Trail Blazers are a team battling for playoff position. The Clippers are a team who have lost 17 of their last 20 games. The Blazers are a team looking to make noise in the post-season. The Clippers are trying to find YouTube clips of the John Wall dance to make themselves feel better. A slight exaggeration but if you didn’t imagine executives actually doing that than I don’t know what to tell you. This is a must-win situation for Portland. There is no excuse for losing to the Los Angeles Clippers this late in the season with this much on the line. It’s apparent that teams are not going to help out as the Spurs have seemingly forgotten how to lose and despite a (dubious) loss at Utah, Oklahoma City is having that same kind of memory loss. A win, combined with Thunder and Spurs losses brings Portland into a 3-way tie for the #6 seed. Again…must-win.
The intrigue for Blazer fans is seeing Steve Blake in an opponent’s uniform. Travis Outlaw will not be playing, so we won’t have to deal with the possibility of him outscoring our bench 35-6 and Blazer Nation crying for him to come back. I’m interested to see if he goes at Miller/Bayless with the same vigor that Sergio Rodriguez went at Bayless last week. The Clippers are definitely a team that can score the ball. Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Drew Gooden, Rasual Butler…all guys that can score. What the Clippers can’t do? Defend. They are truly awful on the defensive end. In the 25 games they have played since the All-Star Break, the Clippers have given up 100 or more points on 18 occasions. If Portland can’t beat the Clippers, than that OKC/Dallas/Lakers stretch should be a bundle of joy.