Today, the Portland Trail Blazers set out on their final big road trip of the season, visiting five Eastern Conference teams over the next eight days before stopping in on the New Orleans Pelicans on March 12th on the way home.
The Blazers sit four games below 500, fighting to stay in touch with the busy Western Conference middle.
Tomorrow, the Blazers visit State Farm Arena and the Atlanta Hawks, which this week welcomed its new head coach in Quin Snyder. The Hawks currently own a 500 record, good enough for eighth in the east.
On Sunday, the team meets the young, plucky Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. You may remember Orlando embarrassing the Blazers at the Moda Center in January so Portland is probably keen to return the favor.
The next day, the Blazers find themselves in Michigan facing the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. The Pistons own the third worst record in the league but that’s never a winning guarantee.
The Boston Celtics await at the TD Garden on Wednesday, currently owning the second best record in the league. Maybe they’ll be due for a loss?
If the Celtics weren’t a big enough challenge, Portland then heads south to Wells Fargo Arena to face Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
Finally, next Sunday, the Blazers return to Smoothie King Arena to attempt to exact some revenge on CJ McCollum and the New Oreleans Pelicans.
Given the team’s recent slide and the quality of the competition, what would you call a successful trip?