This NBA season was really something else, especially since the Toronto Raptors clinched the number one seed in the Eastern Conference while the Houston Rockets sit at the top seed of the Western Conference. With all the surprises coming our way, including the fact that the Golden State Warriors are no longer clear favorites, most people overlook the season Portland Trail Blazers is having.
Prior to the beginning of the 2017-18 season, people gave Portland a chance of making the playoffs, but no one imagined in their wildest dreams that the Blazers could hold the home court advantage in the packed Western Conference. Although you could argue that the injuries have made New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves an easier competition, you can’t deny that the Trail Blazers deserve to be among the top teams in the West. Can you? Are the Trail Blazers legit or this is just a coincidence?
Last time Portland Trail Blazers finished the regular season as the third seed was in 1999-2000 season, the same year they had their last Western Conference Finals appearance. After that, the Blazers managed to come out from the first round twice. This year that seems like a sure thing thanks to Damian Lillard and his supporting cast. So yes, the Portland Trail Blazers are legit.
The fact that we can call the rest of the Trail Blazers “supporting cast” and they probably won’t get offended played a great part in Portland’s success. Dame is the boss and alpha dog of the team, and he makes the last call. The reason why no one tries to dispute that is that Lillard almost always makes a good decision has hit numerous game winners, buzz beaters, and clutch shots during the season, and never stops fighting. He is playing arguably his best career season, averaging 26.8 points on 44.1 percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game. The Dame is playing the game, so it is hard to argue that the Blazers are not legit.
Also the previously mentioned “supporting cast” is what makes them legit. C. J. McCollum has embraced the role of being Robin to Lillard’s Batman and its working perfectly. When Dame is struggling, McCollum is that guy who can go out and drop 30 points on any team in the league. He has a great feel of the situation and knows when to take over and when to immerse himself in the role of a secondary option. Then, there is Jusuf Nurkic.
The “Bosnian Beast” came to Portland towards the end of the last season and had some monster performances which propelled the Blazers into playoffs. This season he has been playing with inconsistency, but the important thing is that Nurk provides energy on both ends and is showing promise.
Don’t get us wrong, we are not that keen on Portland Trail Blazers to give them a chance of coming out from West, but they could make the Western Conference Finals. See, the Blazers will most likely face the Warriors in the Second Round, and this Warriors team has shown that their game suffers when Stephen Curry isn’t there. Curry will most likely get back in time for the clash against the Blazers, but if he doesn’t, our money would be on Blazers.