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Win or Lose,Trail Blazers Have Successfully Combined Sports & Entertainment

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

 

Steph Curry

Let’s get one thing out of the way, Rip City. It’s okay to be frustrated. 

Following Monday’s 132-125 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors, it’s natural to view the glass as half empty (or maybe three-quarters empty considering that’s the portion of games the Portland Trail Blazers have dropped in this series). Multiple times now you’ve watched Portland squander double-digit leads against the defending champions. In Game 4, you witnessed a supposedly rusty Stephen Curry come off the bench and use your home court as the stage for one of the most memorable postseason performances the league has ever seen.

But there’s something to remember. There’s something that epitomizes why we watch sports. 

This series, regardless of how much longer it lasts, has been beyond entertaining. 

Don’t get me wrong; this is not a “we’re happy to be here” statement. If the Blazers are in the postseason, they should be competitive. But in the NBA, sports and entertainment can become mutually exclusive when times get tough. 

Remember last year’s playoff matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies? That series was excruciating to watch, not just because the best-of-seven was never in question but because the style of play and offensive struggles gave Blazers fans little to cheer about. 

The same sentiment applies to the second-round faceoff against the San Antonio Spurs the year prior. 

Portland finds itself in a 3-1 hole against the Warriors, and that’s a bummer. But it would be unfair to say it’s no fun. This series has been fast-paced and high-scoring—or in other words: It’s been the exact opposite of the Toronto Raptors-Miami Heat showdown we’re currently being forced to watch out East.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are showing the NBA they’re near the top of the rankings in terms of the league’s best backcourts. Despite their inefficiencies, they’ve been the best tandem not on the Warriors to successfully combine productive play with the basic concept of putting on one helluva show.

The continued emergence of players such as Moe Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu have been fun to watch as well.

And yes, Curry going full Curry by scoring a record-setting 17 points in overtime helps add to the entertainment value.

Just because you’re not going to go buy yourself a Curry jersey, and just because the Blazers’ inevitable elimination is on the horizon, doesn’t mean you can’t sit back and enjoy what you’re seeing. Portland’s 3-1 series deficit couldn’t be further from the 3-1 hole the Houston Rockets dug themselves in the first round in terms of overall competition.

The final scores in the Blazers’ losses don’t look great, but this team has actually played well through the first four games.

Portland’s season is by all accounts almost over, so sit back and enjoy the fact that Rip City is a team worth cheering for—even on the brink of elimination.

 

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