(With a little badgering from Kelsey, here is my first article!)
With a cool confidence and a strut in their step, the Portland Trail Blazers have finagled the fourth seed and home court advantage in the extremely deep Western Conference. The "swagger" of this team continues to amaze and inspire the Portland faithful.
Brandon "The Natural" Roy continues to lead this team with a veteran poise, and Lamarcus Aldridge has been playing at all star form. Steve Blake and Sergio have seemed to figure things out, with heady and smart play at the point.
The Mississippi Madman Travis Outlaw has consistently contributed points off the bench, while Rudy has been out of his mind from beyond the arc. (Congratulations Rudy Fernandez on the Rookie record for three pointers in a season.)
The weather forecast in the Northwest leading up to Saturday’s tipoff: Sunshine and an imminent chance of Rip City back to Portland. The stars are aligning.
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Momentum as: “Strength or force gained by motion or through the development of events”
The Portland Trail Blazers have won six straight heading into the playoffs and 10 of their last 11 ball games. What a way to close out the season for a young, inexperienced, soft team. Even more impressive is the fashion in which they have won. Five of the 11 games were blow outs of 20 or more.
That strength gained for the most part by a fluent offense and steady defense. During this final stretch, Portland has witnessed wins against four Western Conference Playoff teams. With the most recent, a 28 point shellacking of division rival Denver Nuggets. The Trail Blazers have made true believers of themselves and the Portland fans.
The Houston Rockets are a formidable opponent, and seem to be the team Portland fans would have least liked to play in the first round. Yao and Artest are two amazing talents, but this Portland team is too young to care or know what they are supposed to be.
A predicted No. 7 or No. 8 seed in the Western conference they have vastly over achieved, what is to say the playoffs will be any different?
If momentum is a key to playoff success then Portland is sitting pretty, as not even the Cavaliers or Lakers have finished as strong.
Excitement and an overall euphoria has descended upon Portland and with one of the best home court advantages in the NBA, the Trail Blazers are poised and ready to show the Rockets an early exit from the post season once again.