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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blazers playoff drama: chickenpox and other news

The Blazers play their last game of the regular season tonight -- a meaningless tilt against Golden State down in Oakland. One hopes the coaching staff would give the key players the night off and play the scrubs.

Meanwhile, the Portland squad doesn't know whom it's playing in the playoffs, which begin this weekend. It could be Dallas, the Lakers, or Oklahoma City. A lot of folks are saying that Dallas would be the easiest opponent for the Blazers to beat in a playoff series, but I don't know, Portland could give the Lakers fits in the first round. Particularly since one of the Lakers, former Blazer Steve Blake, has just come down with chickenpox, a highly contagious disease for which several of the other Laker players are neither vaccinated nor immune. If there's an outbreak of the virus on the team, the L.A. purple-shirts could find themselves short-handed. One of their bigs, Andrew Bynum, has got a gimpy knee, which took him out of the game last night against the Spurs. Laker thug Matt Barnes is also complaining about knee issues.

Anyway, the fans at Blazers Edge have the scenarios down. All will be resolved tonight:

OKC Will Be Portland's Opponent If...

* Dallas loses [hosting New Orleans], OKC wins [hosting Milwaukee] no matter what L.A. does.

L.A. Will Be Portland's Opponent If...

* Dallas wins and L.A. loses [in Sacramento] no matter what OKC does.

Dallas Will Be Portland's Opponent If...

* All three teams lose [or win]

So...Questions to ask yourself:

1. Did Dallas win? If so, Portland will face Dallas if L.A. also won, L.A. if L.A. lost.

2. Did Dallas lose? If so, Portland will face OKC if OKC wins, Dallas if OKC loses.

The Blazers haven't won a playoff series in my daughter's lifetime. She'll be 11 in the fall.

Comments (8)

I would prefer to see the Blazers play: (from most prefer to least):

1. Dallas
2. Lakers
3. OKC

Dallas doesn't really scare me at the moment. The Lakers are always dangerous with Kobe, Pau, and Phil as coach, simply because they've been there so many times and know what they're doing. Losing Bynum would hurt the Lakers more for a matchup with OKC than with the Blazers. OKC scares me w/ the addition of Perkins. I think they'll win it all this year.

OKC is a force to be reckoned with, and I don't want the Blazers to face them in the first round. I'm not sure about them getting too far just yet, however. They lack maturity.

OKC has been blessed with nearly instant gratification, rare in an expansion/transition market. I feel for old Sonics fans who invested emotional energy over the years. Imagine the Seattle-Portland rivalry we'd have today... shame.

I think we want OKC ahead of anyone else because they are a less seasoned team. They are a more talented team than Portland, but due to their relative inexperience they tend to have long stretches where they have trouble scoring. It would be a tough series, but I think Portland would have at least a 50% chance of pulling it off if they shoot well, play to disciplined basketball (i.e. minimal turn-overs) and everyone stays healthy.

Dallas has Dirk. When Dirk is healthy he's a force to contend with, and I'm not sure we will have an answer for him in a playoff series. The refs will favor him if we try to muscle him with Camby, etc., and I don't see Lamarcus handling him very well in a multi-game playoff situation.

LA has Kobe. Kobe is a hardcore competitor, and when it comes to the playoffs he's an entirely different animal who has a freakish super-human ability to close out games with impossible circus shots several feet beyond the 3 point arc and so forth. Kobe's role players are a gang of nasty thugs and I don't see the Blazers (Gerald Wallace excepted) standing up to them over the course of a multi-game series.

A playoff strategy based on a contagious, communicable disease? Cut me a slice of that!

Ask yourself who ABC/ESPN/TNT want in the finals and work your way back from there as to who to avoid. Remember, this is the NBA.

Ask yourself who ABC/ESPN/TNT want in the finals and work your way back from there as to who to avoid. Remember, this is the NBA.

Without question they want Lakers vs. Heat. I want OKC vs. Heat.

Facing the Lakers in the first round would be the worst possible scenario for the Blazers. This is a best of 7 series--not an isolated game. The Lakers know how to win in the playoffs.

Bring on Dallas! (Please.)

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