Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mavericks vs. Blazers and the NBA Playoffs

The NBA Playoffs are off and running once again. Looking at the current labor situation, it could be awhile before this happens again. Last time the league had a lockout they were able to avoid completely wiping out a season, but it definitely damaged the league financially and resulted in some scheduling craziness for a season. The Blazers are in the playoffs for the third year in a row and are looking to get out of the first round for the first time since the year after that lockout, but will have a tough road to climb against a 3rd seeded Dallas team. I'll post a card for every win the Blazers can pull off in the playoffs this year, not counting these two that I dug up at a card show last weekend.

Predictions? Well, let me tell you a story. Every year I convince myself that the Blazers should beat their opponent, much less that they can beat them, and eventually hopes and expectations are dashed and I stop caring about basketball until the fall. Is this year's team any different? They have improved drastically since acquiring Gerald Wallace. They scrap and hustle and have one of the most valuable players in the league in LaMarcus Aldridge, a deadly shooter as well as one of the best "above the rim" players. Aldridge just kills the Mavs.

However, this team has found bizarre ways to flounder about, lose games they have no business losing, can't shoot three pointers to save their lives (even though they insist on trying.) They failed to win 50 games this year, which is pretty much a benchmark standard for a good NBA team. They are not a deep team any way that you look at it. I'm incredibly amused by all of the national press they've gotten leading up to tonight's opening game, praising their depth. What depth? They are basically 7 1/2 players deep if you count Brandon Roy, who has been relegated to backup PG duties, as that 1/2. No one else on their active roster even belongs on the floor. Aldridge and Wallace will likely play 40-45 minutes a game in this series if they can stay healthy. Of course, they are one injury away from Chris Johnson or... heaven forbid... Luke Babbitt seeing meaningful minutes.

Of course, every time I've written off this team this season, they've turned around and beaten up on teams like the Spurs and the Heat. I'll just go ahead and write them off right now and expect a short series in the Mavericks' favor. Go Blazers!

1 comment:

Charles @ Hoopography said...

This is the game I'm most psyched for today, but it's on a little late for me to watch the entire game.