Portland Trail Blazers Preview And Prediction
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
If you’re a Portland Trail Blazers fan, you know which game I’m talking about. The game of the year last Friday, the time that Damian Lillard played the game of his life in a fit of pure, fireballing wrath, the one night where the Blazers destroyed--DESTROYED--what could go down as the best regular season team of all time.
In an effort to censor myself, I’ll not say what is really on my mind right now, and just say that Friday was insane.
The Golden State Warriors were nonchalant, sure. They were extremely careless with the ball, including surrendering a horrendous 13 turnovers in a single quarter (you pretty much have to TRY to be that bad), It was obvious that they really didn’t respect Portland, and thought that they’d show up, do their usual, and win by 20.
Which, to be fair, almost always happens anyway. They have those couple quarters where they just bury teams with their shooting and defense, then send out the end-of-bench guys like they did against the Los Angeles Clippers the night after Golden State played Portland.
I’m not going to try to break it down; I tend not to get very analytical about what I call “unicorn moments.” Last Friday was a unicorn moment, and it should be appreciated for all its awesomeness. Especially since the Blazers won’t ever repeat that feat, even if Lillard goes for 70 instead of 51.
Of equal import, at least in the standings, was the Blazers’ victory over the Utah Jazz Sunday night. They are now solidly in seventh in the West, one game ahead of Houston in eighth, one and a half games ahead of Utah…with the tiebreaker on Utah now. And they get the chance to not only destroy the Rockets again on national television on Thursday, but Portland can also secure the tiebreaker over the Rockets as well with a win.
A more delicious scenario to consider is the position of teams ahead of the Blazers, who are among the hottest teams in the NBA currently. While Memphis is solidly out of reach for now in fifth place (though the injury to Marc Gasol could change that), the Dallas Mavericks are just a half-game in front of the Blazers for sixth place. Being in sixth place means that your favorite team doesn’t have to get steamrolled by the Warriors or San Antonio Spurs in the postseason. Sixth place means you can have a little hope for your team.
I know Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are awesome, but if I had to choose between playing the Oklahoma City Thunder and playing either the best single-season team of this century OR the most successful franchise of this century…well, bring on the Thunder!
I know I’m not the most positive guy on the planet in regards to what the Blazers should or shouldn’t do; I’ve been beating the “Tank Tank Tank!!!” Drum since LaMarcus Aldridge left in free agency last summer.
I’ll try to enjoy this ride, though. And see just how long this will last.
Portland plays the Brooklyn Nets at 7:00 PM on KGW tonight. I’ll watch the game on TV because I rarely get the chance to watch a Blazer game at my home, screw you Comcast, but I refuse to contemplate that sad fountain of sadness that the Nets have become.
(And that game can be heard on the new radio partner of Oregon Sports News, Rip City Radio! #shameless)
My advice to Sean Marks, a former Blazers player who’s now the General Manager of this hipster dung heap?
Load up on the finest alcohol you can afford.
Trail Blazers’ Record: 29-27
Jared’s Picks Record: 30-26
They gained one on me when they beat the Warriors Friday night. We’ll see if this ends up a tie like last year.
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