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Blazers 2014-15 Schedule Preview: Primed to Take the Next Step - Pinwheel Empire
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Blazers 2014-15 Schedule Preview: Primed to Take the Next Step

submitted 3 years ago by in Game Preview

Lillard Game 6 Shot

Image Courtesy of Oregonlive.com

Well here we go again, and the Blazers start off their 45th NBA season with a bang with several tough home games early and then face a tough December followed by a series of months that can be characterized as “tough but fair”.  Portland’s successful campaign last year has garnered them far more national TV games than last season and this schedule, although lacking in truly easy stretches, is honestly pretty fair.  Let’s hope the Blazers are able to duplicate, or even surpass, last year’s win total.

Here is a link to the full schedule: www.nba.com/blazers/schedule/

Schedule Basics:

Portland plays every western conference team 4 times (except those listed below), and every eastern conference team twice.

Western conference teams played three times (2 home, 1 road): Golden State, New Orleans

Western conference teams played three times (2 road, 1 home): Houston, Sacramento

Longest road trip: 5 games, twice (NYK-DET-MIN-CHI-IND in December and TOR-WAS-MIA-ORL-MEM in March)

Longest homestand: 7 games (PHI-NYK-TOR-ATL-LAL-MIA-ORL) in December/January.

Back to backs: 19

National TV Games (non NBA TV):

TNT-6 (home to DAL (twice), MIA, PHX, GS and at GS)

ESPN-10 (home to OKC (twice), CHI, LAC, SA, HOU and at CHI, SA, LAC and LAL)

Month by Month Analysis:

October/November:

Home: 11 (6 vs. +.500 teams last season)

Road:  6 (1 vs. +.500 teams)

Back to backs: 3

Key Games: vs. OKC (season and home opener), vs. CLE, vs. CHI

Summary: The season starts off with a bang with a lot of home games against tough teams.  The only one of the first first against a likely non-playoff team is the game at Sacramento.  After that, the month becomes a bit easier, including a three game east road trip to BOS/PHI/CHA where a sweep can be a reasonable expectation.  If Portland can defend the home court, they should get off to a solid start.

December:

Home: 6 (3 vs. +.500 teams last season)

Road:  10 (5 vs. +.500 teams)

Back to backs: 4

Key Games: at and vs. IND and SA, at Houston

Summary: December may be holiday season but the schedule makers didn’t exactly give Portland any holiday gifts.  Its a very tough month, with two four games in five day stretches, especially a brutal SA-NO-HOU-OKC one later in the month.  If the Blazers can go .500 or better this month, that would be most acceptable.

January:

Home: 8 (3 vs. +.500 teams last season)

Road:  8 (4 vs. +.500 teams)

Back to backs: 4

Key Games: at Cleveland, at Memphis, vs. Miami

Summary: 2015 opens with about an average difficulty month.  Sure there are some tough stretches in there, like a SA-MEM road back to back but there are also some fairly easy ones like home games vs. SAC, BOS and ORL.  Many of these games are toss ups so if the Blazers want to get into good playoff position, they need to be sure to end up on the right side of most of them.

February:

Home: 6 (4 vs. +.500 teams last season)

Road:  3 (2 vs. +.500 teams)

Back to backs: 1

Key Games: vs, OKC and SA, at DAL

Summary: The shortest month has even less action than usual as the league is giving every team a much longer all-star break.  Portland doesn’t play for nine days between a home game vs. the Lakers on 2/11 and a road game at Utah on 2/20.  Beyond that, its filled with mostly tough games, although thankfully most of those are at home so the fan support should hopefully carry the team to victory again and again.

March:

Home: 6 (4 vs. +.500 teams last season)

Road:  10 (6 vs. +.500 teams)

Back to backs: 5

Key Games: at LAC, at and vs. PHX, vs. HOU

Summary: The Blazers take to the road for much of the month of March due to Portland hosting the NCAA tournament in the middle of the month.  Its a tough month but all of the games are winnable.  It features Houston’s only visit this year, as well as road and home games vs. last year’s biggest surprise team, Phoenix.

April:

Home: 4 (2 vs. +.500 teams last season)

Road:  4 (3 vs. +.500 teams)

Back to backs: 2

Key Games: Vs, LAC, at OKC and DAL

Summary: The season closes with a bunch of games that may well determine playoff positioning.  If the Blazers want home court in the first round they will likely need a strong finish versus quality opponents to do so.

What do you think of this year’s schedule?

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skywaker9 (David) is a Portland native and passionate Blazers fan. He currently works as a University fiscal analyst for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. He also has a PhD in Public Affairs and Policy at Portland State University. David is a former political activist who chose to focus on sports because they made him happy. He primarily writes previews for PWE and one of his primary goals is to inform Blazer fans everywhere about those players on other teams they may not have heard of but should (such as Nikola Vucevic).