With half of the Circus Trip behind them, the 41-29 Brooklyn Nets kick off their final four games in the eight-game, 17-day road trip in Portland against the 33-37 Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers are 2.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, and are back home after a five-game road trip of their own.

Joining us to delve into just what comprises this Trail Blazers team is USA TODAY Sports NBA writer Sean Highkin, formerly of Portland Roundball Society and Hardwood Paroxysm.

And as always: The BK Game Streak is up above. Make yer picks, 'n' good luck.


Devin: Pick one: Damian Lillard's last month or Deron Williams's last month.

Highkin:... MORE →


The 41-29 Brooklyn Nets take on the 33-37 Portland Trail Blazers in Portland to kick off the second half of their Circus Trip, and along with a chance to guarantee a season over .500 for the first time since 2005-06, you know what that means: another chance to play The BK Game Streak to win a $200 Amazon Gift Card!

The game is as simple as it sounds:
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Gerald Wallace Brooklyn Nets

Gerald Wallace

Chat it up in tonight's game thread!

The Brooklyn Nets (7-4) face the Portland Trail Blazers (6-6) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn today. Here's the deal on this afternoon.

Remember: you can grade the players at any time.
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Damian Lillard, Toney Douglas

(AP/Don Ryan)

Writing at New York Times's Off the Dribble blog, Benjamin Hoffman notes that the Brooklyn Nets will have a look at what might have been today against the Portland Trail Blazers: at last year's deadline, the Nets traded their first-round pick (top-3 protected), along with Shawne Williams and Mehmet Okur, for Gerald Wallace. The pick, which became the sixth overall pick, turned into point guard Damian Lillard -- an early frontrunner along with #1 overall pick Anthony Davis for rookie of the year.

Hoffman said of Lillard, who leads all rookies with averages of 20.2 points and 6 assists, that "it would be hard for Portland to ask for more," and though Lillard and Williams play the same position, he'd easily have been an enticing player.

Indeed, Lillard represents part of a long-term vision that the Nets eschewed in favor of a win-now mode: they've traded each of their first round picks since drafting Brook Lopez in 2008, always for veterans. Though it's impossible to alter the past, an interesting what-if is to imagine a long-term core of, say, Lillard-Derrick Favors-Brook Lopez.

Either way, I still feel the Nets made the right move.

Read more: New York Times Off The Dribble -- A Point Guard for the Nets to Ponder