Portland Trail Blazers Defense: Is It the Key Factor This Early in the Season

Jason HarrelContributor IIIDecember 29, 2011

Defense is working in the Blazers favor
Defense is working in the Blazers favorJonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers are 2-0 thus far in the season, but is this a team that is finding ways to work around their early setbacks?  

How did the Blazers, who seemed to run out of gas after just the first game Monday night, get back on track to come from a deficit to beat the Sacramento Kings in front of a sold-out rambunctious crowd Tuesday night leading to a 101-79 victory? 

Can we be looking at a team that has found their mojo with one another to find ways to win? The only answer I have to this is: 


Portland just took advantage of the young, talented team out of Sacramento as the second half got under way. The Blazers were able to do some great things, such as holding Sacramento to 23.7 percent field-goal shooting and 33 points, caused 10 turnovers and took the ball away five times and denied seven shots.  

There is still a lot of optimism about the boys in Portland. I have had people who have followed this team through the many down years and the few up years the team has had. They tell me that it is something great, but the ultimate goal is to make it past the first round of the playoffs. Which the Blazers have been known for flopping early in back-to-back playoff appearances. 

This might be a lot for a team that is playing their third game in four days tonight at the Rose Garden. But the Blazers possess a veteran-packed lineup with players who know how to play ball. We all saw the difference Tuesday against the Kings, but we certainly have a lot more to look for from our veterans. 

All together it was a good come-from-behind win for the Blazers on Tuesday, but we have a lot more ahead of us. A lot more of hurdles for this team that is known for slowing down in the third quarter and sometimes even relinquishing the lead, or just overall giving up towards the final minutes.  

The team does not have their All-Star Brand Roy to help them, but they do have their power forward LaMarcus Aldridge back in their grasps, and he has been finding his shot like it never left him.  

Time will only tell what is to come the way of the boys in the Northwest.