Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Wild West

Don't look now but the Blazers have won eight games in a row. My love for Travis Outlaw is well documented in this space, but Channing Frye is stepping up in place of LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy is taking this game to the next level. Not only that, but this team is suddenly making it hard for their opponents to score baskets. They are now 10-6 against the West, 10-3 at home, and just won a road/home back-to-back against Denver and New Orleans. That is all pretty legit.

So, will it last? Probably not. After all, hailing from the Northwest, the Blazers are my team, which means that, by the laws of pro sports (and college, for that matter), it won't last. After all, we are just a few months removed from the Mariners going on huge winning streaks and leading the AL Wild Card with six weeks to play in the MLB season. How did that work out? Exactly.

That said, a look at the Western Conference standings right now shows just how wild things are going to be out west this year. San Antonio, Phoenix, and Dallas are the top three teams, which was totally expected. And Denver leading the Northwest isn't breaking news. But after that things get crazy. For starters, the Lakers are much better than expected as Bynum is emerging, Kobe is playing nice, and the addition of Trevor Ariza has transformed their defense. It is hard to see this team missing the playoffs is Bryant is on the roster in the spring. Likewise, it is hard to picture Golden State getting left out, considering they are like 100-3 in Stephen Jackson's last 103 regular season games (slight exaggeration). And you know Utah will turn it around once Okur gets healthy and Sloan makes his team play defense again. So that's seven teams. And there are only eight playoff spots. Which means that the Hornets (would be the third best team in the East), Blazers, and (gulp) Rockets are battling for the last playoff spot. The Rockets? Weren't they supposed to challenge for the Western Conference title?

Seriously, this is crazy.

My guess is that Portland will be the first to fade, since they are just too young and too inconsistent on the road. But can you picture the playoffs without either the Hornets or the Rockets? I can't.

I guess we'll have to wait and see how this all plays out. Should be fun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great points, it is totally crazy. I told a friend yesterday, that if the playoffs began today, that Houston wouldn't make it, that they were currently in 9th (might have been the case 1-2 days ago, unsure of now)! Crazy!

Also, no one else on the bright side of the sun blog is saying it, but I've been saying it since I saw the lakers play on tv a few days back, this team is much better (w/o any trades occurring yet) than I expected! Bynum, Farmer, Odom, definitely a playoff team so far.