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Do Battered Blazers Still Believe?

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An ESPN writer's view of the Blazers-Grizzlies series so far.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's Baxter Holmes writes about the Trail Blazers clinging to hope as they head home.  The way the Blazers-Memphis Grizzlies series has gone so far it's easy to feel hopeless, but Portland's All-Stars latch on to what little they can find.

After Game 2 LaMarcus Aldridge nursed a bruised left eye in the locker room. His response to the question, "Who hit you?" tells a lot about this matchup.

Aldridge couldn't remember. He was caught up in the Grizzlies' tenacious defense, just like the Trail Blazers have been all series, trapped in a tangle of aggressive arms and legs, pushing, prodding, poking, punching -- all of it.

Aldridge mentioned that the Blazers led at one point in the game, but he wasn't all that enthused about it:

"Of course you wish there was more, but this is our situation that we're in, so we've got to build from it," Aldridge said.

Holmes discusses Damian Lillard's struggles in the series, including an unexpected 30 points in 2 games from Beno Udrih while Lillard has only 32.

"They're doing a great job of taking away my options," said Lillard, who is 10-of-37 from the field in the series.

Holmes says the Trail Blazers knew from their 0-4 Memphis drubbing during the season that they were heading into a physical series, but they haven't yet been able to overcome it. He asks if they can.

"I don't know," Aldridge said. "We've got to find out. That's our question. That's our test right now. "

Like most pundits,Holmes believes that Memphis will prevail in this series and that it won't take too much longer.  Damian Lillard counters with hope.

"We can't look at the first two games and say, it's impossible," Lillard said. "We've just got to keep believing."