Blazers week ahead 2/25




Game of the Week

Wednesday: Nuggets at Blazers, 7:30 p.m. at Rose Garden (CSN)

Key matchup: Once a back-and-forth affair, now the Nicolas Batum and Danilo Gallinari clash of the small forwards has favored one side. Batum’s side. The Feb. 2, 2012 game serves as the tipping point, and ever since then Batum has outscored Gallinari in their last three meetings. Also as Batum has added more to his game this season, he has simply outplayed Gallinari — pulling down more rebounds and handing out more assists in their two 2012-13 regular-season meetings.

Key stat: The Nuggets are only 12-19 outside of Denver.

To win: This game falls perfectly within Wesley Matthews’ five three-game win streak formula. One, because the Blazers will have enough rest before facing the Nuggets. And two, because Denver, as previously mentioned, is not the most intimidating road team. Though it was a loss, the Blazers returned from Los Angeles with a blueprint of how they should to play the rest of the year. So against the Nuggets, they’ll need to push the tempo like they did against the Lakers. Another 90-plus shot attempts would be key.

By the Numbers

9 — The number of Blazers who wear single-digit numbers on their jerseys. The addition of Eric Maynor, who chose No. 6, nearly completes the roster of small numbers. The Blazers have every single digit covered except No. 7.

6 — The number of teams to have held the draft rights of Greek player Georgios Printezis. Up until the Thursday trade deadline, Printezis, who has never played a game in the NBA, belonged to Portland. However, the Blazers acquired Maynor by trading Printezis away to Oklahoma City.

1,000 — The scoring milestone Damian Lillard reached on Friday night in Los Angeles. Lillard became the first Blazer rookie to score 1,000 points in his debut season since Arvydas Sabonis in 1995-1996.