Game Details: Rose Garden, Portland, OR. 7:00 PM. TV: CSN. Radio: KXTG (95.5 FM).
Projected Portland Starting Lineup: PG Andre Miller (#24, 6′2″, Utah), SG Wesley Matthews (#2, 6′5″, Marquette), SF Nicolas Batum (#88, 6′9″, France), PF LaMarcus Aldridge (#12, 6′11″, Texas), C Marcus Camby (#23, 6′11″, UMass)
Projected Minnesota Starting Lineup: PG Luke Ridnour (#13, 6’2″, Oregon), SG Wesley Johnson (#4, 6’7″, Syracuse), SF Michael Beasley (#8, 6’10″, Kansas State), PF Kevin Love (#42, 6’10″, UCLA), C Darko Milicic (#31, 7’0″, Yugoslavia)
I’ll keep this short, because not much has changed since the last time the Blazers and Wolves played each other. Portland is the better team on every level, and this game comes in the middle of probably the easiest run of games they’ll have all year. If the Blazers play like they did in the fourth quarter of the Nets game on Saturday, and not like they did in the first three, they should win this game. If LaMarcus Aldridge plays like himself, Marcus Camby chips in with a big rebounding night to match Kevin Love, and either Nicolas Batum or Wesley Matthews are hitting their shots (both would be nice, but just one of the two having it going will get the job done against this team), this night will end in a W. Keep the scoring of Love and Michael Beasley in check, and the Wolves don’t have a lot of other offensive options to throw at you. None of this is groundbreaking, and Portland has been here before. If they don’t come away with a win tonight, there are issues deeper than even the most critical observer of this team could have dreamed of.