Six months. That's how long we've got to wait until the hype starts flying for real. Six months. I don't know if I can take it. Would it be possible to have myself put into a chemically induced coma for that time? Could they do some electro-stimulus therapy while I'm under to exercise my body so I wake up buff? Yet I digress.
Here's a few things to mark your journey:
- Western Conference Playoffs (4/19). This post-season has perhaps the greatest western conference race in over a decade. Eight teams so closely matched that a number eight seed has a legit chance of going deep into the playoffs is unheard of. I seldom waste my time watching anything less than the conference finals or the championship, but this season I'll be catching first round action.
- NBA Draft Lottery (5/20). After the shocking Northwest sweep of the top two spots last year, this lottery holds little appeal. With a 0.60% chance to win the #1 pick, I don't expect this to be anything more than a chance to see which Eastern team the basketball gods hate most this year. Of course, if you've got a ticket you've got a chance.
- NBA Finals (6/5). At least this year the Leastern Conference has a chance to field a worthy opponent (Boston or Detroit). Whichever team makes it through the apocalyptic battles in the west will have their hands full, assuming Boston and Detroit don't lower themselves to their competition and make an untimely exit.
- NBA Draft (6/26). This draft has the potential to be a catalyst for trades. We seem to be at the point where building through the draft is no longer a realistic option since we'll likely be picking around #13. I therefore expect KP to be using a lot of calling plan minutes trying to make a deal before and during this draft to move us up, down or out. One thing I don't expect is for us to stand pat.
- Summer League (7/??) Many names I'd like to see there likely won't be there. Sergio-Spanish National Team prepping for Olympics. Rudy-Same. Oden- Not being risked. That leaves a scrub filled roster unless we make a splash in the draft. We'll get to see the likes of Koponen and Freeland, but they're long shots to make the roster already. I'd hope to see Webster use this opportunity to develop his game some more, but doubt he'll be there.
- Summer Olympics (8/??). Time delay will be annoying, but it's still basketball. Besides, I want to see Dwight Howard run over a few Euros.
- Return of Fatty (9/16?) I believe Fatty is scheduled to return from his self-imposed exile. Start stocking up on punctuation and send him some in care packages throughout the season.
- Training Camp. Oden returns! Every member of the sports media universe will be on hand to catch a glimpse of the Blazer's future. I hope to hear words like; thunderous, god-like, monsterous, unstoppable, and spiffy.
- Pre-season. It's time to stop beating on each other and get after our competition. This is where we'll get a good look at how Nate intends to use Oden and Rudy in the offense. What's the over/under on Oden foul-outs during the preseason? David Stern had better let his refs know that Greg needs to play for the NBA to be successful.
- Regular season. The drive for the playoffs has begun...finally. Comcast needs to have a deal in place with the satellite providers by now, or I'll end up doing something I'll regret. Heck, my wife will probably do it with me if she doesn't get to see Oden on her new HDTV. Note to Comcast Advertisers: I purposefully didn't buy the HDTV at Standard TV & Appliance either. One of their competitors got my $2,700. Don't let the same thing happen to you. Note to Satellite Advertisers: You really want to advertise on Blazer games this season, so tell Dish & Direct TV to stop being so cheap!