Thursday's NBA Guide: Blazers-Cavs

NBA Guide gives you a daily look at all the games that matter ... and some that don't.

Portland at Cleveland, 8 PM ET, TNT

This game looked a lot more fun 24 hours ago, before LaMarcus Aldridge suffered an concussion that will likely keep him on the bench. LMA is vital for Portland's offense, and the Blazers will miss him greatly. Luckily for us, however, there's another PDXer that will be ready to give LeBron and the Cavs all they want.

Brandon Roy has been a beast this season; because we expected Portland to improve, and because LeBron and Wade have soaked the league in kerosene and sparked sparked sparked, Roy has been a bit ignored. He's the new Joe Johnson, but better. The league's seventh-leading scorer at 23 points/game, with killer shooting (48%, and 38% from three) for a perimeter player. He's a solid rebounder and passer, a tough defender, and by anecdote an immaculate leader. Forget the class of 2006 -- he might be the best player to come into the league since 2006, and the third-best (behind Dwight Howard and Chris Paul) since 2004 ... which happens to be five years ago. And Roy went sixth in his own draft.

Of course, LeBron James went first in his draft, and might (might) end up (might) as the Greatest of All Time. Also, he has good teammates and 30-1 home record. So there's that.

Dallas at Atlanta, 7 PM ET

Atlanta's riding a six-game winning streak, missing Marvin Williams for much of that. Maurice Evans has started 14 games this season, and the Hawks have a stirling 13-1 record in those instances. (Reminder: the Kings have now played 68 games, and have a total of 14 wins. Sacramento misses Mo Evans.)

The Mavericks have dreams and nightmares, sometimes in the same night. Always in the same night, actually.

Golden State at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 PM ET, TNT

Thursday's NBA Guide: Blazers-Cavs originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on Thu, 19 Mar 2009 15:15:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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