It's been said over and over, and then repeated again for good measure.
"From now on, every game is important."
And it's true, every game is important. But really, aren't there some games which are more important than others? This 3 game road trip is an excellent example of the different types of games the Blazers will face from now until the end of the season. So I thought it might be valuable(fun) to (over)anaylze the relative importance of each game.
So, Rockets, Spurs, and T'Wolves.
Right away, Houston seems to jump out as the most critical win. They would surpass us in the rankings if they won, stealing home court advantage. We've beaten them, but only because of B Roy's play of the year. A more decisive victory is in order if we want to show we are truly the better team. This is very important, as Houston could be a first round playoff opponent.
But then again, if you knew that we were only going to win 1 of the 3 games, wouldn't you want to beat the best team? We have proven totally inept on the road against good teams, and San Antonio is one of the best in the business. Although it's common for young teams to struggle on the road, for the Blazers it's like watching totally different teams. It's as if the energy of the Rose Garden is both a blessing and a curse, in that it allows us to rally when we are struggling at home, but leaves us unable to find that same fire on the road.
Then again, what if we went 2-1, but lost to the T'Wolves? That would almost be more confusing than promising. They are almost a must win, due to the fact that we can't afford to give up anything easy if we want the 3 or 4 seed.
So let's see. We have to beat Houston if we want to prove we deserve a top 4 spot. We have to beat SA to prove that we can compete against a veteren team on the road. And we have to be Minnesota so we can prove that we don't lose games that we shouldn't.
I say, let's just make it easy and win all three. That way we can get back to .500 on the road, and put to rest a lot of lingering issues about our post season readiness. Also, we play each of these teams once more after these games, so it's important to win and gain some momentum for the final matchups.
As always, GO BLAZERS!!!