A headline somewhere on Oregonlive yesterday called Blazer fans giddy, which I think is the perfect word to describe the general feeling. I grew up in Portland, so the playoffs were a regular rite of spring throughout my childhood (as was a first round exit most years). From 1977 through 2003 the Blazers only missed the playoffs one season (1981-2). But it’s been five long, disorienting, years since we’ve tasted the playoffs, and those last few times left a bad taste. This year’s playoff appearance is particularly sweet – the team is in the upper echelon of the Western Conference ahead of schedule, we have a young team still getting better, and they’re playing so goddamn well right now.
Back in October, before the 2008-2009 season began, I guessed that the Trail Blazers would go 49-33. At the time I felt my prediction was too conservative, but very few people were predicting a 50 win season, and with the Western Conference’s parity in the top half it seemed reasonably optimistic to hope for a 7th or 8th seed. I had correctly predicted a 41-41 record the previous season.
Clearly I underestimated the Trail Blazers this year. And I’m not the only one who’s glad to be wrong.
A few commenters on my October post also made their predictions. Let’s see how prescient, or not, they were . . .
- Some character named Mizzzzzz scoffed: almost 50 wins? here’s hoping! I suspect about 44 wins-38 losses.
- Drew was slightly more optimistic, I think they would win at least 47 games, but then he commented again but they won’t make the playoffs because the west is too strong. Just saying I’m not dissing my favorite team
- Diane came the closest, with I think they’ll win at least 52.
I hope Mr. Mizzzzzz is enjoying his heaping serving of crow. And Drew, be more optimistic! Diane wins the Dave Knows Trail Blazers record prediction contest this year – Congrats! 😉
My prediction for round 1 is Blazers in 7.
I’ve seen optimistic predictions that the Blazers will win the series in 6, but I give Houston more credit than that. I expect Aaron Brooks (a Duck) and Von Wafer (former Blazer) to play well in Portland. They might be the catalyst for Houston taking a game in Portland. And Yao’s tough to defend – we’ll see how the refs call things. I do fully expect Artest to do something stupid, like get kicked out of a game or get a suspension; whatever he does Blazers, don’t leave the bench!