Write about the Trail Blazers
We believe that you the avid fan, student journalist, and or freelance writer deserve to be heard. Avid fans have a strong desire to hear from the common (or not so common) "man" as well. You are always free to write about the material of your choice, in your own unique style, and on your own schedule. So vent,enlighten and share with us!
Contact us at: writers@sportsmixed.com
Enjoy Trail Blazers rumors, news, talk?
Please help us spread the word on the Sports Mixed Network by letting friends, and family know about it. The more we grow our community of avid fans, the more features we can add. So please send a Tweet, Facebook message or better yet tell them in person.

The Road Trip

I was casually watching the game when it happened. The Blazers had jumped out to an early lead against the team who could end up with the worst season record in NBA history. Things were looking good. I was checking up on my numerous fantasy basketball teams when Mike Barrett and Mike Rice let out a sound of shock and dismay. Quickly I focused on what had happened. Had Juwan Howard thrown down over Brook Lopez? Perhaps Rudy had unleashed one of his classic alley oops that don't seem to happen anymore without Sergio. But no, another Blazer injury had been why Mike Rice made a sound that made it seem he had just seen a fan with a rocket launcher wander on the court. Of course it had to happen to the new guy who was supposed to provide depth and solidify the already depleted center position. While Marcus was on the ground holding his ankle I immediately thought the worst. This is what longtime Blazer fans like me do when an injury happens. We have seen it or heard stories of injuries that hurt the Blazers chances too many times. What if Bill Walton had been able to stay healthy on an amazing team that won the title in 1977 and was 50-10 in 1978 before Walton went down? I'm not even going to bring up Sam Bowie because I have almost successfully blocked his existence from my memory. The list goes on and on.

After the initial shock and awe, everyone realized that Marcus had just sprained his ankle and not blown up his knee in 100 places like Blazer fans are accustomed to now. Everybody let out a sigh of relief. He should only be out a few games, and Blazers will have to defy the odds once again on a tough road trip. They have seemed to recovered from the horrendous Utah game where they successfully blew at 25 point lead with no problem at all. Everybody expected them to beat the Nets, but it was really too close for comfort. In lieu of the Utah game and other famous leads rapidly eroding, (game 7 2000 WCF anyone?), no lead feels safe. Even against a team who has only won a shocking 5 games this year I found myself thinking that the Nets could come back. I was getting nervous when they seemed like they were ready to take control of the game back from the Blazers.

But now they have won the first two games on a pretty tough road trip. Winning the first game of a road trip can work wonders. It builds confidence and a feeling that the team has a good chance of winning anywhere they play. Three more games remain on this trip, Chicago, Minnesota, and Memphis. I'll be very happy if they win two of three. Breaking even on a road trip in the NBA is quite an accomplishment, and this can show that the team is ready to make a run at the playoffs. With Brandon Roy looking like his old self with almost fully functioning hamstrings, the rest of the season could play out well. As long as we don't hear that Mike Rice sound again...

Owen Reutlinger

No comments:

Post a Comment