During the preseason, Hollinger and other "experts" said the Blazers had overachieved in '07-'08. They figured it must have been a fluke that the Blazers won so many close games. [Sorry--I don't have the appropriate links at hand.] But on tonight's Courtside simulcast, Brian Wheeler cited an impressive stat. He said that since Brandon Roy came to the Trailblazers, the team's record is 25-9 in games decided by 3 points or less. Hmm: that's a pretty large sample size to label flukish, isn't it?
Now I'm wondering: does that stat include overtime games--which often end up being decided by more than 3 points? I think it clearly should, since those games were actually tied at the end of regulation. You can't get any closer than that.
So, I'm hoping that one of our enterprising BE readers can check the archives to find out what the Blazers' record has been in games decided by 3 points or less, plus all overtime (or double-overtime) games. My hunch is that the resulting stat will be even more impressive than the one Wheeler cited. Of course, if Wheeler's stat already included overtime games, then NEVER MIND!! (As Gilda Radner used to say.)
Regardless of what the actual stat is, feel free to weigh in about what the Blazers' record in close games during the Brandon Roy Era means to you. Obviously, it's no fluke. But it's amazing that such a young team should so consistently rise to the occasion when the pressure is the greatest. That's supposed to be when having a veteran lineup pays dividends.
Apparently Brandon Roy was born clutch. We saw it in his very first game with the Blazers, when Zach deferred to Roy at the end and Roy hit the game-winning shot. I think it certainly bodes well for our team's chances when it faces playoff pressure for the first time. Call it the Brandon Roy Factor.