After that exciting NCAA championship game (see: sarcasm), it’s time to focus our basketball attention where it belonged all along: the NBA. With the season winding down, I am confidently picking the Blazers to win the West. That’s right, the Portland Trailblazers. Before you call me crazy, allow me to explain. Over the weekend, I attended my first NBA game since our wonderful city of Seattle had their team stolen. Since we no longer have a team, where do NBA fans in Seattle go to get their basketball fix? To Seattle Storm games! Just kidding, no one likes the WNBA. Those of us that still care about the NBA have to make the three hour drive to Seattle’s little sister, Portland.
On Sunday, the Blazers hosted the Dallas Mavericks in a game that could hardly be called a contest. The final score shows that the Blazers only won by eight, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Not even close. Dallas got dominated. Not once, did they have the lead. Portland scored the first basket and never looked back, leading by as many as 21 late in the game. The game was so entertaining that I didn’t even get the urge to tweet. The Blazers were just too good and it seemed like everyone was making plays. However, there was one name that kept coming up. Gerald Wallace.
On March 8th, the Blazers sent Joel Pryzbilla, Dante Cunningham and a 2011 first-round pick to the Charlotte Bobcats for Gerald Wallace. Basically, the Blazers gave up a late first-round pick in a very weak draft for the Bobcats best player. And we thought Memphis GM Chris Wallace was the only one who gave away players! Portland fans already love the trade. If I didn’t know Wallace joined the team a few weeks ago, I would have thought he’d been there for years. The crowd loves him because he plays so hard. He can score, he can rebound and he’s the one diving for loose balls. Portland fans are justified in loving that trade too. From what I saw in the one game I attended, Wallace is just what the team needs to put them into the Finals.
So yeah, maybe I am crazy. Am I really making my claim based off of one game? Absolutely. Did Rudy Fernandez and Gerald Wallace become two of my favorite players? Obviously. It’s not too crazy though. The Blazers are a good team, they’re fun to watch and they are an underdog. Who doesn’t want to cheer for the underdog? They’ll have a tough road through the playoffs though. If everything stays the same, the Blazers will be the sixth seed and take on the Mavericks in the first round. After the Mavericks, in order to get to the Finals, the Blazers would most likely have to get through the Lakers and either the Spurs or that one team that used to play in Seattle. The one thing that worries me is the lack of home court advantage. Not that it’s much of a surprise, but Portland is a much better team at home. So far, 22 of their 32 loses have come on the road. But it doesn’t scare me enough not to back up my claim by with a few dollars. I’ll take all the money I won by betting the over on “how long will Christina Aguilera hold the note BRAVE at the end of end of the Star Spangled Banner” and put it towards the Portland Trailblazers winning the West. At +3500, why not?