- Even Andre Miller has no clue who the Blazers will play.
It sure is nice to be back in America. At a bar in Hungary I watched their version of ESPN broadcast a curling match (tape delayed, naturally), women's handball, and then a highlight montage from the Indian cricket team set to techno music—yet still, that was infinitely better than anything Colin Cowherd has ever done.
Oh hey, it's basketball playoff time. The NBA season mercilessly winds down in the next 48 hours, and while the Eastern Conference postseason has taken shape, the Western Conference is still up in the air. I'm no statlete, but I'll do my best to stare aimlessly at the current NBA standings and determine what the Blazers' playoff options look like.
• Right now the Blazers are the sixth seed, and there is no chance they'll climb any higher. They can fall to the eighth seed with dual losses tonight (against Memphis at home) and tomorrow (against a short-handed Golden State team in Oakland), and victories from either Memphis or New Orleans. But that's doubtful. If they win tonight, as they should, the sixth seed is definitely theirs. The Blazers can split the games and still keep the sixth seed, but to explain that would make my tender head explode. Basically, the Blazers will be the sixth seed. You can write that down. In pen!
• Seeding is everything. In the past two seasons the Blazers have pulled the short end of the stick, drawing first round opponents that were either uncharacteristically hot (the Phoenix Suns in 2009-10) or uncharacteristically healthy (the Houston Rockets in 2008-09). This year the Blazers look to fare better, since the Oklahoma City Thunder are the only team they really should avoid in the opening round of the postseason.
• The Los Angeles Lakers: While it was impressive to see the Blazers topple Team Kobe last Friday, and the Lakers are currently dropping games at a Clippers-ish rate, a playoff matchup with the two-time defending NBA champions isn't the ideal situation for Portland. Fun, but not ideal. The Lakers are built to win in the postseason, and all Portland fans know that nothing good happens when that team spends their postseason in the Rose Garden.
• The Dallas Mavericks: Portland split the season series with the Mavericks, but are 2-0 since acquiring Gerald Wallace. LaMarcus Aldridge thrives against his hometown team (averaging close to 28 points to game against Dallas this season), and the Blazers match up well against the Mavs. Plus, unlike Kobe Bryant and company, rarely has Dallas established themselves as an elite team in the second season. And their owner hates bloggers. Win this round for me, boys!
The dust will settle a little tonight, but chances are the final playoff seeding won't be clear until late on Wednesday night. That shouldn't stop you from buying your Blazers playoff tickets, the first two games will be available this Friday at noon online and at 2pm at various ticket outlets.