29 March 2010
A couple weeks back Brandon Roy said Portland is aiming for 50 wins.
Some laughed at the notion.
The Blazers could prove to be good marksmen.
After weekend wins on the road at New Orleans and Oklahoma City, what a month ago seemed like an impossible stretch of the imagination could soon become reality as the remaining three weeks of the regular season is finally here. And after everything this team has been through this season, the word “finally” is not a dramatic stretch.
Between blown out knees and some bruised egos along the way, last season’s 54-win total may not be possible but no one is considering this year a failure with the Blazers failing four wins short of that mark – or maybe a few more if it comes to that.
Take the end of January and beginning of February for example: Portland went 3-6 in that stretch, with losses to New Orleans, Utah (twice), Houston, the Los Angeles Lakers, and Oklahoma City.
People were once again calling for Nate McMillan’s head and wondering if actually missing the playoffs wasn’t such a bad idea. True story.
Now look at Portland. McMillan continues to be mentioned for NBA Coach of the Year honors and Portland is tied with San Antonio and the Thunder for 6th out West (missed the prediction on the win total, but may nail the playoff seed if this pans out).
Do I hear 5th?
Think much of the league can agree that Portland looks darn near unbeatable right now. In their last 10 games, the Blazers are 8-2. That matches the same 10-game record of the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and Orlando Magic – four teams priming themselves for a playoff push much like Portland (only the Cleveland Cavaliers boast a better 10-game record at 9-1).
Portland is sitting on 44 wins with a favorable eight games remaining in their regular season. They still face New York, at Denver, at Sacramento, at the Clippers, home for Dallas, at the Lakers, and then end the season at home with Oklahoma City and Golden State.
The Blazers could go 6-2 in that span (falling to the Nuggets and Lakers) which would put them at 50 wins.
Think about that: 50 wins.
In a season where everything else has gone wrong, Roy could actually be right.
Over At SLAM: Wanted to take a quick second and shamelessly plug a feature story I have running over at SLAMonline on the Dallas Mavericks - "Fade To Black".
"There are no bargains in the West. We’re no bargain. Would you want to play us?," a surly Rick Carlisle said after the loss to Portland.
Even still, does this team have the staying power come playoff time? I don't know what to think anymore.
I do know that another loss to Portland and some suspect play of late is really getting to Dallas. That team is not happy right now. Caron Butler left the locker room without talking to the media. And Jason Kidd didn't put a lot of stake in losing three - or maybe even four - games to Portland.
But both run a close second and third to Dirk Nowitzki's shaddy exit from the Rose Garden.
That was a first. May not be a last for him though come April 9.
Enjoy the read.
|< Prev||Next >|