Preview: Wizards vs Blazers

Preview: Wizards vs Blazers
January 21, 2013, 8:30 am
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The Portland Trail Blazers are facing tough times right now being that they are currently riding a season-high, five game losing streak. The good news is that the Washington Wizards, the NBA's worst team, is their opponent tonight and they have had a losing streak of 12, eight and five this season.

The bad news is the Wizards (8-30) defeated the Trail Blazers 84-82 on Nov. 28 in Washington to give them their first win of the season.

It's the NBA,” Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard said. “No game is a given in this league. Everybody can play. You have to be prepared for whatever and stay ready because there is a slim margin for error in this league.”

A little over a week ago, the Trail Blazers (20-20) were five games above .500 and sitting in the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings. Things have changed a tad bit.

They're still in the playoff mix, tied with the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final playoff spot. But, for the second time this season, the Trail Blazers have dropped three straight at home.

The Rose Garden has been a safe haven for this team since the beginning of time. Yet still, Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts isn't quite ready to hit the panic button.

I wouldn't call it frustration, it's challenging,” Stotts said. “But honestly, going into every game is a challenge. Sure it's nice when you win six in a row and have a little cushion in the standings. That's nice, but every game is a challenge. You look at different teams throughout this league so far that have gone through some difficult periods. This is our time and we have to get through it.”

John Wall of the Wizards made his season debut five games ago from a left knee injury. In that span, the Wizards are 3-2 and are 4-2 in their last six contests, playing their best ball of the season.

Although he hasn't started in those five games, Wall is leading the team in scoring and assist – 15.6 points 7.6 assist in 24.6 minutes a game. Just another point guard showdown for Lillard.

Every game is a battle for me,” Lillard said. “There is no night off for me in this league. Every point guard is talented and I have to stay ready. I wouldn't want it any other way.”

Tonight's game will be on 1190 AM/102.3 FM KEX radio and televised on Comcast SportsNet at 7 p.m. followed by a brand new edition of “Talkin' Ball.”