How vain it is to sit down to write when you haven't stood up to live?
As painful as it is to relive these memories, I must pay homage to Brandon Roy. One year ago today, Roy shocked the sports world leading the Blazers to one of the greatest comebacks in NBA playoff history. Grab a tissue, press play:
I made this schedule chart (bored as hell) during the clinic the Thunder were putting on against my beloved Blazers. Allow me to explain…
Things are starting to get rather interesting out West as eight teams remain realistically (fat lady singing concept) in the hunt for the final five spots in the Western Conference playoff chase. As of right now, just 5-1/2 games is all that separates the current 4th-seeded Clippers from the Trailblazers, having currently stumbled back to 12th in the West after getting pummeled by the Durant-Westbrook tandem last night.
If you need perspective on how close this playoff chase is, just ask the Boston Red Sox or the Atlanta Braves who blew enormous leads to fall short of postseason competition. Anything can happen—teams need to win ball games, period. It’s that simple. That’s where the speculative schedule breakdowns come into consideration. Certainly, veteran leadership and a team’s general health status is inconceivably important heading down the home stretch of a condensed 66-game season. However, one’s schedule is as equally important when weighing odds of who will be this season’s late-arriving contender, and who will crumble as phony pretenders after all.
This may sound slightly insane, but the team most in position to self-destruct this April is undoubtedly the reigning champion Dallas Mavericks. This past month alone the Mavs dropped crucial road games to New Orleans, Phoenix, Sacramento and Golden State. In retrospect, these letdowns may serve to be much more significant than previously imagined when glancing at the Mavs position in the standings today. Although the Mavs are sitting in the 5th-seed as we speak, their stability is awfully precarious with Houston shadowing just two games back (the first team on the playoff chopping block, at 9th in the West right now). For Mavs fans, they better hope that veteran leadership will prove to be of ultimate importance for a team heading down its home stretch, because their April schedule is by far the most brutal out West. The pace of these games is about to heat up considerably—are the old Mavs prepared for another historical run? This time, it will have to start NOW, not once narrow in on their magic number. Check it:
The Madness is just getting started…