Oh how fun! A back to back with the LA Clippers. Mercifully, at least, the Blazers won’t have to deal with Chris Paul, as he’s out with a bruised knee. Also Blake Griffiin is day to day, but expected to play. The third best team in the West is also on a three game losing streak. I’m expecting the Clips to come out hungry but hopefully the home court advantage holds tonight in the Blazers’ favor. The best bet the Blazers have to beat this deep team has to be tonight, rather than tomorrow in LA at the Staples Center after everyone has played heavy minutes. Since I see everything in numbers: this back to back(2x) of the third (3) best team in the West plus the Blazers three days off (3) and that I’ve missed watching the last two games (2) adds up to (8x2) or 88, and that means a big night for Batum.
Jamal Crawford: I remember this dude. He’s averaging 16.7 ppg, 2.1apg, and 1.7rpg on the season. But during the month of January he’s upped his production slightly to 17.4 ppg and he’s shooting 41.3% from inside the arc and 40.3% from outside. I don’t believe Jamal Crawford harbors any ill will towards the Blazers, but I do believe he’s gonna shoot very well and incur many pained yells of JAAAAMAAL. On the Blazers’ end I think we all know what to expect at this point. The main worry is LaMarcus Aldridge falling off after his All-Star nod (which I don’t think will happen). I also like the consistency from Nicolas Batum at trying to do everything.
Blake Griffin shooting 72% in the restricted area versus Aldridge’s 63%
Lamarcus Aldridge shooting 41% from mid-range versus Griffin’s 36%
Rebounding: Aldridge 8.8 per game, Griffin 8.5 per game
With Chris Paul out, Lillard leads Blazers
With Chris Paul out, Eric Bledsoe!
With Chris Paul out, Blazers ask Clippers “How u?”