Kassandra

Jan 26

Too Early for Scoreboard Watching?

By Kassandra Posted in: Blazers, Clippers, j.j.hickson, Jazz, Lakers, LaMarcusAldridge, Rockets

A person has to wonder at the midway point in the season, when their team sits at 21-21 and just a half game back from a possible playoff spot, when should scoreboard and standings watch commence?

Undoubtedly, countless Blazers fans have been doing that for some time. For some, it may start right about now; somewhere near the season's midpoint. Still others, perhaps siding on the cautious side, may choose to wait another dozen games or so. I don't much think most avoid checking out our team's slot in the standings throughout the season. I surely do. My question is, when do we really start scoreboard/standings watch?

I fall into the second category from the previous paragraph; meaning, that's when I switch from paying attention to really watching other scores and updates into the standings. It's difficult not to get excited in mid-January when the Blazers were at the cusp of seventh spot in the playoff picture, but that was after 34 games. There were still way too many games to go. Of course, we're only eight games further into the season, but that's one-tenth of the schedule, right?

A couple weeks ago when Adam Bjaranson and Michael Holton were guest hosting Trail Blazers Courtside, I posted my query via twitter. Mr. Holton responded that it's never too early, but that it's not really until there are 25-30 games left that it gets "meaningful." That was some genuine enthusiasm and, as usual, Mr. Holton made a lot of sense. Of course, at the time, the Blazers were 20-17 and coming off the first two losses of a six-game skid.

Michael Holton responds to my January 14 TB Courtside question

Speaking of the schedule in talking to my oldest brother the other day while throwing out the idea for this blog, he asked me if the Blazers' losing streak had affected my timeline for scoreboard/standings watching. "I would have to think about that, but my first feeling is that the farther we were away from the eighth seed, the less likely I would be as intent as if we were in the position in which we currently find ourselves," was my response.

Certainly, while any of us are scoreboard watching, we're evaluating which teams' wins would help us the most. Obviously, if an Eastern Conference team is playing a Western Conference team, that's a no-brainer; you hope the latter team falls. Hey, it can only help the Blazers chances, right?

It gets a little more complicated when there are two teams, both in the hunt for our playoff spot where there is confusion. Seriously, if you're watching the Jazz play the Rockets (the current seventh and eighth seeds, respectively), for which do you pull or, at least, hope comes out on top? Do you remember that we've already beaten Houston twice and have yet to face the Jazz in the regular season?

LaMarcus Aldridge and the Blazers play a back-to-back versus the Jazz next week.

To me, it's an interesting dynamic which would very well change from night to night, depending on the results.

In fact, there could always be that random game here or there where even rooting for the loathed Lakers could be in the Blazers best playoff interests. The caveat to that, however, is that if any self-respecting fan were to favor the Lakers on even a semi-regular basis, that fan must forfeit their BlazerNation membership card.

Few expected the Blazers to contend for a playoff spot this season and it remains to be seen if they actually will. They seem to be a couple pieces away from gaining that eighth seed, and there's a rough part of the schedule coming up. However, with some of the wins they've pulled out over some of those tougher teams, maybe it's just a matter of putting together some more wins over this upcoming batch of rivals.

Still others may say it's more valuable to develop the young players and gain a pick in the lottery this year. My theory on this is that if you want to take the next step, take the next step. Sure, the draft pick might not be as good, but you'll have guys who won't be strangers to the playoffs in the forthcoming years.

Right now, the Blazers sit in ninth place, just a half game back of Houston. Minnesota sits three games back of the Blazers in 10th position. There's plenty of opportunity and plenty of promise. By now, we're all watching this team.

Are we starting to really watch the scoreboard and standings as well?

~ KMM

In Kassandra's Words features periodic blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @PDXKass
      

15 Comments

  1. Hey Kassandra: I have been watching the standings daily for quite some times and the games played and won or loss by how much. That is why when Washington and some of the lower teams that beat us didn't phase me because some of their losses was like the Blazers losses.

    I am so happy that we are in the running for a play-off spot, but wouldn't be devastated if we didn't make it. At this point I am just surprised and happy.

    After the all star break is when I really get interested in the standings, because that is when everybody has changed what players they decide to at trade deadline and teams RAV it up for the finish. I still believe the Blazers just coast against the low teams of the Eastern Conference because those games don't hurt as much

    For right now I would want Houston to finish ahead of the Jazz and we finish ahead of the Jazz. because we have the tie breaker against the Rockets.

    Sure is good to read your blog again Miss Kassandra

    by Hg on 1/26/2013 5:14 PM
  2. I think I am like Michael Holton. I'm not really going to look at the standings and other scores much until the last 25 or 30 games. I am also like you that how much I look at them will depend on what kind of chances we have for the playoffs. This was a great blog sis!

    by Angi on 1/26/2013 5:36 PM
  3. First I have to mention how glad I am that we can seriously talk about our chances for the playoffs. It was far from a certainty going into the season. With that said, I have not looked at the standings with regards to the Blazers at all. It is not because I am not optimistic; I am. In fact, I have a considerable amount of hope about our prospects of doing well in the playoffs, experience aside.
    Once the playoff picture solidifies, I expect the rotation to tighten up to about 8. I think that sort of rotation really favors our squad. If I see some bench improvement and a tighter rotation, then I think I will become interested in matchups. Until then I plan to blithely enjoy the day to day scheming I've always displayed in this business of being a Blazers fan and avoid the nerve wrecking anticipation of trying to predict events beyond control.

    by BlazerStache on 1/26/2013 6:35 PM
  4. I'm like Hg I don't really scoreboard watch until after the all star break but, I do watch the scoreboard from time to time to make see if were in striking distance of the playoffs and the teams I do play attention to is the teams I know we can catch because if you have a chance to make the playoffs I say go for it because what way for the young guys to get experience than in the playoffs but, at the end of the day I just focus on what were doing because the Blazers are the only one that can control their own destiny.

    It was a good read KMM.

    by CarlJ1 on 1/26/2013 8:43 PM
  5. @Hg: i think i understand your position and i don't disagree with it. i keep track of the standings more than the scoreboard until a little bit more down the road. checking the Lakers losses is pretty fun though as long as they are losing!

    @Angi: you sound just like dad, but that's why we are sisters! 25-30 games is pretty much the last third of the season so that makes sense. if we're one of the lower teams, it doesn't really matter to look into the scoreboard or standings. i hear ya, AnGela!

    by Kassandra on 1/27/2013 6:28 AM
  6. @Kassandra: Remember I have a million more minute of free time a day then you do so I read, study and comment every place I can. Of course like you, it is fun to read about the Lakers losses and the fact that they have a worst record than the Blazers with at least three future hall of famers on their team and in doubt up to their ears in contracts.

    by Hg on 1/27/2013 7:19 AM
  7. @BlazerStache: i know what you're saying. who really thought we had a shot at the playoffs, even if it does end up being fleeting. if we make the playoffs, i don't see the rotation tightening to less than 10. let's five ourselves options. we have a lot of diversity that can be exploited. Nate used to shrink the rotation and in his playoff years as coach, it did not work. you've got to go with what you've got. play whomever you need whenever you need them.

    @Carl: it's kind of like i me and my sister, Angi, above. there is probably no right or wrong answer. it's just a matter of a person's preferences and, perhaps, even the amount of time they have. i know that my own time is limited moreso these days due to school obligations.

    by Kassandra on 1/27/2013 7:56 AM
  8. @Hg: i seemingly have little time at all these days, but i've missed writing this blog. in the past, it's helped me stay in touch with the team even though i'm down here. i'll give you that Bryant and Nash are hall of famers, but i honestly don't think Howard has earned a spot in the hall of fame; at least not yet. the thing that really concerns me is that the rumors are true and that the Lakers trade Howard for assets like draft picks, etc. as of now, they have limited draft resources and very limited cash under the cap. i'm pretty sure they would need to make a major change in order to bring in new talent. the only way they really accomplish that is to make a trade involving a major player. Gasol is probably in the mix, but Howard's contract expires at the end of the season. if they can trade him for assets, they could be in good position on draft day. Pau' has another year on his contract, which is for $19 million this season; something similar next season. it almost seems we would be better in the long term if the Lakers were not able to make a trade and were saddled with huge contracts for a few more years, with little to no draft possibilities.

    by Kassandra on 1/27/2013 8:11 AM
  9. Thank you Miss Kassandra ♥, I feel so bad for the Lakers after buying so many championships they seem to be mired in their own decay ROTFLMAO. Their owner blatantly said what is there not to love about the Lakers, Do you think he has lost sight of reality? ☺

    by Hg on 1/27/2013 9:50 AM
  10. @Kassandra: I've been looking at the team's scoreboard and standings position since the first game. It feels good everytime we get in a playoff position, and it feels frustrating everytume we veer away from the coveted top 8, even though it is still far off from the tail end of the eliminations. I actually don't like to look at the other teams and hope they would lose so that we could maintain a playoff position our team is supposed to have. However, as with all other games, there's the victor, and there's the fallen. Also, with the tight Western Conference we have now, you can't help but look at how the other teams are performing. I just hope that our beloved team would perform better so that we don't have to look at other teams, as long as we have a position within the top 8.

    by bonjustin8 on 1/27/2013 2:15 PM
  11. @Hg: I still do think that there are still a lot of things to live about the LAkers. They belong in a glitzy city, and I like the color yellow. However, as with SOME old team owners, decision-making has been erratic. Before Mike Brown was fired, Dr. Buss told the public that the embattled coach is locked in his position, despite losing 6 consecutive games, and actually fired him days later. I also think that it would have been better if they picked Phil over D'Antoni. However, I think they could rise back above challenges and be in the playoff hunt again. They still remain a formidable opponent despite of their record. Which is why we just don't have to look at other teams losing to make our position in the standings better. The key is to be patient, to hope that our team plays better, for the bench to step up when the guys on the floor are tired.

    by bonjustin8 on 1/27/2013 2:28 PM
  12. @Hg: the thing i've always felt about the Lakers is that they seem to have this false sense of entitlement. unfortunately, Stern has helped amplify that and it's just hurt the league. i've felt for a long time (and you probably know this) that this is a population-based league. i'm not too interested in their annual drama. i mean how many years now has it been reported that Bryant is upset with Gasol, then Gasol trade talk starts, then Bryant and Gasol are playing all nice. i remember that kind of thing happening for the past three years. now, i don't believe Gasol to have an ego, but i believe overall their egos are undoing the Lakers at this point.

    @bonjustin8: i agree it's kind of difficult not to be looking at our position right out of the gate for the simple reason of seeing where we're stacking up against the other teams in the conference. it's probably even more difficult when we go on a tear like the 11-3 surge we had in december and early january.

    by Kassandra on 1/27/2013 4:29 PM
  13. Put my vote in the "after the All-Star break" column. You know me and my obsession with scoreboard watching from past blogs, but I'm doing my best to control the urge for the next few weeks.

    I'd bye lying if I said I don't check out the overall standings fairly regularly, but scoping out other teams and who I want to win in their contests hasn't been on the radar.

    Yet.

    Hopefully we're still having this conversation in a couple weeks!

    by sarahhecht on 1/28/2013 1:35 PM
  14. Most important stat so far Blazers > Lakers....everything else can wait until after the all-star break!

    by BlockParty aka Teamship on 1/28/2013 8:06 PM
  15. @Sarah: it seems each year gets less predictable so it's difficult to really start paying attention to it until the field is narrowed a bit. just when i had my mid-season thing firmly in mind, Barrett mentioned our road wins over the Knicks and Grizzlies! i'm trying to resist as well, but it's becoming more and more difficult.

    @Teamship: that's been a staple of the BlazerNation since before their arena was called staples center. see what i did there? seriously though; we're loving that stat!

    by Kassandra on 1/29/2013 7:06 AM
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