As a fan who really wants Trail Blazers to be in the playoffs, the Rivals Plan makes the most 'cents' for me (although I can't buy a plan because of my unpredictable work schedule....). All of the games are against some star-studded teams that will make your time worthwhile. However, there are many other factors that make this plan the golden one for me.
1. The plan provides way to measure Portland's playoff possibility.
Most of the games in the Rivals Plan is against the Western Conference teams who will fight for the postseason. Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Denver Nuggets, OKC Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies are all expected to be in the playoffs. Utah and Minnesota are the teams that are expected to be in a heavy competition with us for the 7, 8th seed in the west. Watching how we match up against teams like these will give us a clear sense whether Portland deserves to be mentioned in the postseason conversations.
2. The plan shows some of the best PF match ups.
Our All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge goes against the West's best power-forwards in our Rivals plan. In his journey to become the best PF in the west (aka best PF in the NBA. PF talent in the East is scarce), LaMarcus battles first against Blake Griffin. Next up in the plan is Kevin Love, who many believe is currently the best PF because of his stat-stuffing ability. LaMarcus will then be challenged by the young up-and-coming Kenneth Faried in Denver. He will face the monster combo of Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors in Utah, then finish up his journey against Pau Gasol to become the best power forward in the world. Yes I said it, folks. Our very own LMA is the world's best power forward today, and the Rivals plan will prove it to you. He will beat them all.
3. Don't forget about the PG match ups.
Rivals plan will also present another battle on the court in the point guard position. Damian Lillard (man crush of mine), coming into the league with great expectations, will battle against the league's bests to meet those expectations. Damian will first go up against Chris Paul. He will be heavily tested by CP3's speed, playmaking, basketball IQ and unmatchable defense. Damian will also play against...
Ricky Rubio (MIN) - a young PG in a similar situation where he is expected to take the Timberwolves to the promised land,
Russell Westbrook (OKC) - who many compare Damian with, because of the similarities in their style of play,
Ty Lawson and Andre Miller (DEN) - a combo of the lightning fast Lawson and one of the smartest players in the league, Andre Miller,
Mike Conley (MEM) - the man who led the league in steal and will look to pick Damian's pocket the entire game,
Steve Nash (LAL) - well, he's STEVE NASH
I cannot wait to see Damian play against these great point guards and keep evolving into our franchise PG. The Rivals plan has all the games I need for that.
4. Brandon Roy returns to Portland
Did I mention that we will welcome Brandon Roy back to the NBA when the Timberwolves come in to town?! He is the reason I became a basketball fan when I knew nothing about the game. If you dig through my old 2009 Facebook statuses, you will find "SCREW GOING TO THE BIOLOGY LAB, BRANDON ROY IS BACK!!" I own 2 Roy jerseys and will buy another one when he becomes a Blazer again in the future.
...so needless to say, he is my biggest hero in sports of all time. I would love to have the Rivals Plan and welcome him.
5. Terry Stotts vs. George Karl
When the Denver Nuggets come to Portland, our head coach Terry Stotts will welcome his former Seattle mentor George Karl. This game will mean a lot to coach Stotts, and I would love to be there to show support. We will see if Denver vs Portland will get to the level of Boston vs Chicago where Tom Thibodeau battles his teacher Doc Rivers. George Karl tweeted his congratulations message for Stotts' hire, which shows that the two are very close. I am looking forward to this one, the clash of coaches.
MY BIRTHDAY IS NOVEMBER 8TH! and the Rivals plan is the only plan that has a game that day. Why yes, I would love to see Blake Griffin on my birthday.....