The Los Angeles Clippers struggled to walk away with a 98-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers March 20, 2012. The match-ups this season shouldn't be as close. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Clippers Vs the Northwest Division: Portland Trail Blazers

There are quite a few bad teams in the NBA. To list all of them would be cumbersome, but to list the worst team in the Western Conference is easy: the Portland Trail Blazers.

Portland went from a very promising franchise in the 2010-11 season with talent such as LaMarcus Aldridge, Gerald Wallace, Marcus Camby, Brandon Roy, Nicolas Batum, Rudy Fernandez, Wesley Matthews, Armon Johnson and Andre Miller, to a franchise everyone was trying to get away from.

The destruction of the Blazers could have started when the 2007 No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden only played 82 games in five seasons. If the center’s injuries weren’t enough, Roy — an explosive player many thought was a top 20 player in the league — retired early because his knees couldn’t hack NBA game play anymore.

The Blazers tried to hang on to their promise by singing Jamal Crawford, but the amount of bad trades and players leaving because of free agency were just too much for the foundation to stay strong. Portland finished 28-38 for fourth in the Northwest Division and was only seven games above the last place team in the west — the New Orleans Hornets. This season, the Trail Blazers will be at the bottom of the basement.

Aldridge, Matthews and Batum are still on the team but they’re surrounded by unproven players, whether it’s rookies projected to start in Myers Leonard and Damian Lillard or guys who just haven’t gotten it done in the past — J.J. Hickson, Jared Jeffries, Ronnie Price or Sasha Pavlovic.

Honestly, this roster is one of the worst rosters I’ve seen in recent history and should land the Trail Blazers at the bottom of the Northwest Division.

I’m sure the Los Angeles Clippers would love to put them there.

Above, I listed Aldridge, Johnson and Batum as talented players, and they all are. However, Aldridge is an All-Star caliber player while the other two talents are simply starter worthy. Aldridge is definitely a top seven power forward and could probably find himself in the top five somewhere.

There is no doubt in my mind the Clippers’ Blake Griffin is a top five power forward right now.

LaMarcus Aldridge is a beast on both sides of the court. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

With that said, in a match up between the Clippers and the Blazers, Griffin and Aldridge would wipe each other. Twenty points and 10 rebounds a night can easily be linked with both players and both will help their teams in other similar ways such as help defense and running the floor.

Then the Blazers fail to be placed alongside the Clippers in any conversation.

Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in the league and is a top five player in ESPN’s top 500 list. Well, at least I haven’t seen his name on the list yet. Lillard was a solid college player, but a green Weber State guy can’t stand up to a year-in and year-out NBA All-Star such as Paul.

Chauncey Billups is a great shooter and a major force defensively. If he comes back healthy, which I’ve read he is, Matthews has to come with his A-game when playing the Clippers.

Batum is a better shooter than Caron Butler, but Butler does everything else better such as score in the interior, rebound, defend and make the extra pass.

As an Illinois citizen, I heard a lot about Leonard’s game before he even played a college game at the University of Illinois. After watching him, I feel he could be a capable center, but I’d still put DeAndre Jordan’s physical attributes he uses on defensive above Myers offensive low-post game.

This is simple: the bench isn’t even close. LA’s Grant Hill, Lamar Odom and Jamal Crawford — who smartly signed with the Clips — are leaps and bounds better than the Blazers.

Hopefully, I’m wrong and the Blazers are not the worst team in the league, but I know I’m right about the Clippers being able to defeat Portland. Aldridge can only do so much, while the Clippers have a full team of more than capable players.

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers NBA Portland Trail Blazers

  • Kochocinco808

    I must say while reading this obviously one sided article, a few things jumped out immediately at me. Your spelling and grammar errors quickly negate any ounce of intelligence you claim to posses. Since your clear ignorance & lack of skills with the English language will prevent you from finding them, let me quickly point them out to you;

    Paragraph four: but the amount of bad trades and players leaving because of free agency were just to much for the foundation to stay strong.
    -TOO is the correct word use in that case, learned that in elementary…just saying

    ALSO in paragraph four: This season, the Trail Blazers will at the bottom of the basement.
    -Missing a word? Didn’t catch it? YOU NEED A “BE” in-between “WILL” and “AT”

    Paragraph 10: With that said, in a match up between the Clippers and the Blazzers,
    -Now I won’t reap so harshly on you because you spell BLAZERS correctly every other time in this piece so I’m assuming you know you added an extra “Z” in there.

    With that being said, I’m not here to correct your errors like a middle school teacher. Let’s focus more so on your “basketball knowledge” or lack there of it. You do present some valid arguments scattered amongst the slander and wishful thinking, but your so quick to throw Portland under the bus its astonishing.

    I understand and recognize that the Los Angeles Clippers have had a repetitive history for failure and agony, but to harshly accuse the entire Rip City family of taking over your role in the Western Conference for next year, is a bit premature. It must be hard that your fan support isn’t remotely CLOSE to what Portland receives, let alone not even being the most adored NBA team in your own city. Your Staples Center will never sell out and bring an atmosphere comparable to that of the Rose Garden. So I will take pity for that but recognize when your squad rolls into the Rose City, it will be anything but pleasant or successful.

    You claim that Caron Butler can rebound better, and is also a better defender than Nicholas Batum? Well in no scenario will he ever be a better defender than Batum, he has been a proven, solid defender year in and year out since in this league. Let’s throw some facts your way, for your team last year, Butler averaged a mere 3.7 rebounds per game compared to Batum’s 4.6 per game. So, wrong again my friend.

    Take shots at Greg Oden, we don’t like him and are glad that sand bagger is gone anyways. Huge fan of Jamal Crawford so hat’s off to him & wish him the best of luck with the remainder of his career. Brandon Roy, low blow man. But to pronounce Chauncey Billups as a dominant force? I think not, hes entering his 17th year in the league and averaged 1.90 turnovers last year in a Clippers jersey. (2.08 turnovers for his career) You claim his shot is astounding and better than many on Portland’s roster. With a .364 shooting percentage last year in Los Angeles I find that hard to believe. I just wish him the best of health this upcoming season and don’t expect much productivity other than that.

    Take a first glance at our roster, and it may not have as many old, washed up, and over rated names on it as compared to yours, but NEVER count out a team from the Rose City. The Blazers are a family, band of brothers if I may, and have the chemistry to prove doubters, much like you, wrong. So write all you want, bash Portland more if you chose. It will only add fuel to the fire that is already Blazing high in the city of Portland.

    This is why we play the game, it’s not who has the most eye appealing roster at the beginning of the season. It’s not what’s written on paper. It’s about the heart and desire in the athletes that take the court daily. The way the team handles themselves, works together, and combines as one. Teamwork. By the sounds of it, your team could take a page from the Blazers book, or read the whole chapter in regards to that.

    Tweet me if you feel otherwise: Kochocinco808
    I stand by my words and by my team. For life, so don’t dare put on a purple & gold jersey once your team goes under .500 for the year. Heck, I wouldn’t hate yah if you flip flopped to the Red & Black though. I know how fans in L.A. are.
    (P.S.- not trying to hate on the Clipps, the Lakers are a WAY different story)


    • Blazer4Life

      He’s right and he’s still letting you get away with ranking Griffin above LaMarcus Aldridge.

      • brandonlachance

        Aldridge is a great player and the savior in Portland. Their numbers are basically the same. Aldridge has a better jumper while Griffin is a better rebounder and shot blocker. Again, apples and oranges.

    • J8mesb

      I agree with you, but “posses” in your 2nd sentence criticizing someone’s spelling prowess?

  • brandonlachance

    Thanks for the comments and the editing. It’s hard to catch everything when I’m looking at a million words a day, so again, thank you for helping a brother out.

    Now to the basketball.

    Kochocinco, your statements about this article not having basketball knowledge is kind of funny since everything you say is based on opinion, not concrete facts or even stats. Guess what, this is a blog, it’s my opinion. However, I am glad you don’t agree.

    In my opinion Caron Butler is a better player than Batum is right now. I actually like Batum and had him on a fantasy basketball team last year. But he is still rough around the edges, where Butler’s skilled are polished. Statistical wise, they have the same defensive numbers…it’s apples and oranges my friend.

    I didn’t take shots at Roy or Oden, just stated the facts. Oden never played and Roy retired early because of his knees. Common knowledge.

    Thanks again for the comment, can’t wait til the Clippers play the Blazers.