The full regular season schedule doesn't come out until next week, though we'll know later today whether we'll be playing a nationally televised game during the first week of the season, during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday or on Christmas. I guess that ... exciting? Personally, I'd rather know the whole schedule at once, but that's just me.
But hey, the preseason schedule is out, which beats the pants off of knowing whether or not I'll be working on Christmas Day. Our preseason schedule features seven games over the course of 16 days with all of the games being against Western Conference opponents. There's two games against both the Jazz and Nuggets, which should give us a small look into how the Northwest Division race is going to shape up. The two games against the Warriors is sort of random, but whatevs. And there's another Memorial Coliseum game! Rad!
Here are some of the interesting storylines from the preseason schedule. You can view the whole preseason schedule here.
Tuesday, October 5: Portland vs LA Clippers, 7 pm, Rose Garden
Blake Griffin's return? Sure hope so. I'm stoked to see what the guy can do after having to sit out his rookie season. If there's any fan base that knows what the Clippers went through having to wait a full year to watch their newest and possibly best player finally take the court, it's Trail Blazers fans. It might also be Greg Oden's first game back, which would make for quite the storyline. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this will be the first time two No. 1 picks will play against each other after both missed their rookie seasons. I wouldn't be surprised if this game drew a bigger crowd than any game the Clippers played last year, save for the four contests against the Lakers.
Thursday, October 7, 2010 Portland at Utah, 6 pm, Energy Solutions
The return of Wesley Matthews! It'll be interesting to see what kind of reception Matthews gets from the notoriously prickly Utah Jazz fans. Oh, he'll get booed, but even the most cold-hearted Salt Lakeian won't be able to hate too hard on a guy who worked his butt off to rise from the ranks of undrafted free agent to full mid-level contract guy. Then again, they've been known to take rejection rather harshly.
Aside from Wesley heading back to the SLC, seeing how the new-look Jazz actually look post-Boozer/Korver, even in preseason, should be interesting. Anyone want to bet on the likelihood of Jerry Sloan and Al Jefferson bareknuckle boxing by the end of this one?
Friday, October 8, 2010 Portland at Denver, 7pm, Pepsi Center
It's always tough for the Trail Blazers to win at the Mile High, and it's especially difficult to win there on the second night of a back-to-back. And it's even tougher to beat the Nuggets in Denver, on the second night of a back-to-back, when you're still trying to get into game shape. Translation: I think the Portland bench is going to get the fair share of minutes in this one. If you're a Trail Blazers fan living in Denver (which I hope you aren't), I'd save my money and buy a ticket to a regular season game. I'm guessing you're not going to see our best in this one.
Monday, October 11, 2010 Portland vs Utah, 7pm, Memorial Coliseum
Ah, the Memorial Coliseum. Glass, concrete and toilets are older than anyone on the Trail Blazers roster. The dusting off of the Glass Palace last year for a preseason game against the Suns went so well last year that we decided to do it again. If you missed out last year, I would recommend you make every attempt to go to this one. It's a pretty fun event, especially if you're one of those purists who doesn't care for all of the in-game extras that come along with a game at the Rose Garden. It's a stripped down version of a regular game.
Maybe Jerry Sloan will wrestle a grizzly bear at halftime, just for old-times sake.
October 16, 2010 Portland vs Golden State, 7pm, Rose Garden
The first game of a home-and-home against the Warriors. There's a contingent of Trail Blazers fans that have long coveted David Lee, so hopefully seeing him play for the first time as a Warrior will act as a bit of closure for those in love with Mike D'Antoni's creation.
Also worth noting that the last game at the Rose Garden against the Warriors turned into quite the spectacle. Maybe Don Nelson can take up that argument again, assuming he's actually in Portland for the game.
Oh, and you'll probably get to see Las Vegas Summer League darling Jeremy Lin. Lin is looking like he'll be the first Asian-American to play in the NBA since 1947, which is kind of a cool story. He'd also be the first Harvard grad to play in the NBA since the 1953-54 season. Smart kids are taking over the NBA.