Remember my “I have a feeling about Brendon Todd” post? Well, you’re all going to be thrilled to know that I have yet another feeling. This time, it’s about the Portland Trail Blazers. If you missed last night’s game against the Lakers, don’t make the mistake again, because this team is ridiculous right now. I’m sure what I say next will make me look like an idiot in approximately one week, but I actually think they’re going to beat the Lakers. Everything is clicking in the bubble right now, and unlike, say, Allen Iverson’s heroic performance agains the Lakers in game one of the 2001 finals, this didn’t feel like a John Henry vs. the Machine last gasp. It felt like the Blazers were legitimately better, and that even with a fairly unbelievable game from LeBron and a poor overall shooting performance from Portland, it was still pretty hard for the Lakers to win. I don’t know if they’re missing Avery Bradley or what, but they look like a two-trick pony right now, and the tricks don’t seem good enough.
Which means we could be looking at one of the rare 8-over-1 NBA playoff upsets, and if Orlando’s performance in game one against the Bucks is any indication, we might be in for a really wild scene when it happens in both conferences. That outcome remains very, very far-fetched, but I’m a believer in Damien Lillard and the Blazers.
I’m also really, really loving the trend of Lillard taking very important shots late in close games from halfcourt:
But it wasn’t just Lillard last night. McConnell, Carmelo, and Duke’s own Gary Trent Jr. hit enormous shots in the last five minutes, with Trent nailign the clincher:
This team is just fun as hell, and the Lakers are not. I was texting a friend of mine last night, and he was saying that LeBron’s game is pretty boring to watch aside from his passing, and I generally agree. Anthony Davis is similar—to a degree, both of them are going to try to bludgeon you to death. It might work in the end, but I get the feeling momentum and style are going to win out. Go Blazers.