Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Playoff Talk & More

So here it is, our last game of the season. And it’s for home court in the playoffs. Let’s take a moment to reflect. Do you remember the beginning of the season when we were unsure if we were going to even make the playoffs? We almost completely wrote off the fact that we would even stand a chance at getting out of the first round. Now we are on the verge of securing home court advantage with a strong possibility that we get out of the first round? And what’s more, one of our “Big 3” is so far from his true potential that he comes off the bench! This team and it’s future is scary good. Like, if things stay on track, like 3-peat good. Our two best players are only in their 3rd years in the league. We have 3 rookies that play significant minutes for us. And have a great set of role players. I get chills just thinking about it.

Moving forward, I thought I would take a quick sec to give you a breakdown for tomorrow night’s game and it’s implications. It’s kind of confusing so stay with me. Denver is currently 1 game ahead of Houston in the standings. Houston plays the Mavericks at Dallas tomorrow night at 5pm west coast. The Blazers tip off at 730. IF Houston loses to Dallas, then the Nuggets can punt tomorrow night’s game versus the Blazers to rest their starters. If Houston wins, then Denver will need the win to secure the 2nd seed in the playoffs. My guess is that no matter what, Denver will throw everything at us, but that’s just a guess. So it will be interesting to see who they march out there for the starting lineup.

In some other Blazer news, John Hollinger from ESPN.com gave BRoy a little love for Most Improved Players:

I nominated Brandon Roy for most improved player in our ESPN.com award votes Tuesday, and I suppose I should explain that pick. I've been an ardent Devin Harris supporter in that category for nearly the entire season, but when I looked over the full body of work one more time before submitting my vote, I realized Roy's improvement was just as large in player efficiency rating terms. And although Harris slumped a bit after the All-Star break, Roy kept chugging along.

Two other players -- Kevin Durant and Danny Granger -- have had PER improvements in the same ballpark, so it has come down to two factors for Roy. First, he isn't a second-year player, while Durant is, and I'm normally reluctant to put second-year guys in the discussion because so many of them make huge strides in Year 2. (In fact, Jeff Green was arguably more deserving than Durant.)

Second, although Roy's improvement in PER terms was no better than Harris', I would argue he did it at a more difficult level. Going from borderline All-Star to full-blown superstar, as Roy did, is a more substantial feat than going from a quality regular to an All-Star, as Harris did, in the same way that a leap from 55 wins to 65 is much more difficult than a leap from 35 wins to 45.

So after endorsing Harris all season, it was clear to me that Roy was the right pick.

Nice to see a little love for the Blazers.

Thanks for all of your comments on the Blazers potential opponents. I have also started leaning towards the Spurs. I guess I didn’t’ realize how hobbled Duncan was until we played them last week. With a weak Duncan, I think that would heavily favor the Blazers. I want to leave with one last thought. If we get the 4th or 5th seed is it means we would see the Lakers in the 2nd round. Can you imagine how crazy this city would be?


  1. Any chance you could dig up the pre-season predictions for the team from your blog to compare where we actually ended up?

  2. Pat, I actually didn't have this blog before the season started. I think I started it sometime in December, so unfortunately no predictions to look back on.

    However, I think it's safe to say that this team continues to surprise me and make a mockery of even the most optimistic Blazer fans predictions.

  3. I dunno if you guys listen to the BS Report that Simmons does several times a week but him, Bucher, and Stein have a good discussion about the West playoffs and the Blazers in particular here:


    Nice little snippet at the end, I think it's Bucher saying that Aldridge is the most athletic PF in the league and would be a nightmare for SA to handle.

  4. Lets go New Orleans!!! So close to Homecourt advantage! With the blazers looking so tough, it really makes me think about the offseason and the possible importance of not making any trades or moves to give this team a couple of years to gel...even if a sweet deal came along I think id rather just let this team come into their own...lot to be said for chemistry....Go hornets/blazers tonight!!
    ps. I dont get the Robert Swift pic...but i still love it

  5. I don't get the Robert Swift pic either....But it has some strange glow to it and I had to put it on the blog...