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SALT LAKE CITY -- What's this? Another Trail Blazers victory? Another road win? A win keyed by a fourth-quarter surge?

What in the name of Jack Ramsay is going on here?

The Blazers on Friday continued their resurgent play, pulling away in the second half to beat the Utah Jazz 87-73 for their sixth win in seven games, creeping closer to their goal of having a winning record by next weekend's All-Star break.


Funny how things have turned around for Portland over the past two plus weeks. I hope that the team can continue to play like it has against the weak teams in the league, but also keep up their play against the elite teams. I like Portland's shot to make the playoffs now. With a little luck the odd team out will be Memphis and Portland can keep the streak alive while still getting that lottery pick. :yes:



oregonlive.com
 

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I like the way you think Howie :rock:
 

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What about Denver, they have the worse record than Memphis?:confused: I think the Grizzlies have better chances to make the playoffs than the Nuggets.
 

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Other likely scenario- Neither the Nuggets OR the Grizzlies make the playoffs.
 

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Obviously a title is tops on my list of things I want the Blazers to do (several times) before I die..but it would be nice to 1: make the playoffs again and 2: win more than 37 games.

Why? Keep the streak alive, (altho if it ends, it ends) and continue to be the only team in the NBA to win at least 37 games each season since the 74-75 season.

I know having more titles would be very nice, but thats a damn respectable stat.
 

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I would love to see the Blazers shut the yaps of all the pundits who had written them off earlier this season and make the playoffs. But in reality, this year, it's going to be the Spurs, Lakers and Kings duking it out for the Western crown, and then we may actually see a contest in the NBA Finals, depending on what condition the two conference winners survive in.

A playoff berth to keep the streak alive would be fun, but honestly, it'd take Memphis not making the post-season (so that we still get a lottery pick) to make it completely sweet.

.500 by the all-star break is a definite possibility, especially considering Seattle's Ray Allen appeared to have injured his shoulder in the Phoenix game.
 

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Why is it such a big deal that we get a lottery pick from Memphis?

If Memphis misses the playoffs, we get the 14th pick. If they make the playoffs, we probably get the 18th pick.

No matter what, we're not gonna get a top 13 pick unless the Grizzlies completely tank the rest of the season and I mean REALLY tank the rest of the season.
 

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because

If they miss the playoffs, we have a shot at a top 4 pick. I believe the only way we don't get it is if it ended up being #1. Yes you can say "Our chances are only so good at getting a lotto win.". But it has happened several times before, that is how teams like Seattle got Gary Payton (by vaulting to the #2 spot). Besides, I could care less about Memphis, I hope they lose a bunch.
 

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Re: because

Originally posted by <b>hasoos</b>!
If they miss the playoffs, we have a shot at a top 4 pick. I believe the only way we don't get it is if it ended up being #1. Yes you can say "Our chances are only so good at getting a lotto win.". But it has happened several times before, that is how teams like Seattle got Gary Payton (by vaulting to the #2 spot). Besides, I could care less about Memphis, I hope they lose a bunch.
Word. Hasoos nailed it. It seems to happen every year that a team that barely missed the playoffs gets a far better pick than they would have had the lottery not been in place.
 

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Re: because

Originally posted by <b>hasoos</b>!
If they miss the playoffs, we have a shot at a top 4 pick. I believe the only way we don't get it is if it ended up being #1.
The pick is top-3 protected this year. Charlotte gets the #4 pick guaranteed.

So it would be the 14th pick, but the difference between #14 and whatever pick we'd get if they do NOT make the playoffs is pretty substantial... Memphis would currently be handing over the #20 or 21 pick to us, and the way they're playing it could end up being even worse. I can see it being the #22 or 23 pick pretty easily.

Ed O.
 

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Re: Re: because

Originally posted by <b>Ed O</b>!
The pick is top-3 protected this year. Charlotte gets the #4 pick guaranteed.

So it would be the 14th pick, but the difference between #14 and whatever pick we'd get if they do NOT make the playoffs is pretty substantial... Memphis would currently be handing over the #20 or 21 pick to us, and the way they're playing it could end up being even worse. I can see it being the #22 or 23 pick pretty easily.

Ed O.
And I could see it being a #6 pick should the Grizzlies hit a rough patch. Considering the battle that's going to happen among Seattle, Portland, Memphis, Denver, Houston, and possibly Utah for the bottom couple of playoff spots someone's going to come out bloodied. The Grizzlies might have the best talent (and I say "might"), but they don't have the most clutch experience (the Blazers have that), nor do they have the best coach in these situations (that'd be Jerry Sloan or Jeff Van Gundy).

Should the Grizzlies miss the playoffs, which is still a distinct possibility, the Blazers could score an excellent pick. Even so, with Warkentien still in the front office surveying the talent pool, I'm pretty confident that should the Grizzlies wind up with a #22 or better pick, the Blazers could nab a good player courtesy of Memphis.
 

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Re: Re: Re: because

Originally posted by <b>Public Defender</b>!

And I could see it being a #6 pick should the Grizzlies hit a rough patch.
There's almost a zero percent chance of that happening.

The first four picks are the ones set by lottery and Charlotte's pick. That means that Memphis would have to finish with the fifth-worst record in the NBA and have none of the teams with a better record than them leapfrog them by winning one of the top three spots.

Memphis is currently 28-21. The worst records in the NBA are:

Orlando 13-39
Chicago 14-37
Washington 15-33
Atlanta 19-31
Phoenix 18-34

While it's possible that Memphis could go on a losing streak, they'd need a super-nasty collapse to finish worse than any of these teams. If Phoenix went .600 the rest of the way, which is seemingly beyond their ability, they'd finish 36-46. Memphis would have to go 8-25 to tie them for the fifth-worst record in the NBA. Not going to happen.

And, if they DID finish worse than any of these teams, then the odds of them getting one of the top 3 spots in the lottery... meaning Portland would not get their pick this summer.

If Memphis goes on a losing streak, I guess I could see their pick being up to #11 or 12, but they'd need to be passed by like 8 teams that are currently below them in the standings. Which is more likely than the scenario outlined above but still not likely.

Ed O.
 

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All I'm saying is that I've seen a few lotteries, and it seems that nearly every time, there's at least one team that jumps way up in the ranks. Should Memphis miss the playoffs, it could be them. I put #6 out there just as an example, as I'm guessing you placed Memphis with your #22 guestimate. To get #22, the Grizz would have to wind up behind only 6 teams in the entire NBA, which is probably more likely than my scenario, but still unlikely (at the very least, the Lakers, Kings, Timberwolves, Mavericks, Pacers and Pistons will finish ahead of Memphis).

I'll admit to a degree of wishful thinking, that the Grizz will wind up with a good-but-not-too-good lottery pick, but I also don't see the Grizz cracking into the elite tier with the toughest stretch of the season approaching.
 

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Originally posted by <b>Public Defender</b>!
All I'm saying is that I've seen a few lotteries, and it seems that nearly every time, there's at least one team that jumps way up in the ranks. Should Memphis miss the playoffs, it could be them. I put #6 out there just as an example, as I'm guessing you placed Memphis with your #22 guestimate. To get #22, the Grizz would have to wind up behind only 6 teams in the entire NBA, which is probably more likely than my scenario, but still unlikely (at the very least, the Lakers, Kings, Timberwolves, Mavericks, Pacers and Pistons will finish ahead of Memphis).
The thing is, the rules simply don't allow Memphis's pick to land at #6... unless they're truly a bad team (one of the worst five).

If they are the best team to miss the playoffs (record-wise), they have the 14th pick.

They can't jump partway up, because the lottery doesn't work like that. Only the top three spots are random, and the rest is based on standings. If the Grizzlies lucked out and won one of the top spots, they'd get to keep their pick.

I understand your skepticism about the Grizzlies getting the #22 pick, but look at the standings.

Currently, only Indiana, Sacramento, Minnesota, SA, Detroit, Dallas, LAL and NJ have better winning percentages than Memphis (Houston is tied, and Denver is tied in Games Behind but they're gone 1-1 in their extra two games so they have a worse %). The Grizzlies, if they won the tiebreaker/coin flip with Houston, would have the #22 pick.

Memphis is a young team that's had some injuries to key pieces of their team, but they've weathered a losing streak and are winning again. I think the odds of them moving up more than one spot is slim (I doubt two of the teams ahead of the are going to slip that far) but they're better than them going down to the bottom of the NBA in the next couple of months.

Ed O.
 

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THANK YOU ED O.

Memphis' pick can't miraculously JUMP to 6th.

The lottery will hold NO SUSPENSE for us. The lottery only determines the top 3 picks. If Memphis gets a top 3 pick, we can't get it. They keep it. Charlotte gets the 4th pick. The other picks are based on record.

If the Grizzlies finish with the 9th best record in the West and go to the lottery, we will either get the 14th pick or NO PICK. That's it. No 6th pick. No 8th pick. No 5th pick.

Luck of the draw will not help us! If Memphis gets lucky and wins ANYTHING at the lottery, we get NOTHING.
 

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Originally posted by <b>Ed O</b>!

They can't jump partway up, because the lottery doesn't work like that. Only the top three spots are random, and the rest is based on standings. If the Grizzlies lucked out and won one of the top spots, they'd get to keep their pick.

Ed O.
Thanks, I wasn't aware of that. I knew there was a way to leap up in the standings, but apparently only for the top three (protected) spots.

They just love making things complicated, don't they? ;)

That fact does change things somewhat in my mind... in essence, I'd like to see the Grizz lose often, so that our pick gets better, but with every game the Grizz win, I start wanting the Blazers to lose, so that we can get at least one high first-rounder.

Personally, while the playoff streak is nice, it seems like before long we'll set a record for the most first round playoff exits (if we don't have it already).
 

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Why does it matter how you get a good player?

We just traded for a high first rounder?

His name is Darius Miles.

Celebrate the fact that we have gotte Z-Bo and Miles, two guys who would've graduated from college this year, while still continuing to win.

Don't EVER root for us to lose. That gets us nowhere.

We can win the championship this year. We just have to win games.
 

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Originally posted by <b>NathanLane</b>!
Why does it matter how you get a good player?

We just traded for a high first rounder?

His name is Darius Miles.
True. However, we also gave up a high first-rounder, Bonzi Wells, in a trade that yielded a reserve who will probably walk at the end of the season. The kicker to that trade is the draft pick... and if it winds up in the 20-25 range, it could have a limited impact. It's hard to upgrade talent through trades, given the tainted talent the Blazers have left to offer and the needs we've got at multiple positions.

Celebrate the fact that we have gotte Z-Bo and Miles, two guys who would've graduated from college this year, while still continuing to win.
What does it matter if they would be graduating from college or not? Considering the number of players who come out early these days, I don't see any reason to think about graduation dates. If your point is that Z-Bo and Miles are young and likely to improve, that I'll agree with, though it's not guaranteed. I'd like to see the Blazers hold onto them, and would even like to see the two young forwards get a little playoff experience. But for the good of the franchise, a high draft pick could certainly help things.

Don't EVER root for us to lose. That gets us nowhere.
Rooting for us to win or for us to lose gets us nowhere. Sorry, but one fan has no effect on the outcome of games.

We can win the championship this year. We just have to win games.
While not statistically impossible, the Blazers are more likely to nab two lottery picks than they are to enter even the second round of the playoffs. And two lottery picks are more likely to build a champion in the future than another first round exit. I'm not saying that to dis the Blazers, I'm just looking at percentages and outcomes.

All of that said, in my heart, I still would like to see the Blazers enter the playoffs because I enjoy the playoff atmosphere at the Rose Garden and like the feeling that maybe Portland can beat the odds and win it all. But in my head, I know that another first round exit gets us nowhere, while nabbing some real talent in the draft could.
 

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Miles was #3 pick. Bonzi Wells wasn't even Top 10, was he? He was MAYBE 10th.
 
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