Featured Gallery, NBA / Mar 30, 2011 / 3:30 pm

The Trail Blazers Have The West Right Where They Want Them

LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge (photo. Aaron Hewitt)

It’s the end of March. And though I send my humblest apologies to folks in Minnesota, Utah, Cleveland, Washington, Toronto, New Jersey, and Detroit – it’s just about time for us upper-crust NBA fans to leave your humble franchises behind and get ready for the big show. And while I absolutely empathize with any and all struggling franchises (I have watched the Knicks play for the last decade), I hereby render your 2011 season over. Enjoy your summer. We’ll see you in late June.

For the rest of us (booyah), it’s playoff time, and that means it’s time to get excited. The only lucid thing that LeBron has said in the last year or so was a few weeks back, when he reminded us all that the point of the regular season is to make the tournament. From there on out, anything can happen. At this point, I will neither confirm nor deny whether or not I have removed my old-school NYK Starter pull-over jacket from storage. I also have no comment on whether or not the size is a child’s medium.

With all this excitement (and despite the musty smell), I’ve decided to spend a little bit of time highlighting a few playoff-bound teams – more specifically ones that folks aren’t talking about – that are looking scarier and scarier to matchup with in a seven-game series. In our first installment, let’s go out to the left coast for a visit to what’s been described as the Beer Capital, the Skateboard Capital, and of course, the Roof Moss Capital of the World. That’s right, you guessed it: Rip City, home of the Portland Trail Blazers. The number one team in the Western Conference (aside from those Lakers), that right now, I just would not want to play.

Now I’m not sure if it’s because I caught three of their games this weekend, or if it’s because Gerald Wallace and Snoop Dogg just might be the same person, but I am officially placing myself on the Blazer bandwagon. I love the Wallace trade where they gave up nobody, and I love Brandon Roy off the bench. I love the new lower-your-sholder-and-act-like-an-animal-in-the-paint LaMarcus Aldridge. I just love them. And we haven’t even been dating for that long.

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  • chris

    LMA’s lookin very tough for a momma’s boy. crash fits great when he’s not jacking 3s. IF batum, matthews, and camby can all bring it in the playoffs (and they never have before), they can take the lakers…but NO effing way would i bet on it.

  • BRUCE

    Test Chris Aquilino for drugs usage or give him the pink slip.

  • neoy

    They actually have one of the deepest teams after the G Wall trade.
    STACKED team, i think its really up to BRoy… they need a closer, and LMA cant do that, Dre cant, Crash cant. has to be Roy

  • Blazermark

    Truth! Go Blazers… Can I get an AMEN!??!

  • B

    “IF batum, matthews, and camby can all bring it in the playoffs (and they never have before)”

    The reason Matthews got signed last summer is because of how well he played against the Lakers in the playoffs. Camby has the playoff experience from playing in the finals with the Knicks. I see your point with Batum.

  • Grant

    I love the blazers post Wallace trade but I still see okc with he acquisition of Perkins being the most dangerous team for the lakers. Westbrook will absolutely torch fisher whenever he wants and they now have some legit defensive presence in the middle with Perkins.

    That said, I’m still looking forward to a lakers bulls finale.

  • ProphetGK

    Roy needs to go back to the Roy were used to, then they’ll have their best chance at doing some damage, otherwise, that’s all she wrote.

  • the truth

    @ Prophet KG
    agreed

  • Natalie

    Great article. Funny but true. Go Blazers.

  • smitsta

    Good article, and I agree. I’ve been watching the blazers all year and they went from overachieving to legit when roy and wallace hit the lineup. Gotta find time to give LA some rest before the playoffs begin though cos he’s been carrying them and must be feeling worn down after a long regular season.

    Patty Mills WILL be an important role player for the blazers. Dude was killing it against the hornets last night. He’s turnover prone and has poor court vision, but you can count on him to at least be looking to score.

  • Hot Fiyah

    I’d say test BRUCE!

    Good piece, and the Blazers can definitely make some noise next month.

  • AusReggie88

    Beer Capital???? Pppfffft paleez.

    Atleast the guy was honest about LMA beastin everyone right now. OFY

  • Butcher with 4 prostitutes

    Chris, T-Mac is all the way in his 14th season, not 11th.

  • pipdaddyy

    I’d agree with Grant, I would put OKC easily ahead of Portland as the team no one wants to play.

  • Dan

    I wish I could agree with you…but not this season. Too much has to go amazingly well for them, and they just haven’t been consistent enough to make that look likely. To win a series against anyone — much less the Lakers — they’d need LMA and Wallace to dominate every night and at least one great game from both Miller and Roy. Even then, they don’t beat anybody even ONCE without good shooting from Matthews/Rudy/Batum. That’s all bound to happen at least twice in seven tries, so I would spot them two games no matter who they get in the first round. More than that would be amazing.

    If Camby were playing at the level he was at before his knee surgery, the formula would not necessarily require as much offense from the M/R/B trio. Right now he’s pretty much a non factor, so they get no offensive rebounds when those three can’t hit and — short of All Star performances from Miller or Roy — they lose no matter who they play. With a healthy center, this team could be unbeatable…at least on paper. They still need to hit the open shot when LMA is (inevitably) doubled.