Grading the Blazers Happiness

One-quarter of the NBA season is behind us. Teams are pretty much what they are, minus trading deadline moves. After overspending just to overspend, and it sucking the Blazers happiness dry last season, they entered this year with realistic hopes of getting a top four seed, mainly because they added Jusuf Nurkic, an able big…

Nurkic Has the Blazers Watching Their $$$

The NBA is a fragile ecosystem. Mediocre today. Things looking up tomorrow. Exhibit A: Rip City. The Blazers were irrelevant for much of the past season. Yes, they had a superstar point (Damian Lillard) who was dynamic, and an extraordinary shooting guard (C.J. McCollum) who was efficient. They had the second best back court in…

5 Teams Who Can Stir Things Up

Miami Heat:  The Heat are 24-6 their last 30 games and now have the 8th seed in the East. Erik Spoelstra has put in a Coach of the Year campaign but can the Heat keep their spot? It depends on how they shoot the three ball. That has determined winning or losing. Against Portland they…

The Waiting Game of C.J. McCollum

His rookie year, he played 38 games and twelve minutes. His 5.3 points a game were ho-hum, as was his NBA debut of 4 points. The next year, he upped his scoring to 6.8 points, playing three minutes more. His PER jumped to 13.1 and he was nearly a 40% three point shooter. Nevertheless, C.J.…

Blazers Not Crying Over Clippers Bad Luck

Because there is no such thing as sympathy in the NBA, the Portland Trailblazers are not having a pity party for the Clippers post-season blues. Part of the calculus this time of year is injury luck. Everyone is fragile. Last year, the Warriors 2015 post-season had a built in advantage because their opponents didn’t have…

Blazers Playoff Preview: A First Round Upset?

The Portland Trail Blazers seemed resigned to the lottery heading into the 2015-16 season, especially after the departures of LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews, and Robin Lopez. Nevertheless, management had other plans. Realizing that the salary cap would be rising significantly in 2016-17, General Manager Neil Olshey signed several veterans that didn’t seem to…

Damian Lillard’s Crazy-Good, Crazy-Brilliant MVP Month

Perhaps we will look back on February 2016 as the line in the sand Damian Lillard crossed. A very good player is now a superstar player, a top-5 player, having finally arrived at the marble floored penthouse after a NBA life at the luxury suite level. Lillard’s February 9-2 record was an extraordinary accomplishment in…

Life Without LaMarcus Aldridge is Looking Pretty Good

The totally revamped Portland Trailblazers are the hottest team not named the Golden State Warriors. They have won 17 games in 49 days. They have lost 4 games in 49 days. That’s a winning percentage of 80%. In that time span, they are 11-3 at home and 6-1 on the road, including an overtime win…

Blazers Made a Statement but Will the Good Times Last?

If last night was one thing in particular, it was flawless. The All-Star hangover, punctuated by a longer than normal break, thrust the Blazers into a frenzy instead of an end of vacation malaise. They were sharp and crisp. They were energetic and single-minded. They would have beaten the ’72 Lakers, the ’84 Celtics, the…

Blazers Go With Plan “B”

The Blazers knew. The city knew. LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t want to be there anymore. He had grown tired of it. He was a Texan by birth who never cut the lone star state out of his soul. He never transitioned to the scenic northwest. Sensitive to any criticism of his game, Aldridge never found common…