The Blazers Are The New Nuggets; Kevin Love Breaks His Hand

10.18.12 7 years ago
Watching the Trail Blazers beat the Nuggets in last night’s preseason action, we could see a lot of similarities between this year’s Portland squad and last year’s Denver squad. The Blazers will be led by a quick and fearless point guard (Damian Lillard), they will feature a raw 7-foot prospect overflowing with potential (Meyers Leonard), and those two are flanked by a small army of bouncy athletes and grinders who will play D and run the floor. The Blazers also have something the Nuggets don’t have, and that’s a certified All-Star big man named LaMarcus Aldridge. Not to mention, Portland could have the same something-to-prove chip on their shoulder that Denver had last year, being in their first full season of rebuilding after cutting ties with a former franchise cornerstone (Greg Oden). Long story short, don’t be surprised if the 2012-13 Blazers follow the script of the ’11-12 Nuggets and become the scrappy, exciting team that may not have a huge superstar but will scare the hell out of their first-round playoff opponent … Aldridge had 14 points last night, Wesley Matthews scored 19, and Leonard added six points and a couple blocks off the bench. Leonard had the play of the game when he caught an alley-oop with one hand, took some contact from Wilson Chandler in mid-air and still spiked it. The kid is built like Triple H and he has hops — so why wasn’t he terrorizing all of college basketball at Illinois? It’ll be up to the Blazers’ coaches to unleash whatever beast might be inside of him … Line of the night from one of Portland’s announcers: “They wanted to make Anthony Carter a coach, because he’s older than most coaches.” … Coby Karl (11 pts, 5 asts) had a solid game for the Blazers against his dad’s team. If you’re George Karl, do you feel like a bad parent if you’re doing your job and trying to exploit your son’s weaknesses? … Nobody told Kenneth Faried it’s only preseason. His 17 points and 11 boards were all a result of just going harder than everybody else … Another team that might follow the Denver blueprint? The Raptors. They’ve got the point guard (Kyle Lowry) and the potentially amazing center (Jonas Valanciunas), and Andrea Bargnani is just a bigger, better version of Danilo Gallinari. Are they a playoff team in the East? They looked good enough last night. Lowry had 14 points, six dimes and three steals in a win over the Wizards, and Valanciunas had one play where he pump-faked Emeka Okafor back to UConn before throwing down maybe the hardest dunk Canada has seen since Vince … Washington had a chance to tie the game on their last possession, and gave the green light to rookie Brad Beal (11 pts). He got a decent look at a three-pointer, but Dominic McGuire blocked it … Keep reading to hear about Kevin Love’s latest setback …

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