The Portland Trail Blazers are dangerous
Heading into the NBA’s restart all 30 teams were submitted a proposal pending the approval for the NBA to get back on track whenever it was deemed safe from all present COVID-19 dangers. Twenty-nine teams approved but one denied. The Portland Trail Blazers.
Now, whether it be from any of the reported reasoning such as it not being that important considering the pandemic circumstances as said by players Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, or the front office’s disapproval of the 22 team setup, the Blazers wanted no part of any restart.
Well, at this point the Trail Blazers are one of the hottest teams in the bubble with a 5-1 record to their name, a full roster, and hunger for a chance to wreck the entire playoff picture. The time is ticking Portland, your time is now.
The time is now for the Portland Trail Blazers
Now, starting the bubble in 10th place and more than a handful of games back from the Memphis Grizzlies for 8th, the Blazers initially weren’t thought very highly of. And if you pair that with that motivated Grizzlies team and an exciting young New Orleans Pelicans team with a healthy Zion and easy schedule ahead of them, the Blazers’ chances were just getting slimmer by the day.
But when the action began, everything changed. Ja Morant lost his partner in crime in Jaren Jackson Jr. to a season-ending ACL injury. The Pelicans have managed to forget the league graciously gave them every chance for the 8th seed by barely playing Zion. And oh, that horribly tough schedule that the Blazers were given? Piece of cake.
In the first game back, they showed out against Memphis with a 140-135 victory in overtime. Then, with victories over Houston, Boston, and Denver respectfully as well as a close loss in the final seconds to the Clippers, the rest of the league was forced to take note as a result. The Blazers can be a problem.
Yes, they’re still a game back of the Grizzlies for the 8th seed but currently, they’d be given a play-in for being within four games thanks to the new setup. And that should terrify the league. Dame is dropping 50 like it’s nothing, Nurkic is back beasting it up which puts Whiteside on the bench to offer 20-25 minutes of defensive dominance in the paint, Melo and CJ are providing valuable second/third option scoring prowess, and Zach Collins and Gary Trent Jr. are doing the little things.
This is without a doubt a championship-caliber team based on those factors alone, but this is just paper I’m talking about here. Now, it’s just up to them to bring it to the court.