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Blazers at Rockets Gamethread & More

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Charlotte Hornets v Portland Trail Blazers
1000 yard stare.
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The 2019-20 Western Conference is odd. The West has experienced, thus far, a significant shakeup in its playoff mix, contenders and standings.

Three teams that were in the playoffs last season currently stand outside it. San Antonio (though we’ll see, Dracula has a way of sticking around), Portland (we’ll see, but it isn’t looking great) and Golden State (almost certainly won’t make the playoffs).

Tonight the Trailblazers come to Houston with a 17-24 record. This might be fatal to playoff aspirations in seasons of the recent past. With the except of Golden State (it seems) every other team out of the playoff picture might make an 8th seed, if they time a run of good form auspiciously. No team in the West, besides Golden State, is more than 4 games out of the 8th seed, currently held by streaking Memphis at roughly the half-way mark.

Portland’s having a difficult season, riddled by injuries, and by player changes that have disrupted the cohesive competence of a steady core that often seemed greater than the sum of its parts, in past seasons.

Both teams are looking for consistency, of a positive sort, we’ll see what tonight brings.

It’s a late home start for the sake of ESPN, or the PNW? I don’t know. It’s an ESPN game, so absent Jeff Van Gundy on the call, expect a lot of Harden slander, typically unrelated to action actually taking place.

That is, obvious, intentional, hack on Harden on a drive. Doris Burke (for example) might dismally opine: “Harden is really good at getting to the line. Some, some, might say it’s ruining the game, and perhaps, America. Even the world. Some would say James Harden is responsible for the fires in Australia. But you have to admire his ability to cause large scale global destruction so consistently.”

I urge you NOT to make a drinking game of “Bizarre Harden Complaint By ESPN Announcer”. Because I care.

Poll

Western Conference 8th Seed?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Memphis
    (12 votes)
  • 38%
    Portland
    (24 votes)
  • 14%
    San Antonio
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    New Orleans
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Phoenix
    (1 vote)
  • 25%
    Luka would be 8th seed by himself.
    (16 votes)
62 votes total Vote Now