After 26 games of the "New Team, New Dream" era. I would have never thought that we would be at .500. It's been a wild "Pecos Bill" type of ride and the team has a similar grit to it. A break out debut win over the Lakers for Dame Lillard
, mind boggling wins over teams like the Spurs and Bulls, and embarrassing losses to teams under the .400 mark.
So after our loss to the Kings in Sactown (Ending our season high 5 game winning streak) we are now staring straight into the eye of a possible losing streak due to a treacherous January schedule.
It all starts with tonight's game against Sacramento. Even though the Rose Garden has been relativity quiet this season (Lot's of nervous fans these days) the Blazers are still 9-4 at home. So hopefully we can walk away from tonight with a "W" while the Rose Garden stands about 19,000 strong chanting "Defense" behind them.
Then the real challenge starts. For all the years I've followed the Blazers. I've never seen anything like the "Maelstrom" of a schedule we are heading into.
First up, we travel to Los Angelos for our first re-match with the Lakers. Steve Nash is back, D'antioni thinks he has the answers, and are ridding a high after beating the limping New York Knicks on Christmas Day. Will Wesley be healthy? Can Dame run Nash ragged again? Even though there is now a thick scouting report on our shining rookie? We will have to wait and see.
Then the Blazers fly home to face the Philidelphia '76ers the next day, who will also be flying from there game against Golden State. But the "back-to-backs" don't stop there. In the first 16 days of the new year. We are going to crowd in 10 games. Eight of which will be paired up "back-to-back" style. All of them, will also have flights in between them.
January is truly going to show us how much our young team has learned about playing on the road. In the first 5 days we face the Knicks, Raptors, Grizzlies, and Timberwolves. All with flights in between every game. Honestly, I don't even think I'd be able to tell you what town I'm in let alone who my match up is going to be. My advise to the rookies? Pack light. Because you're going to need as much time as possible to rest up in between games.
With out breaking down the entire schedule through January. I'll save us all some time by just saying "Resilience" is going to be the key ingredient for the month of January. Being mindful of the game you're playing "Right Now" also will be important...
Maybe, what gate your flight is waiting for you at. To either rally you from the disappointment of a defeat or whisk you away as you celebrate a victory.
Either way, the next challenge is just over the horizon.
Song of the month - Jay Z "Onto The next One"