The Portland Trail Blazers 2022-2023 season schedule has officially been released. Their season will tip-off on the road as they open up their season by visiting the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, October 19th.
With a full 82-game season, it is common for some games to get lost in the shuffle. However, some games jump out when looking at the calendar. Here are some dates to circle and the deeper meaning behind the game.
Oct. 21 vs. Phoenix
Looking extremely early into the season, October 21st is the first game to take place in the Moda Center for the 2022-2023 season.
The Moda Center is known to possess a great home court advantage with the avid fans that fill the arena on a nightly basis. In a season that was full of adversity and on-the-fly changes, last season was the first time since the 2006-2007 season that the Trail Blazers were below .500 while playing at home.
Their home opener will the true opening moment of a new era for Blazers basketball. With the landscape of the organization seeming to change, new faces, and health restored to the lineup, fans will be welcomed into something new for everyone in attendance.
Nov. 10 vs. New Orleans
On a day that a vast majority of Blazer fans would have loved to ignore for nearly a decade, the day will come when the beloved pairing of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum will lineup up across each other as opponents.
Following the trade that shipped McCollum out of Portland and to New Orleans, Portland committed to the future backcourt pairing of Anfernee Simons and Damian Lillard. In two games versus a Lillard-less Trail Blazers team, McCollum posted 24.0 points and 5.5 assists per game in two wins.
This will be the first time the teammates of nine years face off. With this game taking place in New Orleans, Rip City will have to wait until March 1st, 2023 to see the dynamic guards square off in Portland.
Feb. 8 vs. Golden State
Game 55 will see Portland hosting the defending champions on February, 8th 2023. This will be the first time Golden State makes a stop in the pacific northwest following their championship run in the 2022 season.
Any outing with Damian Lillard and Steph Curry lined up against one another will be captivating itself. After Lillard missed two of the three matchups in 2022, a fully healthy Lillard up against Golden State screams big time. This game will be Portland and Golden State’s second game against one another for the season, the first coming on December 30th in San Fransisco.
Feb. 14 vs. Washington
The final game before Portland heads into the All-Star break comes on Valentine’s Day as they host the Washington Wizards.
Going into the All-Star break last season, Portland was 25-34 and riding a four-game win streak but far from their full form. The second half of the schedule would see them win just two games, losing 21 games by an average of 21.7 points per game.
A year removed from the ship sinking on the 2022 season, it will be interesting to see how much difference just a little over a year will make for the Blazers organization. If healthy and taking full advantage of the weapons added to the roster through free agency and the draft, it is hard to imagine the Blazers’ fate remaining the same.
Apr. 9 vs. Golden State
This one is quite simple, the curtain will close on the Trail Blazers regular season with the hopes of a new chapter starting with a playoff berth.
Last season was the first time the Blazers had missed the playoffs since the 2012-2013 season. Since the turn of the century, Portland has been a mainstay in the NBA Playoffs as they have had a total of 15 postseason appearances, eight straight appearances starting in 2014.
Eager to make a return to the playoffs, Portland is banking on the pieces of their puzzle to take shape and push them back up in the standings of the Western Conference. Last season we saw several teams make their mark and the offseason saw a fair share of teams on the brink make the moves to lobby themselves into position for a playoff spot. Like always, it is not going to be easy to secure that spot but with a healthy roster and a new identity behind the roster, it is not out of reach.