Trail Blazers are playing like they are ready to go on vacation
(Sports Network) – The youthful Portland Trail Blazers have showed signs
during the campaign that the future looks bright. However, they have struggled
lately and are not finishing the season like they had hoped.
Portland (29-44) is in last place in the Northwest Division, The Trail Blazers
are one-half game behind the fourth place Seattle SuperSonics.
Starting power forward Zach Randolph is expected to miss the remainder of the
season because of surgery on his right hand. Randolph averaged team-highs in
scoring (23.6 ppg) and rebounding (10.1 rpg) in 68 games this season.
Northwest Division rivals meet on Wednesday, as the Trail Blazers welcome the
Utah Jazz to the Rose Garden. It is the third of four meetings between the
clubs this season. The teams split the first two contests, as both squads
picked up a victory at home.
The Jazz have dropped four of their last six contests at Portland. Utah has
won five of the last six games in the series.
Utah is scheduled to host the Trail Blazers on April 16th at EnergySolutions
Portland enters Wednesday’s contest on a four-game losing streak. It plays the
finale of a three-game homestand against the Jazz. On Saturday, Cuttino Mobley
scored 25 points and Elton Brand netted 21 as the Los Angeles Clippers
defeated the Trail Blazers, 99-86, at the Rose Garden.
Rookie Brandon Roy ended with 23 points and Raef LaFrentz scored 15 off the
bench for the Trail Blazers, who have lost eight of their last 11 games
overall. Rookie LaMarcus Aldridge left Saturday’s game in the first quarter
with dizziness. Aldridge was dehydrated, received fluids and was released from
a local hospital.
Aldridge, who is averaging 9.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 63 games this
season, is probable for Wednesday’s contest.
The Trail Blazers are 16-21 at home this season. After Wednesday’s game, they
will embark on a three-game road trip. Portland will visit Houston, Dallas and
Roy, who is the leading candidate to take home NBA Rookie of the Year honors,
is averaging 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists this season. The
Washington product has scored in double-digits in 14 straight games.
Portland is scheduled to play five of its final nine games on the road.