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Saturday, January 5, 2008

The juggernaut continues

Now the Blazers are winning against a good team even without the services of Brandon Roy. They are certainly playing with confidence these days. Cool.

Comments (7)

The Blazers, the third-youngest team in NBA history, win 13 games in a row and 16 of 17, many of them against quality teams . . . I think the word I'm looking for is "giddy."

Don't get me wrong, I'm as die-hard as the best Blazer fan. Heck, I used to even be an employee.

I'm excited. But I'm tempering that excitement. Let's look at a list of teams we have not played since the current win-streakiness has occurred:
San Antonio

This year, we'll make the playoffs and probably lose in the first round by taking that opponent to the final game of that series.

But just think how much better and versatile the team will be next year with Oden anchoring the middle and a group of young but now somewhat experienced players surrounding him around the perimeter.

Ahh, a boy can dream....

To address Hilsy's point about teams they haven't beaten, I'll point out that Portland beat Detroit and Dallas earlier this year... before they gelled and learned to play together with confidence. Two things veteran squads like the Pistons and Mavs have had in spades.

New Orleans beat the Suns last night... Portland has beaten N.O. twice already. Notice how good Denver is playing? We've beaten them twice. Utah? Three times. Toronto? Once. Chicago? Check. Golden State? Yup. And then there's the Dallas and Detroit wins...

You can't discount this great body of work to this point in the season, against playoff teams no less. I don't know many people who think Portland at this stage is Spurs-quality, but they've vaulted to 5th-7th best team status by beating teams below that threshold. And don't be surprised if Portland matches up well against the Lakers and Phoenix to steal some of those upcoming games.

This is one of the biggest stories in the NBA this decade. Considering the odds going in with this roster, it almost seems ripped from a Mike Rich screenplay. We'll see how the season plays out. No matter what, I'm really proud of what they've done and become this year. What a ride.

If they survive the return of Darius, anything might happen.

It's important that the team - if it makes the playoffs - wins its Division. Otherwise, they are likely to end up the 7th or 8th seed with a tough first-round matchup. If they played in other Divisions, Portland's record currently lands it 3rd in the Pacific and 4th in the Southwest.

It's truly impressive the Blazers won last night without the guy who not only is their best player, but may well turn out to be the best player in Blazer history.

But luck had a lot to do with the streak, as it does with all streaks. Pretty lucky shot to win that first game in Memphis. A lot of other lucky breaks along the way. Last night, the Blazers broke the game open in the third quarter by making jump shots--Webster's run in the 3rd and then Outlaw in the 4th. They didn't have much of an inside game.

The odds will catch up eventually and the Blazers will lose a few close games and probably end up just over .500. Though they may end up a little higher if they can continue to play with such intensity.

Martell has the softest shot since Duck.

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