This is EXACTLY the reason that they acquired Arron Afflalo from the Denver Nuggets.
Not only did the trade give Afflalo a place to play for a title this year or in the near future, it actually helped save the Blazers chances — whatever they have — of winning the title here and now.
There’s no hiding that Matthews was a big key to the team’s recent success. In fact, aside from LaMarcus Aldridge (who for some reason is still playing out of his mind), Matthews has been able to step up where — at least recently — Damian Lillard hasn’t.
While Lillard did promise everyone that he would play the second half of the NBA season ticked off beyond belief — due to his original All-Star snub that turned into an invite following several injureis — but we’ve yet to see him go all out on the floor just yet.
But that’s what the playoffs are for.
You’ve been warned, Western Conference.