Rip City Indeed
So our city has a uniquely strong relationship with its professional basketball team, The Portland Trailblazers. Representing one of only two pro sports teams in the area (yes we love the Timbers too!!!), the Blazers are on a roll and after having dispatched The Golden State Warriors (#1 in the world) on February 13th, well, there’s plenty to be hyped about. But just how far will it all go this season? Well…I’m going to do a bit of speculation here.
First of all, I’m not a pro sports expert in any sense. I’m just an avid fan. However I really do dig watching our team take care of business and wow, they sure did in dramatic fashion on 2/13. I was fortunate to have tickets to the game (good ones) and the show put on by both teams was one for the ages. Heck, Golden State’s coach, Steve Kerr (the former 3-point money man from the Jordan dynasty team), got kicked out of the game after losing his cool over a flagrant technical foul called on Draymont Green.
Watching a game against the Warriors at Moda Center is always a ton of fun. With PDX so close to San Fran, well, a good 1/3 of the crowd ends up decked out in yellow and blue. So, no matter which team scores, the place erupts. It’s almost like they’re meeting on neutral ground…that is, until Portland starts to take off. Yes, in the 4th quarter of last week’s game, which saw the lead change at least 20 times, Portland started widening the gap, eventually winning by a very impressive 22 points (final score 129 to 107). 22 points against last year’s NBA champs, and the champs of 3 of the last 4 seasons! Amazing.
Incoming Big Man
Portland has always struggled to attract and, in some cases, keep top talent. Certainly there are some exceptions as the current roster has some truly blue chip players, including 4-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard, Yusuf “The Bosnian Beast” Nurkic and CJ McCollum to name a few, but not being a “big city market” has made it a challenge to get more big time players. Well, just before the big game with the Warriors this situation changed. Portland signed Enes Kanter, a center from the NY Knicks, and wow that’s going to shake things up…further into the positive. And with the All-star Break kicking into gear now, Mr. Kanter can roll into the Rose City and get well integrated before things pick back up next week. This is a huge add for Portland and will make us deeper in the second string. Kanter is the real deal…so lookout LA, Houston, Golden State and all else. Kanter must also be smiling with his inbound status after seeing what our awesome team just did to the Warriors. And get this, Kanter apparently passed on an invitation to play for the Lakers (along with several other teams vying for him). Rather, he chose the Blazers. Sweet.
Well, I’m not a sports writer…but passion often fills in the gaps. And passionate I am about the red, white and black. Let’s hope Rip City can bolster its name further with a repeat of 1977. I do remember that time as a very young kid…it was awesome! So on the speculation side of things, well, I am dead sure the Blazers, which currently sit in the 4th position in the west, will not only keep their position, but possibly usurp The Oklahoma City Thunder and get to the 3 spot. With that, they’ll go into the 2nd round (at least), and possibly make it to the Western Conference Championships. If they get there, well, after seeing what they did to Golden State last week…it could be anyones game to go all the way. And if they can beat out the Warriors, taking care of what the east can throw at us will be like picking up a small, suburban house cat after wrestling with a tiger. Fun times ahead!
The games this season have been a real blast (I’ve been to 4 now). Here’s a link to check out ticket options, which can be had for as little as $23. Enjoy!