Neil Olshey, Portland Trail Blazers Won’t Talk ‘Playoffs, Lottery’
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
In a recent discussion with CSNNW’s Dwight Jaynes (h/t Blazer's Edge), Olshey made it clear that Portland refused to enter this season with an all-in or all-out mindset. “We don’t talk playoffs, lottery,” Olshey said. “With us, [what] we talk about is playing hard every night, competing, developing, growing.”
Olshey went on to discuss the value of a lottery pick, as well as the mindset behind compiling 23-to-27-year-olds—and the fact that no roster will “bottom out” with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in the backcourt. But with approximately half the season behind us, and most recently a 121-103 blowout over a disastrous Los Angeles Lakers squad, the question must be asked: Where are the Blazers in terms of making the playoffs and making the lottery at this point in the process?
Entering games on Monday, Jan. 25, Basketball-Reference.com has the Trail Blazers finishing the season 10th out West after 7,500 simulations of the remaining schedule. The site has Portland finishing with an average of 36.4 wins (the team is currently 20-26, 10th place, 1.5 games out of the eighth seed), ultimately closing out the year behind the No. 9 Utah Jazz and No. 8 Sacramento Kings.
One important thing to note regarding the playoffs-versus-lottery debate is that the Blazers will surrender their draft pick this summer to the Denver Nuggets if they end up outside the lottery. Meaning a likely first-round exit won’t have the caveat of a draft selection immediately outside the always-desired top 14.
While that clearly points to Portland “needing” to take advantage of the situation by “earning” a spot in the lottery, tanking would mean ignoring the fact that the West is down this year. Teams such as the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans have disappointed, and even a Utah Jazz squad with modest postseason hopes have been hindered by injuries through the midway point of the year.
To Olshey’s stance about not picking sides (playoffs versus lottery): It’s an impossible debate to win. If you admit you’re aiming for the playoffs, detractors will point to the eliteness of the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. If the GM declares the team is tanking, you have two problems. Not only do diehard fans knock you for losing on purpose, but you admit failur by still being part of the playoff picture.
There’s no right answer to this debate. No matter how much the guy next to you at the watercooler has to say, there’s no one way to win this battle.
But regardless of how this season ends, Olshey is sticking to his guns that development is the main priority.
Let’s just hope that whether it’s a spot in the lottery or meaningful games in April, the Blazers keep momentum moving forward and avoid falling into dreaded purgatory.
That, of course, is where middling teams refuse to concede to the lottery...while struggling to earn contender status in the Western Conference.
Related Slideshow: 15 Biggest Sports Stories of 2015
Seattle Seahawks Fall in Super Bowl
The New England Patriots battled through a nailbiter of a match to win Super Bowl XLIX, which ended in a physical altercation between several players.
Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to the 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Az. The Seahawks defense intercepted two of quarterback Brady's fully inflated passes, but it would be a New England interception in the final minute of the game that would seal the victory for the Patriots.
The 10 Dumbest Coaching Decisions in NFL History
It's always entertaining when NFL head coaches call what they think is a really good play or a really smart decision and then that decision goes completely wrong. Unless it's your team, then it's terrible.
GoLocalPDX took at look at the 10 dumbest coaching decisions in NFL history.
Alex Morgan is Gone and Portland Thorns Fans are to Blame
The face of U.S. women’s soccer, the cover girl of EA Sports FIFA 16, and one of the most recognizable athletes in all of sports, Alex Morgan, is no longer with the Portland Thorns, and it’s all your fault. Because of your relentless support and record-setting attendance, Portland was able to give in to the request of its most recognizable player, sacrificing star power in favor of gathering more talent and potential to make the Thorns a better team. Much better.
Bring the Arizona Coyotes to Portland
Let’s face it. You are a billionaire and while you don’t like to lose money, you own the Trail Blazers and the Seahawks for the fun of it and the thrill of competition.
You’ve obviously succeeded with the Seahawks (though I still don’t care).
And while your 25-year track record with the Trail Blazers is much more middling, the fact that the Trail Blazers remain in Portland owes much to you. In other words, your sports legacy in Seattle is secure in Seattle and probably intact in Portland, save another “Jail Blazers” stretch.
But if you want to cement your legacy in Portland – and have a blast doing it – bring the Coyotes here.
Oregon’s Football Uniforms No Longer a Joke
It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen solely because, but Oregon’s uniform revolution kick-started a metamorphosis of previously ugly ducklings into a sports nation of flourishing fowl. The Ducks of today are not the Ducks of 20 years ago, and the punchline they were due to the innovative route they chose to take has become the road more travelled for everyone else trying to catch up. They’re winning at an unprecedented rate, generating revenue at an unprecedented level, and attracting attention from prospects from unprecedented regions of the country. It isn’t and accident and it isn’t a joke anymore.
It appears the Ducks are the ones laughing now.
Marcus Mariota Selected #2 Overall to Tennessee
With the number two pick in the 2015 NFL Draft the Tennessee Titans selected Marcus Mariota.
While at Oregon he was the perfect role model. He was never seen doing anything he wasn’t supposed to do. He even made weekly visits to the Boys and Girls Club located in Eugene, Oregon. The only hiccup on his record was when he got a speeding ticket during the season. Yet, he paid it off immediately and accepted that he was in the wrong. This is something that Duck fans desperately needed to see after witnessing Jeremiah Masoli, Cliff Harris and Colt Lyerla not live up to their full potential because of poor decisions made off the field. To many Duck fans this is what made Mariota so special.
Jerome Kersey Passes Away at 52
Trail Blazers great Jerome Kersey died in Portland, Wednesday. He was 52.
A medical examiner's report released found that Kersey suffered a pulmonary thromboembolism when a blood clot from his calf dislodged from his calf and plugged in his lung.
Brandon Roy’s Life After Basketball
Due to a number of knee ailments that dated back to his college days Roy was forced to retire from the NBA at the age of 28. It was later discovered that Roy suffered from degenerative knees, an ongoing issue that would provide additional problems in the future if he were to continue with his NBA career. Roy made the tough decision to call it a career after the 2012-2013 season.
Since his retirement from the NBA Roy has found another way to stay involved with the game that has brought him plenty of success.
Oregon Ducks Football Falls in National Championship Game
The first ever College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy will not be coming back to Oregon.
Kurt Helfrich’s Oregon Ducks could not hold off the gritty offense of Cardale Jones and the Ohio State Buckeyes, dropping 42-20.
Will Marijuana Use Cost the Ducks the National Championship?
Multiple reports surfaced late Friday that freshman Darren Carrington would be ineligible for Monday’s national championship against Ohio State for failing a random drug test, supposedly registering a positive for marijuana.
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview – 3/10
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview – 2/2
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview – 3/16
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview – 3/24
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview – 3/30
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview – 12/1
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview - Nov. 24
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview & Predictions – 11/25
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview & Predictions – 11/17
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview & Predictions – 12/1
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview & Predictions – 12/8
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview - Jan. 12
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview – 3/4
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview – 4/6
- Portland Trail Blazers’ Playoff Heat Check: January Edition
- Portland Trail Blazers’ Frenzied Offseason Has Been Part of the Plan All Along
- Portland Trailblazers Season Update
- Robin Lopez Fractures Hand as Blazers Top Spurs
- Saved by the Bell, Blazers Beat Hornets 102-100
- Portland Trail Blazers’ Aminu to Participate in First NBA Game in Africa
- Portland Trail Blazers-Inspired Adult Beverages That Should Exist In Rip City
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview – Dec. 9
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview – Feb. 2
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview – Feb. 25
- Portland Trail Blazers’ Salary Commitments
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview & Predictions – 10/26
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview & Predictions – 1/5
- Portland Trail Blazers Buyout Sharpshooter Mike Miller
- Portland Trail Blazers 2015-16 Season Predictions: The National Media’s Take
- Portland Trail Blazers EOY Preview & Predictions – 12/18
- Portland Trail Blazers Have More At Stake Christmas Day Than You Think
- Portland Trail Blazers Mason Plumlee Named to Team USA Roster
- PLAYOFFS: Blazers Awful, Embarrassed in Game One
- PLAYERS GRADED: TIMBERWOLVES 90, BLAZERS 82
- No Whining for Trail Blazers Fans
- PLAYER GRADES: It Was Ugly, but Blazers Outlast Pacers
- PLAYER GRADES: The Blazers’ Stunning Comeback in Denver
- PLAYERS GRADED: BLAZERS 98, PISTONS 86
- Portland Trail Blazers Need A Consistent Third Scoring Option
- Portland Trail Blazers Need to Keep Losing
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview & Predictions – 1/14
- Portland Trail Blazers Week Preview & Predictions – 1/19
- Portland Trail Blazers Roster Breakdown: Phil Pressey
- Portland Trail Blazers Roster Breakdown: Gerald Henderson
- Portland Trail Blazers Pre-Draft Update
- Portland Trail Blazers Promote Jim Moran to Assistant Coach
- Portland Trail Blazers Roster Breakdown - Al-Farouq Amin
- Portland Trail Blazers Roster Breakdown – Maurice Harkless
- Should The Trail Blazers Retire Brandon Roy’s Number?
- Should We Worry About LaMarcus Aldridge Leaving the Blazers?
- Wesley Matthews and Blazers Bounce Back vs. Spurs
- WATCH: DeAndre Jordan’s Epic Choke Saves the Blazers
- What Merits a Retired Number For the Portland Trail Blazers?
- What The Portland Trail Blazers Can Learn From The NBA Finals
- What’s Next for the Portland Trail Blazers
- WATCH: Botched Call Burns Blazers
- Trailblazers Lose Dorell Wright For 4-6 Weeks
- Trail Blazers Roundtable: Impact, Injuries, Predictions, and Paychecks
- Trail Blazers vs. Lakers: Why Friday’s Game is So Important
- Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard Releases New Rap Song
- Trail Blazers’ Success Can Only Be Gauged by the Playoffs
- Which Young Bench Player For The Portland Trail Blazers Will Step Up?
- Who Blazers Fans Should Root For in the Rest of the Playoffs
- Why The Trail Blazers Should Retire Jerome Kersey’s Number 25
- Why the Jury is Still Out on the Blazers’ Playoff Performance
- Will the Blazers Win the Northwest Division?
- Will The Portland Trail Blazers Have a ‘Top Ten Defense’ This Season?
- With Two Unlikely Contributions, Blazers Salvage Weekend
- Why The Blazers Shouldn’t Be Counted Out
- Why The Blazers Should Offer Jimmy Butler a Max Deal
- Who Must Step Up For The Blazers Next Season
- Who The Blazers Will Meet in the Playoffs
- Who Will Be the Next Portland Trail Blazers Villain?
- Why Blazers Fans Should Think Positively
- Trail Blazers Preview: Three Upcoming Games
- Trail Blazers Power Forward Meyers Leonard Gets Hitched
- The Blazers’ Most Important Win of the Season
- The Blazers’ Epic Fourth Quarter Comeback
- The Last 48 Hours Of Being A Blazers Fan
- The Portland Trail Blazers Begin Summer League Play This Weekend
- The Trail Blazers Make A Series Of Trades On Draft Night
- The Blazers Acquire Moe Harkless From The Magic
- The Best and Worst Drafts in Trail Blazers History
- Six Things We Saw: Blazers 106, Thunder 89
- So Far, Odds Makers Not Betting On Trail Blazers
- Spotted in Portland: Elizabeth Banks at Blazers Game
- Synergy Over Seeding For The Trail Blazers Down the Home Stretch
- The Trail Blazers Set Their Sights On 2 Players
- The Trail Blazers’ Lost Weekend
- Trail Blazers C.J. McCollum Predicted to be Most Improved of 2015-16
- Trail Blazers Bulk Up Frontline By Signing Ed Davis
- Trail Blazers Confirm Allen Crabbe’s Spot on Roster
- Trail Blazers Great Jerome Kersey Dies at 52
- Trail Blazers Mid-season Review
- TONIGHT: Much at Stake in Blazers vs Rockets
- Tonight’s Blazers-Nets Game Postponed Due to Weather
- The Trail Blazers’ Offseason Plans