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The Weekly Breakdown: Shorthanded Teams, Familiar Faces, Familiar Results

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Portland was fortunate enough to catch a few teams short handed this week but they failed to take advantage of it. Here is how the 3-1 week broke down.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

A rough 2020 continues to follow a rough end to 2019. Portland had a few opportunities to grab a couple wins against some teams without their top players, like the Raptors, Heat, and Timberwolves, but lost two of the three matches. Then after that struggle, they were forced to have to play the NBA’s best team: the Milwaukee Bucks. That went about how you would expect. Another tough week for Portland.

The Games

Sunday, 12/5 at the Miami Heat 122-111 (15-22)

65-46 at the half. That was ball game. Portland won the second half but there was never any doubt that this game was in jeopardy for the Heat. Damian Lillard led all scorers with 34. Jimmy Butler, Miami’s best player, didn’t play due to a back injury. Meyers Leonard dropped 11 and 9 for the Heat. He seems to be living his best life out in South Beach.

Tue, Jan 7 at the Toronto Raptors 101-99 (16-22)

The Raptors were without every player the general public knows other than Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and OG Anunoby (does the public know him?). Even so, Portland looked dead to rights most of the game before a 32-21 4th quarter gave them the win. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 28 including the go ahead bucket that ultimately sealed the win.

Thu, Jan 9 at the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-120 (16-23)

Portland was down 27 with 10 minutes left until a heroic run by the second unit made the final score look unlike the non-competitive match that preceded it. The Timberwolves were without Karl Anthony Towns, but Portland’s ineffectiveness on the basketball court proved that to be moot. We got to see Noah Vonleh and Shabazz Napier but unfortunately missed out on a Jake Layman showing.

Sat, Jan 11 at home against the Milwaukee Bucks 122-101 (16-24)

Giannis Antetokounmpo destroys good defenders on a regular basis. Portland spent the game proving that no one that can even match up with him. He dominated every part of the game and got more than enough help from the rest of the squad. The Blazers never stood a chance. At the very least, it was good to watch Wes Matthews, Robin Lopez, and Pat Connaughton again.

Takeaways

I’m Grumpy

I’m a very positive person overall but this season has been trying on that part of my psyche. The Blazers are able to be great in spurts but have had an impossible time trying to put a full game together. Luckily the NBA playoffs are still very easily in reach but that is more credited other teams failures than it is the doing of the Portland Trail Blazers. I trust in Terry Stotts, I trust in Damian Lillard, and I am very eagerly awaiting Jusuf Nurkic but I do think some sort of trade needs to come too though. This season hasn't been good for anyone in Portland.

Next Week

Monday 1/13 at home against the Charlotte Hornets
Wednesday 1/15 away at the Houston Rockets
Friday 1/17 away at the Dallas Mavericks
Saturday 1/18 away at the Oklahoma City Thunder

Next week’s preview

Portland better beat the Hornets because if they don’t, this week could swallow them. The Rockets and Mavericks are better than the Blazers and the Thunder are playing better. That match against OKC is also a road game and the second game on a back-to-back. So I ask Blazers, please beat the Hornets so I don’t have to write another winless week article.