Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Final Game: Portland at Phoenix

The season that was the jumpoff for this city rediscovering that Blazers love is coming to a conclusion tonight. They play a Phoenix team that is both elite and motivated. All the playoff seeding possibilities are confusing (to me), but we know that Phoenix will not have home-court advantage in the first round if they don't beat Portland tonight.

With Portland's late surge they've achieved the ahead of schedule feat of 41 wins, guaranteeing at least a .500 season. Of course they will be pumped at the opportunity to secure an above .500 record. For the youngest team of in the league, the way the Western Conference is this year, I'd say even being so close is remarkable.

Unfortunately, the game is at Phoenix. Portland is still trying to figure out how to win consistently on the road (13-27) and against Phoenix (0-9 over last nine). Factoring in a Suns squad that will be more amped than they usually get for the Trailblazers and the odds of a Rip City win seem remote. So be it. This team has overachieved all season. Given their taste for overcoming odds, I wouldn't be surprised at a Blazers win tonight. It would be a perfect end to this season, sending one more blip on the basketball radar that this team is turning into a serious force.

That is the sappy fan in me. The reality is that this season has been a huge success regardless of what happens in the desert tonight. Things are good in Blazerland, and somehow getting better. I'm just enjoying the ride.

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