Tonight the Portland Trailblazers officially start the season with a home game against the Houston Rockets, the team they lost to in the playoffs last year. The home team should give the Rose Garden faithful a good show, despite Nicolas Batum’s absence – it pays to have a deep bench! The Rockets, sans Yao Ming and Ron Artest, are likely to be a shadow of their last year playoff self.
I have a confession to make. Despite being a season ticket holder, I have not attended or watched a single preseason game this year. I have no idea what the new guys (other than Juwan Howard and Andre Miller) even look like.
But the tradition here is to make a prediction as to the team’s success in the upcoming season. This year I have little on which to base my prediction, except for my knowledge of last year’s team and the two aforementioned veterans, that Martell is back, Batum is no longer a rookie, and Oden is looking strong and confident.
Two years ago, I was spot on at 41-41. Last year I predicted 49 wins, five short of their eventual accomplishment. At the time my prediction seemed optimistic, as most prognosticators predicted the Blazers would win a handful more games than the season before. Batum, Rudy Fernandez, and really even Greg Oden, as you may recall, were relatively unknown commodities. As the season progressed I saw the error of my conservative guessing ways, and offered my mea culpa, and a scolding to pessimists, in a blog post: Never underestimate the Trail Blazers.
So I’ve learned my lesson. I’m not going to underestimate this team. My brother Steve has predicted an optimistic 59 wins. I’m going to go even further out on a limb: My prediction is 63 wins and 19 losses. Yup, they’ll tie the best record ever for the Trailblazers franchise, set by the 1990-91 team.
My brother Steve, a Portland native and lifelong Trailblazers fan like me, moved to Elko, Nevada a few years ago. He’s still a BLZRFAN, and he blogs at Dave Knows: Elko.
Here are some of his preseason thoughts and predictions on the 2009-2010 Portland Trailblazers season:
Last year’s Portland Trailblazer season was pretty amazing. 54 wins, 4th seed in the tough Western Conference. I’m usually an eternal optimist as far as the Blazers go, but last season even exceeded my expectations. They are all unselfish team players, have a phenomenal bench, and an underrated superstar in Brandon Roy. This is going to be Greg Oden’s year, I’m telling you! My prediction: 59 wins and a Northwest division championship.
Update: 2010-2011 schedule is here
Listed below is the entire 2009-2010 Portland Trailblazers regular season schedule. Check NBA.com for the rest of the teams’ schedules.
|Tuesday, October 27||Houston||7|
|Thursday, October 29||Denver||7:30||TNT|
|Saturday, October 31||@ Houston||5:30|
|Sunday, November 1||@ Oklahoma City||4|
|Tuesday, November 3||Atlanta||7|
|Friday, November 6||San Antonio||7:30||ESPN|
|Sunday, November 8||Minnesota||6|
|Tuesday, November 10||@ Memphis||5|
|Wednesday, November 11||@ Minnesota||5|
|Friday, November 13||@ New Orleans||5|
|Saturday, November 14||@ Charlotte||4||NBATV|
|Monday, November 16||@ Atlanta||4|
|Wednesday, November 18||Detroit||7|
|Friday, November 20||@ Golden State||7:30|
|Saturday, November 21||Minnesota||7|
|Monday, November 23||Chicago||7||NBATV|
|Wednesday, November 25||New Jersey||7|
|Friday, November 27||Memphis||7|
|Saturday, November 28||@ Utah||6|
|Tuesday, December 1||Miami||7|
|Saturday, December 5||Houston||7|
|Monday, December 7||@ New York||4:30|
|Wednesday, December 9||@ Indiana||4|
|Friday, December 11||@ Cleveland||5||ESPN|
|Saturday, December 12||@ Milwaukee||5:30|
|Tuesday, December 15||Sacramento||7|
|Thursday, December 17||Phoenix||7:30||TNT|
|Saturday, December 19||@ Orlando||4||NBATV|
|Sunday, December 20||@ Miami||3|
|Tuesday, December 22||@ Dallas||5:30|
|Wednesday, December 23||@ San Antonio||5:30|
|Friday, December 25||Denver||7:30||ESPN|
|Monday, December 28||Philadelphia||7|
|Wednesday, December 30||L.A. Clippers||7|
|Saturday, January 2||Golden State||7|
|Monday, January 4||@ L.A. Clippers||7:30|
|Tuesday, January 5||Memphis||7|
|Friday, January 8||L.A. Lakers||7|
|Sunday, January 10||Cleveland||6||ESPN|
|Wednesday, January 13||Milwaukee||7|
|Friday, January 15||Orlando||7:30||ESPN|
|Monday, January 18||@ Washington||10 a.m.||NBATV|
|Wednesday, January 20||@ Philadelphia||4|
|Friday, January 22||@ Boston||4:30|
|Saturday, January 23||@ Detroit||4:30|
|Monday, January 25||New Orleans||7|
|Wednesday, January 27||Utah||7||NBATV|
|Friday, January 29||@ Houston||5:30|
|Saturday, January 30||@ Dallas||5:30|
|Monday, February 1||Charlotte||7|
|Wednesday, February 3||@ Utah||7:30||ESPN|
|Thursday, February 4||San Antonio||7:30||TNT|
|Saturday, February 6||L.A. Lakers||7|
|Tuesday, February 9||Oklahoma City||7|
|Wednesday, February 10||@ Phoenix||6|
|Tuesday, February 16||L.A. Clippers||7|
|Friday, February 19||Boston||7:30||ESPN|
|Sunday, February 21||Utah||7:30||ESPN|
|Tuesday, February 23||@ New Jersey||4:30|
|Wednesday, February 24||@ Toronto||4|
|Friday, February 26||@ Chicago||5|
|Saturday, February 27||@ Minnesota||5|
|Monday, March 1||@ Memphis||5|
|Wednesday, March 3||Indiana||7|
|Sunday, March 7||@ Denver||7:30||ESPN|
|Tuesday, March 9||Sacramento||7|
|Thursday, March 11||@ Golden State||7:30||TNT|
|Friday, March 12||@ Sacramento||7|
|Sunday, March 14||Toronto||6|
|Friday, March 19||Washington||7|
|Sunday, March 21||@ Phoenix||7:30||ESPN|
|Thursday, March 25||Dallas||7:30||TNT|
|Saturday, March 27||@ New Orleans||5||NBATV|
|Sunday, March 28||@ Oklahoma City||4|
|Wednesday, March 31||New York||7|
|Thursday, April 1||@ Denver||7:30||TNT|
|Saturday, April 3||@ Sacramento||7|
|Wednesday, April 7||@ L.A. Clippers||7:30|
|Friday, April 9||Dallas||7||NBATV|
|Sunday, April 11||@ L.A. Lakers||12:30||ABC|
|Monday, April 12||Oklahoma City||7|
|Wednesday, April 14||Golden State||7:30|
Ever wonder what happened to God Shammgod, one of the most intriguingly named college basketball stars ever?
Ever wish you could watch pro basketball after the Trailblazers’ season ends?
The team’s home arena is The Hoop YMCA (9685 SW Harvest Court) in Beaverton. Tonight at 7:15pm the Waves tip off against the Snohomish County Explosion in the home, and season, opener. Tickets are only $8 for adults, $5 for kids.
God Shammgod, the Providence star who played briefly in the NBA for the Wizards (1997-8), returns to Portland for a second year. Last year he played for the defunct Portland Chinooks. Teammates include Tigard High and OSU product David Lucas, who has led the IBL in scoring the last two years with an average of 37 points per game, former U of O player David Jackson, Western Oregon’s Robert Day, three year OSU starter Lamar Hurd, and Portland State’s Hasan Arthuree.
Visit the team’s website for a complete schedule, information about season tickets, merchandise, and roster (which consists primarily of local products).
Update: The Oregonian’s Paul Buker gives us a glimpse into the world of IBL basketball: Former college players hope to use spring basketball league as a stepping stone to bigger things.