Portland Trail Blazers Schedule Analysis: Games 21-40

The Portland Trail Blazers start with a very difficult schedule. The first 20 games of the season feature a couple of long road trips and games against a couple of the top teams from the Eastern and Western conferences.  However, the second quarter of the schedule is where things lighten up.

Portland Trail Blazers Schedule: Games 21-40

Beginning Homestand

Following a game against the Los Angeles Clippers in the Staples Center, the team will head home for a four-game homestand.

That homestand will feature games against the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers to open things up. Both of those teams are tough, but with the Moda Center crowd, both are winnable.

Following those two games are two games the team should win with little issue. Those would be home games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks. The Thunder will be better than people think this season, but ultimately those are two games that need to be wins if this team is going to finish the regular season with solid playoff seeding.

Another Four-Game Homestand

Following two games to play the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns on the road, the Trail Blazers will return home for another four-game homestand.

This homestand opens with a game against the Golden State Warriors. It’s always a big deal when the Warriors come to Portland. Not just for the fan base, but Damian Lillard tends to have huge games when his hometown Warriors are in Portland.

Following that game are games against the Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New Orleans Pelicans. None of those games should be taken lightly. These aren’t the big-name teams in the league, but they are capable teams. However, these are games the team should win at home.

Long Road Trip

The theme of the first 20 games of the season is road trips. The second set of 20 games doesn’t come without a long road trip as well. However, this one is easier on paper than the ones in the first part of the schedule. However, in the three games leading up to this trip, the team will go on the road to play the Utah Jazz before hosting the Lakers and Suns.

This trip opens up with games against the Knicks and Washington Wizards. Road trip or not, there’s no reason to lose to either of those teams.

Following those, are trips to play the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors. On paper, these are the two toughest games on the trip. Miami will be a gritty, well-coached team, while the Raptors still have plenty of talent and playing in Toronto is never easy.

The trip concludes with a game in Minnesota against the Timberwolves. Assuming both teams are healthy, that won’t be an easy game. However, Portland is the better team, and it’ll be a game with a chance to get a win over a division rival.

Following that road trip, this chunk of the schedule concludes with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks making their yearly trip to Portland.

Overall

This stretch isn’t quite as tough as the opening set of games. While the Trail Blazers will play some good teams, a lot of the tougher games on paper will be at Moda Center.

They do have the East Coast trip mentioned above, but it’s not as tough of a road trip as the two they face in the first 20 games.

At this point, the new additions should be more broken in and adapted to their roles. That should make things easier on Lillard and CJ McCollum and allow them to take a load off as the season will be in full swing.

With the homestands in this block of games, this is also where the team needs to make some ground in the playoff race. Yes, some of the teams they’ll be playing are good, but winning home games is what good teams do.

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