In a change of pace from years past the Portland Trail Blazers are running and gunning this season. With athletes such as Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and Gerald Wallace running the wings they're pushing the pace much faster than they have in recent years.
This new found pace has already led them to wins over the top two teams in the Western Conference in my book already, Denver and at Oklahoma City. They also just took out the Lakers a couple nights ago then had a huge stinker the next evening in Phoenix so Nate McMillan will very much be expecting a monster bounce back performance tonight.
Song of the Day: My YouTube is down today but if you need one just go check the song from my Wolves Preview.
Cleveland Cavaliers (4-3) at Portland Trail Blazers (5-2)
As this lengthy road trip moves further west the Cavaliers will be really tested to keep their record close to .500. If they could pull off a victory in the home of a mild Western Conference power that would be a massive boost to team spirits.
Honestly, if Portland is playing well they're a much better team. LaMarcus Aldridge is definitely their best player so Antwan Jamison needs to try and figure out a way to slow him down much better than he did Kevin Love because the pieces around Aldrigde are far more scarier than those around K-Love.
Shall Jamison and Anderson Varejao play up to the standards they did in the Target Center Friday evening the Cavaliers have a decent shot at staying in this game.
Cleveland: Semih Erden (thumb)
Omri Casspi and Anthony Parker vs. Wes Matthews and Gerald Wallace
The battle on the wings is going to be rough for Cleveland. Matthews has absolutely torched the Cavs early in his career so far. The Blazers are an extremely athletic and long team on the wings with Nicolas Batum coming in for many minutes off the bench.
Casspi and Parker haven't really set a great tone out wide for the Cavaliers so far. Each has been just beige so far so Matthews and Wallace specifically look to have a pretty big advantage in this game on both ends of the court.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction:
Portland has one of the most enjoyable arenas to watch a game at so I'm looking forward to this one. Although it's usually a harsh result on the visitors it will be our first true really difficult test of the season. The Cavs will need hot shooting from outside all night to be able to grind this one out. I like Portland to win this one comfortably, 108-92.