Top 20 Games This Year
After 6 impressive games from the Portland Trail Blazers who are on top of the Western Conference with a stunning record of 5-1, I've gotten a good feel with this. Although the Blazers are my favorite team, and I never miss a game, they aren't the only team I watch. I've probably seen a game from every team in the West so far, and have got a good feel on how their season can go from here-on out. Yes, it is still early in the season, but, teams are starting to define themselves, and define their season. So, let's look at my top 20 games of the year. Of course, this is from here on out. So the games the Blazers have already played are not going to be on this list. Let's start.
20 - Wednesday, March 7th @Timberwolves
The Blazers have won the last 16 match ups against the Timberwolves. They look to keep that streak alive this season with their first matchup against the new look Wolves. This games got a bit of bad blood in it, after Kevin Love was voted into the All-Star game in 2011 where many believed that Aldridge deserved the spot more (including yours truly). However, Love quickly is showing that he does deserve to be an All-Star, and with the Derrick Williams and Rubio showing some promise, the Wolves don't seem to be a team you can sleep on, especially after defeating both the Spurs and Mavs. Defeating is also an understatement. In reality, they blew them out of the building. This is a team that could beat the Blazers as well if the Blazers sleep on them, making this game be on my top 20 games of the season list. We could see the streak that the Wolves so badly want to end finally come to that end, or it will grow even larger. You know the wolves will come out hungry, will the Blazers be ready?
19 - Wednesday, January 25th @Warriors
At the start of the season I had the Mark Jackson warriors finally making the playoffs, and they showed some promise early. But, that promise was short lived as Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry have been struggling with injuries. Stephen Curry last night twisted his ankle for the third time this season. However, the season is young, and so is this Warrior team, and this season certainly favors the youthful. They have a chance. But, the reason this game makes the top 20 list is because the Blazers have always struggled in Golden State. The only victory I remember in Golden State in recent memory was the Blazers getting blown out again, but Brandon Roy did what he did so well, and that was carry the Blazers to a rare victory. Now that the Blazers are possible Championship contenders, it's time to end this little game, and finally win a game in Golden State without the Natural.
18 - Wednesday, January 18th @Hawks
The ever so inconsistent Hawks, who started the season as one of the last remaining undefeated teams, and then giving up late leads and losing to Miami and Chicago show some promise, but again, they are the Hawks. Jamal Crawford makes his return to Atlanta, where the Blazers have been swept the past 2 seasons going 0-4 against Atlanta in those seasons. Fact of the matter is, it's time to end yet another little game. If Portland is to be a championship team, they need to show it against teams that always give them trouble. Hawks are one of them. It'll be a good game, probably an ugly one, but it'll be an interesting one. One that Blazer fans will want a victory out of.
17 - Tuesday, January 10 vs Clippers
Portland, right now, is 5-1. That one loss came against these Clippers. After playing horrible basketball for 3 quarters, and using the bench power of Batum and Crawford, the Blazers had a chance to win late. But a miracle 3 by Chris Paul led a Clipper rally to raise their lead to 9. Blazers storm back, but a few bad calls by the officials, and a few mistakes by the Blazers handed them their first loss of the season. Redemption comes quick as the Clippers visit the Rose Garden in 4 days. People had them ranked higher than the Blazers. I laugh at those people. Time to show them why. We just beat LA, but, well, let's BEAT LA! Oh, and CP3 is quickly becoming one of my most disliked players. I'd love to see him lose in Portland.
16 - Friday, January 13 @ Spurs
It's Friday the 13th, and ever since the Spurs lost guard Manu Ginobli, who is scheduled to be out for 6 to 8 weeks, they have gone undefeated, beating the Mavs and the Warriors at home. They remind me of last years Blazers, winning games they probably shouldn't (okay, they should have beat the Warriors, but shouldn't have beat the Mavs so badly). So, they've got that chip on their shoulder, as people counted them out once they heard Manu was gone. The Blazers came out with fire when Roy went down last season, so you know these Spurs will too. They've got nothing to lose. Plus, it'll be a fun matchup watching LaMarcus and Tim Duncan go against each other, and same with Tony Parker and Raymond Felton.
15 - Saturday, February 4 vs Nuggets
It's hard to see where the Nuggets will end up. I thought John Hollinger was insane when he said 2nd seed. I still think that's pushing it, but it became more believable seeing the Nuggets nearly beat the Lakers twice in two days, sadly blowing their first game on missed FTs and an uncontested layup rimming out. They're young, and bound to have a great regular season, and fall shortly in the playoffs like they did last season. But the Nuggets always give the Blazers a run for their money, and always make an exciting game. It's two teams that have a run and gun mentality, plus LA vs Nene is always a good matchup. I rank this game 15th since it's against a divisional opponent, and I'm starting to gain much respect for the Nuggets now that JR Smith and Carmelo Anthony are out of Denver.
14 - Monday, February 6th vs Thunder
It's getting hard to rank these games, since all seem important to me. but this one is simple. You won in OKC, now you gotta protect your home court from them. The Thunder and Blazers are going to be the two top teams in the West, and will be neck and neck the entire season for that number 1 spot and NW Division title. This is a must win scenario.
13 - Monday, February 20th @ Lakers
We just beat these (insert inappropriate word here), now let's beat them again. Coming in later February, Portland makes their first trip down to the Staples Center to fight the Lakers. There is nothing better than beating the Lakers, not just because they're annoying, arrogant, cocky, overrated, punks, scum, ect. But because their fans are too. Nothing pleases me more than beating the Lakers. As much as the Blazers beat them in the Rose Garden, the Lakers beat the Blazers in Staples. Time to change that.
12 - Tuesday, February 21st vs Spurs
This game is about 6-8 weeks from now, meaning that Manu is likely to be back. I respect the Spurs as a team that can win championships, because they can. So, this will be a test for the Blazers. The Blazers have won 6 of the last 7 matchups in the past 2 seasons against the Spurs. It'd be great to make that 7 of 8. This also comes right after playing the Lakers in LA. If Portland is to win both these games, just imagine how impressive that would be.
11 - Friday, April 13 vs Mavericks
This isn't the first time we play the Mavs, but needless to say, it'll be a big game. Many of us Blazer fans had Portland beating the Mavs, and so did many analysts. I still think that Portland could have beat the Mavs last season in the playoffs, and I think they should have. But with the officials handing FTs to Dirk Nowitzki, and with the Blazers playing below their talents, they eventually fell. Redemption can't come soon enough. But, this game is in April, and it ranks 11th because it's against the Mavs, and it's in April. This win would be huge, especially if the Mavs clean up their act and are actually competing for a playoff position and homecourt advantage.
10 - Friday, March 9 @ Celtics
The Celtics are always a fierce team and, in my opinion, the team that teams should compare to if they want to see if they're elite or not. The 2008 Champion Celtics, to me, look like a real championship team in recent years. It'll be a good test for the Blazers if they can win in Boston. Plus, it's always nice to beat that punk Kevin Garnett and make that dude that looks like a turtle (Paul Pierce) go hide in his shell.
9 - Friday, March 23 @ Lakers
Beat LA, in LA, for hopefully a season sweep of the Lakers. Enough said.
8 - Friday, March 16 @ Bulls
Here's how I see it. There is no way the Bulls are going to beat Miami in the Eastern Conference unless Miami suffers an injury to LeBron and Wade so both are out. People that think it's possible are just thinking more what they want rather than what will actually happen, at least in my opinion. But, since some people have them making the Finals, it makes this a somewhat important game, especially since it's in Chicago. Rose is explosive, quick, and damn impressive. And, since some people think they'll make the finals, if this is Portland's year, it'd be nice to pick up a regular season win against them in their building before possibly meeting in the finals. But, Portland is more likely to make it there than the Bulls.
7 - Thursday, April 26 @ Jazz
Nothing really important about this game, but rather the end result. Will this game matter? Possibly, but the past few years the Blazers haven't needed their final game so they end up just letting the opposing team (who was Golden State twice) just have the victory against some bench warmers, getting to enjoy the off-season on a high note while missing the playoffs. But, by the end of this game, we'll know who the Blazers will face in round 1, and we'll know where the Blazers place in the seeding, and if they win the NW division title. So, there's some importance, I guess. Also, I guess Salt Lake is a pretty hard place to win at for the Blazers. Could be nice to pick up a win there again.
6 - Monday, April 23 @ Spurs
The only importance for this game is, its against the Spurs in the Spurs, and is the last road game against a playoff team in the West. So, it'd be nice to pick it up. It will be a fun game, I hope, unless both teams already know where they stand in the seedings and just want to watch the benchs warm something new, the court. But, it could also be a must-win scenario. And if it is, oh boy it will be a good game.
5 - Wednesday February 29 @ Nuggets
Portland, for whatever reason, plays a good first half, and then a horrible second half and always gets blown out by the Nuggets. It'd be nice to finally pick up a victory there. In what should be a tight NW Division race, the Blazers could really prove to this conference and the division that they're serious with a win in a place they almost have never won in.
4 - Tuesday, March 27 vs Thunder
Nearing the end of the regular season, in an expected close race with the Thunder for the 1st seed and NW division title, this is a must win for the Blazers. Plus, it is my birthday. Last season on this date, I was turning 21. I went to the Blitz lounge in Portland, ordered my first beer, and watched Gerald Wallace stop Durant and drop 40 on the Thunder. But, in the end, it was a loss. Now we're in Portland, now I'm turning 22, and now we're going to win this game. Scary thing is, Blazers have great games around my birthday, but if they have a game on that day, they for some reason lose. But, I'll be there at the Rose Garden cheering them on to beat the Overrated City Thunder.
3 - Monday, February 11 @ Mavericks
This is the first time these two teams play, in Dallas, where the Blazers went 0-5 last season including 3 playoff loses. Times have changed. I smelled blood before that series began, but it must not have been from the Mavs. Now it is. Now it's time for redemption. They're weaker this season, but the Blazers aren't, and they need a win here. For their fans, for their confidence, and because Dallas flat out deserves to be beat by the Red, Black, and White.
2 - Thursday, March 1 vs Heat
There's a reason this is the 2nd game on my top 20 list. If the Blazers are to reach the finals, which they have a good chance of doing this season, this is the team they'd be facing for the Championship. Miami will cruise through the Eastern Conference like they did last season. They'll crush the Bulls, Celtics, Knicks, Hawks, Magic, whoever. They will, whether you like it or not. Plus, after seeing the big 3 have their best game ever (and still to this day) in Portland last season needing an overtime to beat the Blazers (who are better now), this is going to be one hell of a matchup. And, if both teams do make it to the finals, it's going to be one hell of a battle, probably even more entertaining than the Mavs vs the Heat. Heat supposedly fuel off of hostile crowds, and Portland's got the best. Both teams will be playing their best (hopefully), and both will want the win. Expect a big showdown, and expect a close game.
And now.... for the number one game of the year. The one game I am looking forward to, and have been for a very, very long time. This is the game that will go under the radar, but surprise the world, and become one of the great games of all time...
1 - Sometime in 2012, Guild Wars 2
Unless you know me well, I bet you didn't expect that. But yes, it's true. I'm a gamer, but unlike most gamers into basketball, I prefer the MMORPG game. Now before you roll your eyes and facepalm, and think MMORPGs are lame, boring and nerdy, just listen to this. If you don't start liking it, then you can facepalm and roll your eyes.
Being a fan of the original Guild Wars, and having played other MMOs, I have never found one that truly felt like it was a game I could enjoy. I've played RPGs like Skyrim, Morrowind, Oblivion, and had tons of fun, but the "home" feeling still didn't feel there. While playing Guild Wars in 2007, and hearing that they were done making expansions for it and now working on Guild Wars 2, I quickly became excited. Now, for the past 2 years I've been keeping my eye on it, and hearing tons and tons of updates for it. It's a game that has no grind and something you can role play with and just have fun. It's a game for everyone. Unlike other MMORPGs, you don't need to spend hours, days, weeks to do anything. You can just log in and start having fun. Plus it's free to play, you buy the game like you'd buy any other game and can play for life. You don't need to pay a monthly subscription fee. I could sit on here and write about 1000 pages on why you should get this game, but that'd take too long. Fact of the matter is, if you're looking for a fun game that you can play online, this is the game for you. Check it out, tell me if you like it. I'll be looking to make a Blazers guild when the game comes out. It doesn't have a release date yet, but I'm thinking around March to June it should be on the shelves.
Thanks for reading my blogs, hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know your top games that you're looking forward to (preferably NBA related) and what you think of my list in the comments below.
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