The Portland Trail Blazers are the biggest surprise in the NBA this season. Some analysts could have predicted a good course for them in 2013-2014 but even the most optimistic fan wouldn’t expect a 23-5 start and the first seed in the conference. The Blazers look to continue their hot streak in 2014. Let’s break down their schedule.
The first game for Portland in 2014 comes on January 2 against the Charlotte Bobcats. The Blazers should start the New Year with a victory. The Philadelphia 76ers are their next opponent, again at home.
After a game on the road against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, January 7, the Blazers return at home to play three straight at the Moda Center. They start on January 8 in a game against the Orlando Magic, three days later they host the Boston Celtics and then they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Portland then goes on a four-game road trip, which starts on Friday, January 17 at San Antonio. A day later they meet the Dallas Mavericks and on January 20 they play against the Houston Rockets. The road trip ends with a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tuesday, January 21.
Then The Blazers host the Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves, before playing against the Golden State Warriors on the road, on January 26.
Memphis and Toronto will be visiting Portland to play against the Blazers. Neither of those two opponents should be underestimated, despite their slow start in the season.
Another four-game road trip is next for the Blazers, with the first game being scheduled for February 3 against the Washington Wizards. On February 5 the Blazers play against the New York Knicks in the Madison Square Garden. The Indiana Pacers are their next opponent, in what will be a really tough and interesting game. The Pacers and the Blazers are arguably the two hottest teams this season. The four-game road trip ends in Minnesota on February 8.
The Trail Blazers then play two difficult games, the first one on February 11 against the Thunder and one day later against the Clippers. Then they play three straight at home, versus the Spurs, the Utah Jazz and the Wolves.
On February 25 the Blazers travel to Denver to play against the Nuggets again and then they return at home to play four straight at the Moda Center. The Brooklyn Nets, the Nuggets, the Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks will be their opponents.
A five-game road trip then is scheduled for the Blazers. It starts with a game against the Dallas Mavericks on March 7. Houston, Memphis and San Antonio are the next stops for Portland before their road-trip ends on March 14 in New Orleans.
On Sunday, March 16, the Golden State Warriors come to Portland to take on the Blazers. Then the Blazers host the Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Wizards.
Another five-game road trip follows, with Charlotte being the first stop. Miami, Orlando, Atlanta and Chicago follow. The last game for March comes on Sunday, March 30 against the Grizzlies at the Moda Center.
The Blazers will face the Lakers on April 1, then they will host the Suns, the Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings. Utah is their next stop before the team returns to Portland to host the last two games of the regular season, against the Warriors on April 13 and against the Clips on April 16.
My prediction is the Trail Blazers are for real and will end up winning the Western Conference when all is said and done! Now beating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals is a whole different ball of wax.