavericks would be the first-round opponents of the Portland Trail Blazers. Rip City would be the obvious favorite in this matchup. Although the Mavs are over performing this season, they have neither the quality nor depth to match with the Blazers in a seven-game series. Damian Lillard would own the point guard spot, since Jose Calderon is unmistakable slower than the Blazers’ superstar. In the battle of the power forwards, between Dirk Nowitzki and LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland has the upper hand, too. Aldridge is recording arguably the best season of his career, while Dirk not at the best shape he’s been.
Golden State Warriors
The Dubs will be an opponent to avoid for the Blazers come playoff time. The Warriors are a very dangerous team and when the duo of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry find rhythm, it’s almost impossible to stop them. The Warriors are great against teams with thin defensive lines and Portland currently ranks 25th in the league in points allowed. The Warriors currently rank seventh in the Western Conference but they are a potential opponent for the Blazers.
The Phoenix Suns are another strong potential opponent for the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers could find themselves playing against the Suns, who have been impressive up to now in the season. No one really saw them coming this season and yet they have managed to establish themselves as one of the most dangerous teams in the West. No team, even the highest-seeded one, will really want to meet the Suns in the first leg of the playoffs. The Suns currently rank eighth in the West, but they may be able to climb one or two seeds by the end of the regular season.
The battle for the spots three to five is very close in the West. The Houston Rockets have been trying to clinch one of the highest ones this season. At the end, though we might see the Rockets falling a bit behind and meeting the Blazers in the first leg of the playoffs. Whilst Dwight Howard and James Harden have already build chemistry, the Blazers have the potential to top them in a seven-game series. My favorite match up would be the Blazers Vs Rockets!Chris Michaels