Mike Rice

Mar 04

The Schedule has the Final Answer for the Blazers

By Mike Rice Posted in: Blazers, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Jazz, Rockets, Suns
A. The Rockets – 19 games left (12 at home) and 10 games are against above .500 teams
B. The Grizzlies – 20 games left (12 at home) and 13 games are against above .500 teams.
C. The Suns – 23 games left (11 at home) and 13 games are against above .500 teams
D. The Jazz – 20 games left (9 at home) and 13 games are against above .500 teams
E. The Blazers – 21 games left (11 at home) and 15 games are against above .500 teams
F. The Hornets – 19 games left (11 at home) and 15 games are against above .500 teams

Of the above teams that are still fighting to get into the Western Conference Playoffs, if the standings were all even at this point, then the Rockets and Grizzlies would have the best chance to make it.

But the standings are not all even. The Rockets are 31-32 after a very bad loss to the Clippers. They have the best remaining schedule left with 12 of their remaining 19 games played at home, and of the contenders they have the fewest games left against above .500 teams – 10.

Houston has won 5 of their last 6 so they are hot with the easiest way to go, but can they go from the #11 spot to pass 3 teams and get to #8? They have lost 13 home games so far this year, so I have them catching Phoenix and Utah but falling short of 8th place New Orleans.

Memphis has the second easiest schedule with 12 games at home of their remaining 20 games and only 13 against above .500 teams. So I see them catching New Orleans and Portland and finishing 6th.

The Blazers and New Orleans have the most difficult schedules left with the Blazers playing 21 games and 11 at home and 11 on the road, but the difficulties come with 15 of those games being against above .500 teams, the most of any of the contenders. So the Blazers will end up in 7th place in the final standings and play the Lakers in the 1st round.

New Orleans, like the Blazers, will fall victim to the schedule. They also play 15 of their remaining 19 games against above .500 teams. The only reason they stay in the 8th spot ahead of the Rockets is they play 11 of their last 19 games at home.

The Suns and Utah have a problem with the schedule in that the Suns have 23 games left with 12 on the road, and Utah only has 9 home games left so they won’t make it either.

The teams that must step up to overcome a most difficult schedule are the Hornets and Blazers. Playing against above .500 teams at the end of the year could do in the Hornets, but the Blazers with their added personnel should make the playoffs. Getting out of the 1st round will be the topic for another day.


  1. No one can argue our upcoming schedule is tough but I think it's a good thing. I believe with the impending urgency and difficulty, our guys will get more focused, gel, and succeed. In the end, I think we will make it into the playoffs and we'll be more prepared because our intensity and challenge level will have been elevated. If I'm right, we'll be ready for anyone. I'm not too concerned with our placement. We need to be ready for everyone.

    by thedanman on 3/5/2011 12:19 AM
  2. i have a quick correction for the blazers having 21 games an uneven number, 11 at home and 11 road games equals 22... but how i feel is they have heart and will to win enough games to make playoffs but this teams mind is all out of sync... if they have any chance to make it let alone advance in the playoffs they need to find a groove and find there nitch and fast, if not then they will fall victum of there own creation

    by jamie (guy) on 3/4/2011 9:29 PM
  3. i have something to add, just in case mike rice reads this and replies, i just had a thought, of too many egos hurts a team right, maybe a small issue with this team is there isnt enough egos, listen for one sec b4 you laugh it down, but batum shows his games some times but when he misses a shot or two he defers, LA only goes beast mode when he gets those big dunks and you can see it in his eyes and face when hes ready to unleash, roy has had those hawk eyes, especially in clutch, but lately with the unsure he has on his body, doesnt look ready. rudy is a dagger pusher if you give him a real chance he'll stab and get you good with a three or with his attcking to the rim or passing, andre is that cool cat, he doesnt have the ego he has the mental ability to con his way to points, g-wall is still uncertain, he's a beast no question, but nate needs to find the fire in his belly. start him tell him behind closed doors hes the man on this team whateva it takes to break the beast out of his belly into the fire and hardwood and lead this team.... ego might be good for certain players

    by jamie (guy) on 3/4/2011 9:43 PM
  4. I hope you're right Mike. I want the Lakers! Every year since 2002, I've hoped for our team to beat the Lakers in the first round. I don't know about you, but this year feels right. Maybe it's not our best year, but the thought of sending Phil Jackson into retirement with a first round exit makes me so excited to see the games played that everything else seems like a walk in the park. I doubt many of our players are even aware of what that man has done to this franchise, but I don't doubt that they are up to the task of making all these years of struggle worth it. I think Portland is ready to claim another ring!

    by BlazerStache on 3/4/2011 10:08 PM
  5. Mike Rice: Thank you for the blog. I think we will finish ahead of Memphis because of their injury to Gay, but Battier should be a good back up. They have a good team and a good coach, we have a great team and a great coach. wait until Wallace, BRoy and Camby gets in the grove.


    by Hg on 3/4/2011 10:51 PM
  6. Iam kinda done predicting at this point. I feel Rice's views are pretty accurate. Well just have to see. With our schedule coming up, we would have to gel very well and play amazing basketball to get a something like a 5th seed. I think 7-8 is where its at realisticly. As for facing the Lakers, yeah Im huge Blazer fan so ofcourse id love to see us beat em, but the Lakers get like 2 times better in the playoffs, it would take a very very good and determine Blazer team to beat a laker team in the playoffs.

    Anyways 7th seed sounds realistic, Im gonna just going to take it 1 game at atime, ive been to about 9-10 Blazer games @RG this year, and ofcourse every other game on tv and its been a "ROLLER COASTER" emotion ride!...so Im not going to have any huge expectations....just be patient and see what comes out of this crazy season. GO Blazers!!!!!

    by whitefeather21380 on 3/5/2011 11:38 AM
  7. whitefeather21380:

    I am with you take it one game at a time. It has been a Roller coaster season with all the players with little injuries, players with big injuries, sick players and suspended players. coaches dying, trading off hero's, getting an all-star and so on. But like you I am being patient and see what comes out of this crazy season. The thing is just working hard, win or lose games that will give us the right work habits going into the play-offs and hopefully if we make the play-offs at all we will be ready. And don't forget the play-offs starts a brand new season and we do hold our own against the Lakers often.

    Also like you I am not predicting either, except maybe ending up above Memphis.


    by Hg on 3/5/2011 12:00 PM
  8. Well, I personally do not think we'll finish lower than Memphis, and I also have the Lakers placing third, and the Blazers placing at least 6th, hopefully 5th, but Denver has become a sudden surprise being better without Melo. However, I feel as if you should have added them as well, since I believe they also do have a rough schedule coming up, and they aren't a great road team.

    I have Memphis finishing 8th, New Orleans finishing 7th, Denver finishing 6th, and Portland fnishing 5th. However, I do not want the Lakers in the first round. That would hurt us badly. If the Lakers go to 2nd seed, I have no problem going against 3rd seeded Dallas, but I'd feel most comfortable going against 4th seeded OKC.

    I also like our chances going into the playoffs. In my opinion, a healthy, and well working Portland team (which they'll become after this road trip) is a top 4 WC team. I also like that we have a rough, home heavy final schedule. That will be great going into the playoffs.

    by Herr on 3/5/2011 1:55 PM
  9. Yeah - if you saw the Lakers wallop the Spurs today - they led by 30 points most of the game - you really don't want to face them. Sure, we've beaten the Lakers before. But beating this team, this year, enough games in a row or near row will take a level of teamwork I haven't seen from the Blazers enough, lately, due to all the changes. I'd rather have any other team in the first round. Hope it works out so we can avoid the Lakers for the first round.

    by BlazerLoverInLosAngeles on 3/6/2011 6:18 PM
  10. Count me in with those wanting the Lakers. I don't find much satisfaction in the idea of playing and beating a "weaker team" in the playoffs. In my opinion, that mentality is weak.

    by thedanman on 3/7/2011 1:01 AM
  11. It looks like a tough road to the playoffs for us. With a possible playoff preview tonight against the Mavericks. GO BLAZERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by mbmurr1 on 3/15/2011 7:49 AM
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