Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blazers Post: Playoff Bound

Thanks to a Phoenix loss earlier today, the Blazers are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2003. According to basketball-reference.com, Portland has the number 1 rated offense in the entire NBA and they've been flat out dominating in the past four games. Around this time of year I've had no problem switching to Baseball Mode because it's been so long since the Blazers have been in the playoffs, but this year I'll have to deal with managing the two for awhile. Hopefully it's a long while.

I skipped a week of posting because, after a ridiculously brutal schedule this season, Portland finally got a breather and only played 5 games in the last 2 weeks. The Blazers had won 4 straight going into tonight's game after a tough home OT loss against Philly.

The Blazers are now at 48 wins on the season, which means there are only 2 cards left out of the box of 50 that I picked up at a game at the beginning of the season. I'm starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel as far as what cards are left to scan, but there's one in particular that I saved for either the 50th victory or a playoff-clincher, whichever came first.

About the cards:
  • Rod Strickland was already on his way out, as evidenced by the "Traded to Washington" tag across the front. His trade would usher in the Rasheed Wallace era. Strickland was the focal point of the offense for a time in the mid-90s, but I don't think anyone ever refers to a "Rod Strickland era."
  • I'm always clamoring for the Blazers to pick up a Mark Bryant type of player, someone who does a lot of dirty work and occasionally knocks the ball in the hoop or knocks an opposing player to the floor. Michael Ruffin could have been that guy, I suppose, but it seems like the guy forgot how to play basketball during all his time off. At least, that's how I have judged him in his garbage time minutes.
  • I honestly don't remember what the difference was between a "Member's Choice" Stadium Club card and a regular one.
  • The Sabonis card is incredible! The blue sky background is actually some sort of translucent plastic or film. Every time I've gone to a card show in the past six months or so I've found some sort of ridiculous technology that some company tried that makes me spontaneously want to laugh and throw up. On the back, you can see that they reversed the photo, but tried to "fix" it by altering the uniform number. Nothing else looks right about the photo, though. Sometimes I just sit here and mesmerize myself by flipping the card over and over again.
Bonus: Playoff time! This was a particularly epic series, as always with Phoenix. Buck Williams is about to make future major KJ drop the ball through the sheer power of his deadly goggle gaze while Terry Porter looks on and decides to stay out of the confrontation.

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