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nba second round

CJ looking good. via

NBA Second Round For Second Time In Sixteen Years.

Has it been that long? Can it be that long?

Sixteen years and twice to the second round, none to the third.

Right now, the Saturday before Sundays game against the Warriors, the Blazers have a chance.

They might break through, which doesn’t mean they’ll get to the conference finals like the Blazers of 1999-2000 who took it to the seventh game against the Lakers.

These Blazers have the look and feel of a team that might do the expected, like get swept by the defending champs.

Dear Blazers, please don’t get swept by the Warriors. If you need to get swept, wait for the Spurs.

That ought to do it.

Now what?Portland showed it knows how to step on a neck and not let up. They didn’t feel for the injured Clippers. Who would? Beat LA doesn’t have the same ominous tone when it’s not the Laker Empire.

Once you get into the second round, you are elite. As in Elite Eight. It doesn’t sound the same as the Big Dance from the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, then finals.

But it’s the same thing.

All it means is the Blazers are better than twenty two of thirty NBA teams.

What other team loses four of five starters and makes the Elite Eight in the pro game? It happens all the time in college, at least in Kentucky. They lose all their starters and stay strong.

The pro game is different. Lose four of five guys and you’re in the lottery for five years. But something happened in the Rose Garden.

Right time, right place, right guys, right coach. Is that enough? Or is Blazer management seeing a bigger picture?

Fans see a picture, the same one they see every season. Wins, wins, and more wins. Then wins in the playoffs.

So far so good. The Blazer roster isn’t one of retreads, malcontents, and salary gravy trainers. Give them all another five years before that all kicks in, but right now they’ve got things to prove.

The best results we can expect are guys playing up, playing beyond expectations, playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played.

Don’t you love that idea? A team playing like a team, instead of playing like there’s one guy and everyone else stands around. The era of Roy and later Aldridge had that feature.

Now it’s a bunch of guys playing like, well, like the Warriors.

Guards? Check.

Draymond-ish player? Blazers have good swing guys, but no one is a Draymond.

Bigs? Check.

Injuries? Don’t talk about injuries. Or if you must, only talk about injuries for the other team.

Look, there’s Steph Currie accidentally tripping Draymond. They both look hurt.

So don’t do that, play right, win right. The NBA second round separates the good from the lucky.

Which is better?

About David Gillaspie
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