A Chance to Nail Down Sixth
The NBA scoreboard has certainly been kind to the Trail Blazers lately, after weeks of unfavorable results (at least it seemed like weeks). Now, due to last night's upset in New Orleans, the Blazers once again control their own destiny. They can lock up the sixth seed in the Western Conference race tonight when they host Memphis at the Rose Garden.
That probably seems like a better thing than it actually is. Not that it's bad, but even with the possibility of securing the spot they've been shooting for doesn't by any means guarantee who they'll get the in the first round. That part is still up in the air.
The only thing we do know for certain is, the Blazers can't finish fifth now. As for everything else, I could explain it in long form, or just show you all the scenarios we're looking at.
PORTLAND WINS BOTH – 6
PORTLAND SPLITS (BEATS MEM), N.O. WINS AT DAL – 6
PORTLAND SPLITS (BEATS MEM), N.O. LOSES AT DAL – 6
PORTLAND SPLITS (LOSES TO MEM), MEM SPLITS, N.O. WINS AT DAL – 6
PORTLAND SPLITS (LOSES TO MEM), MEM SPLITS, N.O. LOSES AT DAL – 6
PORTLAND SPLITS (LOSES TO MEM), MEM WINS OUT, N.O. WINS AT DAL – 7
PORTLAND SPLITS (LOSES TO MEM), MEM WINS OUT, N.O. LOSES AT DAL – 7
PORTLAND LOSES BOTH, MEM WINS OUT, N.O. LOSES AT DAL – 7
PORTLAND LOSES BOTH, MEM LOSES TO LAC, N.O. LOSES AT DAL – 7
PORTLAND LOSES BOTH, MEM WINS OUT, N.O. WINS AT DAL – 8
PORTLAND LOSES BOTH, MEM LOSES TO LAC, N.O. WINS AT DAL – 8
*The No. 5 seed is no longer in play after Denver’s win over Golden St. tonight
*If Portland beats Memphis Tuesday, it clinches the No. 6 seed
*The only way Portland plays San Antonio is to lose both games and New Orleans wins its final game at Dallas
*Oklahoma City holds the tiebreaker over Dallas
*Los Angeles holds the tiebreaker over Oklahoma City
*Los Angeles holds the tiebreaker over Dallas
Is that clear now? Amazing we're sitting on so many possibilities with just two games remaining in the regular season.
One very interesting playoff note- The Trail Blazers are in the playoffs for the 29th time since entering the league in 1970. That is the third-most playoff appearances of any team in the league since that time. It goes Lakers (37), Spurs (31), Blazers (29). That's some pretty good perspective.
By the way, Trail Blazers Courtside was last night, and we had interesting conversations with Nate McMillan and Brandon Roy.
Obviously, this team will need Brandon in the playoffs. I think it's amazing that while going through this tough time he's kept such a great attitude. There probably aren't many guys who would have handled things as well as he has.
To listen to our interview with Brandon, click here
To listen to the chat with Coach Nate, click here
Should be an interesting night. Not many teams have played as well as Memphis over the last few weeks. They've rarely stubbed their toes, and are playing their best basketball of the season right now. Keep in mind, they don't exactly fear the Rose Garden. They won both games in Portland last season.
I'll try and post something after the game tonight, but we've got to bust to the airport right after the game and fly to San Fransisco to get ready to take on Golden State tomorrow night in the final game of the regular season.
The playoffs will start this weekend, that much we know. We'll know very soon where we're headed.