October 1, 2009

Blazers 2.0

While the zombie Sonics are "allegedly" one of the most talented young teams in the NBA, the nearby Portland Trailblazers are probably the most talented young teams in the league. After jumping ship (well call it getting dumped by the Sonics/Thunder) and getting on the Trailwagon, this should be a fun season of basketball... the Blazers are going to compete for the best record in the West while Oklahoma City maybe gets a playoff spot.

Portland won 54 games last season, gave the Lakers as many problems as anyone in the West and has more young talent than any Western contender. These are inarguable facts. Equally salient is that they lost in the first round of the playoffs to Houston, a defeat they blame on their lack of playoff experience.

Thus, one can see the danger in extrapolating from Portland's 2008-09 regular season by having the Blazers anoint themselves championship hopefuls and worthy rivals to L.A. -- um, shouldn't they win a series first?

So on Monday, the Blazers came out in humble mode, with an answer for their season goal that seemed more scripted than a political talking point: "Win the division."

You had to be there to believe it. It wasn't one person or a couple of people saying this; it was everybody, from general manager Kevin Pritchard to coach Nate McMillan (both of whom talked with the media last Wednesday) to the deepest reserves. There was no ambiguity at all, no stuttering looking for the right words. Regardless of who talked, every single question about goals for this season met an immediate response of "win the division."

How about you guys do this... win the division and blow out Oklahoma City/Zombie Sonics every chance you get. I wouldn't mind a brawl going into the stands in OKC either, if there's fans still going to those games after the economy took a dump.

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