mikebarrett

Apr 12

A Chance to Nail Down Sixth

By mikebarrett
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.

If.....

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.


21 Comments

  1. Mike great Blog at a great time:

    My only confusion is, if the Mavs, OKC, and the Lakers end up tied, with the different tie-breakers which order would the be?

    I am now down for being with Nate, play the game in front of us and let all the scenarios work themselves out.

    Courtside video never came on. May have been my computer though. So I will listen to your link on BRoy and Nate. right now.

    Thank you for the update

    by Hg on 4/12/2011 7:19 AM
  2. Morning Mike. Been ages since I've awoken this early, nice to see a new blog to welcome me to the day lol!

    I just got done in the previous blog saying I'd like to see Portland win this game, clinch 6th, and rest the guys that put heavy minutes against Oakland, like we did last season. That will give Roy the minutes he keeps mentioning he'd like to play in order to get into his rythme. I think you delete the fear of being taken out for him, he'll have a good game and that's what we'd like to see going into the playoffs.

    At this point, I'd like the team to clinch 6th, and see who gets 3rd. At this point, I'm starting to think OKC will take 3rd, and as much as I think we'll win that series, I don't want them, I want the Mavericks. A lot depends on Dallas and the Lakers, playing two games I don't think they'll win. If LAL goes 1-1, Dallas goes 1-1, we're playing the Thunder. All 3 would be 56-26. LAL would be 2nd, Dallas 4th, and Thunder 3rd. So right now, the only way we get the Lakers is if LA goes 1-1 and Dallas goes 2-0, so if LA loses tonight, root for NOH on Wednesday.

    by Herr on 4/12/2011 7:19 AM
  3. Thanks for the post Mike. It is going to be interesting to see how this all winds up. I don't want the Lakers and right now they are in the 3rd spot. But with all this craziness, who knows where things will stand after tonight and of course, after all games are done. I'm just gong to sit back and see how things unfold and then see how I feel about the match-up we end up with.
    Anees, from Prague

    by Anees on 4/12/2011 7:26 AM
  4. Mike: I just listened to BRoy and Nate. they both answered many questions I had. It sounds more like BRoy's inconsistency is his adjustments and getting his rhythm back and not his knees. that is good. Nate says he will use GW as PTForwad to initiate the plays which is good, because the opponents can't key on Dre, or BRoy.

    I think our play-off perspectives are looking better all the time. As you mentioned many times and that I posted in your last blog, that teams will use the same thing that other teams use to beat you, until you find a way to stop them. Teams has been packing the middle and daring us to beat them from the outside are trying to get through the maze with your head still in tack. I remember you saying that we can stop that by playing tough D, force turn-overs or cause turn-overs and push the tempo and score before the opponents can get set. As it turned out that also became the formula on how to beat the lakers. They try to exploit our weakness at shooting the 3, but in over-coming our weakness we found they had a weakness in transition defense.

    by Hg on 4/12/2011 7:55 AM
  5. Thanks for posting this Mike. I tried to list many scenarios in a comment on your last blog but only in the sense of meeting the lakers in the playoffs. Instead of reiterating.. now i'll just say bring whoever on!! because these scenarios mean nothing when the playoffs begin. I still like our chances beating DAL, LAL, SA even OKC!! so let's go! Don't rest anybody. Go in there with a full head of steam. Rip city Baby!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 4/12/2011 9:47 AM
  6. Would be nice to clamp down 6th before we play those tricky Warriors, but it won't matter if the Lakers lose tonight. Ugh, I can't stand rooting for the Lakers, but we really need a win out of them tonight.

    by DHawes22 on 4/12/2011 9:51 AM
  7. Nice breakdown, looking forward to us locking up the 6 seed, no matter what else happens.

    Hope we go hard in the GSW game, and all the players go, since Kassandra will be there and will be really bummed if some of the guys are missing, lol! I know they need rest, but Kassandra deserves to see these guys play dangit :) Also, I want us to Win Out, and both Curry and Monta are out, so winning in Oakland is about as doable as it gets!

    Loved the interview with BRoy last night. He's a special player and a great guy. I really empathize with him and continue to believe he will work it all out. Come next season, I believe he will be in contention for 6th man of the year, ala JET :)

    Go Blazers!!

    by SisillaRiann on 4/12/2011 9:56 AM
  8. I still think we will play Lakers . I could be wrong

    by jyp on 4/12/2011 11:09 AM
  9. i read yesterday that three were 17 scenarios. after new orleans' loss and denver's win last night, i figured that number would be significantly lower. it's really not! there are still so many scenarios in play. it's amazing to think tht in about 34 hours, all this will be figured out.

    i really want to see us win tonight, if only to surpass Rice's win prediction! and that puts us in an interesting situation for the GS game. i want to see all the guys, dangit (great word, EA!). i do understand if the main guys don't play extended minutes; it would still be nice to see some of the youngsters get some time on the court as well.

    big props to the blazers for signing Earl Barron. we've got a big 7-footer now for some insurance and maybe spot minutes to give Marcus or LaMarcus a breather. great move.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/12/2011 11:18 AM
  10. Great post once again Mike. I'm amazingly fortunate once again to be able to attend tonights game and I'm SO looking forward to the atmosphere tonight. This should be a SPECTACULAR game. I really hope we can clinch this 6th seed tonight and then we can watch the rest of the cards fall where they may. Thanks for sharing your perspective again this season. We'll try and get down to the court to say hello to you and Coach Rice.

    by bigjeff911 on 4/12/2011 11:30 AM
  11. I would love to see us get the 6th spot when so many(MB) said it was out of our reach! :)

    But it's funny that we might get the 6th spot and end up playing the Lakers. As I originally said though I don't care who we play in the playoffs, just get there and play ball!

    GO BLAZERS!!

    by mgb on 4/12/2011 12:26 PM
  12. mgb,

    I'm assuming you know someone else who goes by MB?

    by mikebarrett on 4/12/2011 12:32 PM
  13. MB,

    I thought you said in a earlier blog or on CS that the sixth spot most likely was out of our reach, but when looking back I could only find you saying we would need help which was true. Sorry, I posted in error.

    by mgb on 4/12/2011 1:41 PM
  14. Anyone know where I can stream the game online tonight? Unfortunately, SoCal NBA coverage is colorblind to anything other than purple and gold...

    Also...Earl Barron? *shrugs* He couldn't crack the Suns/Bucks rotation ...but I guess he's 6 more fouls at the Center position. Personally, I was excited for Robert Swift's tattoos (though not particularly for Robert Swift...)

    by Gnarmaster on 4/12/2011 1:54 PM
  15. mgb,

    I very well could have. I say a lot of dumb stuff. I was just giving you a hard time.

    MB

    by mikebarrett on 4/12/2011 1:43 PM
  16. I'm so happy to have 6th locked in. I'd like to see the bench log some big minutes against Golden State. Our core is playing well and deserve a break.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 4/12/2011 10:18 PM
  17. I really really hope Roy starts. I'd like LaMarcus to play a few seconds tomorrow. He's played in EVERY GAME so far.

    by Herr on 4/12/2011 10:32 PM
  18. So good to see Rudy hitting his threes. If he can keep that up it could make a big difference, not only the points but pulling the defense out giving LA more room to work.

    by Ancientone on 4/13/2011 7:33 AM
  19. GO Blazers

    by Miller on 4/13/2011 8:15 AM
  20. Nice win last nite. I think the Grizz resting some players made it even harder for Portland initially since it took some intensity out of their game, but they took care of business and got the win so we got 6th spot. Lets just hope this isn't one of those cases of watch out for what you wish for. I really don't care which team we play, but I know a lot of people wanted the 6th spot to avoid the Lakers and now they just might be the team we play.

    I see MB is slacking. Didn't he say he was going to make a blog entry after the game?

    by mgb on 4/13/2011 9:59 AM
  21. MGB: He headed out to GS, right after the game. He might be sleeping in.

    by Hg on 4/13/2011 10:50 AM
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