What a 48 hours for the Portland Trailblazers!
Coach Nate Mcmillan is gone. In his place is interim coach Kaleb Canales. Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby are gone in exchange for guard Jonny Flynn, centers Hasheem Thabeet and Mehmet Okur, forward Shawne Williams, a second round pick, and a first round pick. And Portland finally decides to part ways with the most injury prone person of all time, Greg Oden.
Yes, the Blazers decided to blow the team up. I like this decision a lot. It’s a huge bummer as a fan, but you have to build towards the future the second the season is lost. That’s exactly what Portland did. Zach Harper, writer for ESPN.com, thought Portland pulled the greatest move on trading day.
“I thought Trailblazers blowing it up and getting a very favorable draft pick from the Nets was huge. With the dismantling of their own roster and firing of their coach, they’re in prime position to tank, clear cap room for next season and end up with two lottery picks. Too many teams tread water before they realize it’s time to blow it up. Have to sink or swim.”
The only problem with this theory (which I totally agree with) is that Harper did not foresee this jumpstarting a team back to life like it ALWAYS does. Who cares that the Blazers’ first game since this all went down was a road game against the best team in the entire league, the Chicago Bulls. It’s the most given thing in the unpredictable world of sports. When a team fires their coach and completely quits on the season, they will definitely win their next game. I’ve always said if a team makes it to game 7 of the NBA championship series they should fire their coach. Guaranteed title.
So the Blazers did the impossible and beat the Bulls on the road 100-89. Sure, Chicago was without a couple of their starters including reigning MVP D. Rose, but this looked like a completely different Blazers team than one we have come to expect. There was a definite bounce in their step. They looked like they were having fun for the first time in forever. And they hit the three ball like it was going out of style (53% for the game, bringing their season average up to like 9%).
It seemed like everyone who was still left on the roster contributed. Batum,15 points. Aldridge, 21 points. Mathews, 18 points. Nolan Smith, 12 points. Felton, yes worst point guard ever Felton had 16 points! It all came together for Portland as they handed Chicago just their 10th loss of the season, and gave Canales a 100% winning record as a head coach. However, I think we all know that this season is lost. This was a fluke game, and not a sign of things to come. To get more ping pong balls and a high lottery pick they need to lose. As impossible as it might sound, that is what Blazer fans might want to start rooting for.
Tonight we celebrate though. Hands down the best win of the season. Next up is the OKC Thunder. Could lightning strike twice? Anything’s possible I guess.
Side Note – Yes, I took that picture. Due to me living in Chicago I was able to go to the game. And here I thought I was bad luck for Portland.
About the Author
Written by Colin Chisholm
I'm a huge sports fan and basketball nut. I grew up in Oregon and now live in the great city of Chicago while trying to crack my way into the sports industry.