Portland Trail Blazers Vs. Indiana Pacers March 13 Game Preview: A Fan’s Outlook

The Portland Trail Blazers are on the road to play the Indiana Pacers Tuesday night (March 13). The Blazers are on a nice one-game winning streak after beating the Washington Wizards on Saturday (March 10) and it would really help the chase for a postseason berth if the team could win against the Pacers as well.

The Western Conference standings have become very tight, but the Blazers have slipped into a tie for the No. 10 spot with the Utah Jazz. Just one and a half games behind the Houston Rockets for the No. 8 spot, it's time for the Blazers to put together a nice winning streak and show some seriousness about making it to the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

At 20-21 on the season, the Blazers still have 25 games left in March and April to make an impact on the playoff seedings, but the team has got to start stringing together wins right away. The win over a terrible Wizards team is a good start, but now it's time to prove that the team can also do it against a 23-16 Pacers team as well.

Leading the Pacers are five players averaging in double-figures scoring and two more than can go for double-digits on any given night. The balances attack has suited the team very well this season, despite a recent four-game losing streak that has taken them down a peg. Danny Granger is the biggest weapon on offense, averaging 18.1 points per game. Roy Hibbert is a beast in the middle, averaging 12.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.

Eliminating just one of the weapons for the Pacers won't lead to a win on Tuesday night (March 13) and the Blazers have to work hard at simply playing good team defense. The effort has to stay strong or this game could turn very ugly in the first quarter alone. The Blazers certainly have the talent to keep up on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court, but it will take good games from Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton to carry the starting unit as well as a great game from Jamal Crawford off the bench.

Game time is 4 p.m. PT for the Pacers vs. Blazers game and getting out to a good lead could really help the team on this road trip. The Blazers have to turn right around and play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night (March 14), so a good effort against the Pacers could allow for some rest.

Failure is not an option in this game, because a loss might become the last clue that the front office needs to start breaking up the roster before the March 15 NBA trade deadline.

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*Ryan is a Northwest bred sports fan that has been a Portland Trail Blazers fan for years. He has high hopes that the Blazers can make it to the Western Conference Playoffs again this year.

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Updated Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012