Should the Portland Trail Blazers Be Satisfied with the No. 8 Seed in the West?

T.Contributor IMarch 19, 2010

LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 4:  Nicolas Batum #88 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots a jump shot against Vladimir Radmanovic #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers on January 4, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.    NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Portland Trail Blazers stand right now at eight place in the Western Conference with an overall record of 41-28.

That leaves 13 games left in the 2009-2010 season for Portland.

if the season ended today the Blazers would face the L.A. Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.

Though most teams would rather face anyone than the Lakers, it may be to the Blazers advantage to play them.

Portland matches up well with the Lakers and always seems to play their best basketball when L.A. is in town.

Whatever the reason is, the Blazers seem to consistently beat the Lakers at home. Before a loss earlier this season, Portland had a home winning streak against L.A. since February 23, 2005.

During that stretch the Lakers had consistently been one of the best teams in the NBA.

So why wouldn't the Blazers want to play them?

They're only a half game behind the San Antonio Spurs. If they did move past the Spurs that would hypothetically set up a first round match up with the Denver Nuggets.

In my opinion, Denver is a much more dangerous team and Portland hasn't had substantial success against them recently.

Ideally, the best matchup for the Blazers in the playoffs would be the Oklahoma City Thunder.

But Portland would have to move up several spaces to set up that matchup.

If the Blazers beat the Lakers in the first round they would be in the driver's seat in the Western Conference playoffs.

There's no telling how the playoff race will work out in the tight Western Conference but if Portland does end up facing the Lakers,

Let's beat L.A.