FanPost

What Happens if all the Western contenders "Take Care of Business?"

BY REQUEST, I HAVE MOVED TODAY'S UPDATE TO A NEW THREAD, WITH TODAY'S DATE AND WILL TRY TO DO THAT DAILY.  NOTHING NEW HERE...GO TO THE NEW POST

 

A couple "upsets" tonight leave Portland projected in the 4/5 matchup, again as the road team, but this time not as a division winner.

FIRST UPDATED:  ANALYSIS OF WHERE WE SIT AFTER THE PHILLY LOSS, HOW DEVIATIONS FROM THE NORM AFFECT PORTLAND, AND, AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST, A SEMI-DETAILED LOOK AT POSSIBLE "UPSETS" THAT COULD HELP, A.K.A. "WHO TO ROOT FOR", WHICH IS REALLY WHAT BLAZER FANS WANT TO KNOW, RIGHT?

I have heard a lot of people say (and I agree) that if the Blazers can just "take care of business," they should end up with a top four seed (even after the loss to Philly last night, when they fell short of taking care of business).  For purposes of this post, I define "taking care of business" as winning all of one's remaining home games, and beating all of the non-winning teams one plays on the road.  Based on that prediction for the Blazers, the Blazers would finish the regular season at 53-29, even with last night's loss to Philly.  I have suggested that I believe that should be enough to win the division.

Now for the subject of this fanpost:  What if EVERYONE in the Western playoff chase "takes care of business," as defined above.  Namely, what happens if everyone wins all their home games, and wins their road games against non-winning clubs?  Where does the race shake out?

Here are the results:

FINAL STANDINGS (2-9):
2. SAN ANTONIO 56-26
3. HOUSTON (tiebreaker over both) 53-29
4. DENVER (tiebreaker over POR) 53-29
5. PORTLAND 53-29
6. NEW ORLEANS (tiebreaker over DAL) 52-30
7. DALLAS 52-30
8. UTAH 49-33

 

OUT: PHOENIX

 

47-35

So, Portland is now on pace to finish tied with Denver, losing out on the division by virtue of a tiebreaker if everything NOW plays out like it "should," with teams winning at home and beating the teams they "should" on the road, so unless Houston or Denver drops a game somewhere, it means that Portland is a 5 seed with more road games than home games in its first round series.

HOUSTON (47-26)

  • Sat, Mar 28 LA Clippers W
  • Wed, Apr 1 at Phoenix L
  • Fri, Apr 3 at LA Lakers L
  • Sun, Apr 5 Portland W
  • Tue, Apr 7 Orlando W
  • Thu, Apr 9 at Sacramento W
  • Fri, Apr 10 at Golden State W
  • Mon, Apr 13 New Orleans W
  • Wed, Apr 15 at Dallas L

(53-29) (wins tiebreakers with both DEN and POR, earning the 3 seed)

 

SAN ANTONIO (47-24)

  • Fri, Mar 27 LA Clippers W
  • Sun, Mar 29 at New Orleans L
  • Tue, Mar 31 Oklahoma City W
  • Fri, Apr 3 at Indiana W
  • Sun, Apr 5 at Cleveland L
  • Tue, Apr 7 at Oklahoma City W
  • Wed, Apr 8 Portland W
  • Fri, Apr 10 Utah W
  • Sun, Apr 12 at Sacramento W
  • Mon, Apr 13 at Golden State W
  • Wed, Apr 15 New Orleans W

(56-26) (2 seed)

 

DENVER (47-26)

  • Fri, Mar 27 at Dallas L
  • Sat, Mar 28 Golden State W
  • Tue, Mar 31 NY Knicks W
  • Thu, Apr 2 Utah W
  • Sat, Apr 4 LA Clippers W
  • Sun, Apr 5 at Minnesota W
  • Wed, Apr 8 Oklahoma City W
  • Thu, Apr 9 at LA Lakers L
  • Mon, Apr 13 Sacramento W
  • Wed, Apr 15 at Portland L

(53-29) (loses tiebreaker vs. HOU based on head-to-head games, wins the tiebreaker over Portland and wins the division, taking the 4 seed)

 

NEW ORLEANS (44-26)

  • Fri, Mar 27 at NY Knicks W
  • Sun, Mar 29 San Antonio W
  • Tue, Mar 31 at Sacramento W
  • Wed, Apr 1 at LA Clippers W
  • Fri, Apr 3 at Golden State W
  • Sun, Apr 5 Utah W
  • Tue, Apr 7 at Miami L
  • Wed, Apr 8 Phoenix W
  • Fri, Apr 10 at Dallas L
  • Sun, Apr 12 Dallas W
  • Mon, Apr 13 at Houston L
  • Wed, Apr 15 at San Antonio L

(52-30) (wins tiebreaker with DAL, earning a 6 seed)

 

PORTLAND (44-27)

  • Thu, Mar 26 Phoenix W
  • Sat, Mar 28 Memphis W
  • Tue, Mar 31 Utah W
  • Fri, Apr 3 at Oklahoma City W
  • Sun, Apr 5 at Houston L
  • Tue, Apr 7 at Memphis W
  • Wed, Apr 8 at San Antonio L
  • Fri, Apr 10 LA Lakers W
  • Sat, Apr 11 at LA Clippers W
  • Mon, Apr 13 Oklahoma City W
  • Wed, Apr 15 Denver W

(53-29) (loses tiebreaker to DEN, losing the division title, and also to Houston, meaning they notch a 5 seed)

 

UTAH (44-27)

  • Sat, Mar 28 Phoenix W
  • Mon, Mar 30 NY Knicks W
  • Tue, Mar 31 at Portland L
  • Thu, Apr 2 at Denver L
  • Fri, Apr 3 Minnesota W
  • Sun, Apr 5 at New Orleans L
  • Wed, Apr 8 at Dallas L
  • Fri, Apr 10 at San Antonio L
  • Sat, Apr 11 Golden State W
  • Mon, Apr 13 LA Clippers W
  • Tue, Apr 14 at LA Lakers L

(49-33) (eight seed)

 

DALLAS (43-28)

  • Fri, Mar 27 Denver W
  • Sun, Mar 29 at Cleveland L
  • Tue, Mar 31 at Minnesota W
  • Wed, Apr 1 Miami W
  • Fri, Apr 3 at Memphis W
  • Sun, Apr 5 Phoenix W
  • Wed, Apr 8 Utah W
  • Fri, Apr 10 New Orleans W
  • Sun, Apr 12 at New Orleans L
  • Mon, Apr 13 Minnesota W
  • Wed, Apr 15 Houston W

(52-30) (loses tiebreaker to NO, earning a 7 seed)

PHOENIX (40-31)

  • Thu, Mar 26 at Portland L
  • Sat, Mar 28 at Utah L
  • Sun, Mar 29 at Sacramento W
  • Wed, Apr 1 Houston W
  • Fri, Apr 3 Sacramento W
  • Sun, Apr 5 at Dallas L
  • Wed, Apr 8 at New Orleans L
  • Fri, Apr 10 at Memphis W
  • Sat, Apr 11 at Minnesota W
  • Mon, Apr 13 Memphis W
  • Wed, Apr 15 Golden State W

(47-25) (OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS)

CHEER FOR UTAH ON THE ROAD!!!

The team best positioned to help the Blazers by winning a game they shouldn't is Utah.  Utah has a brutal schedule that will make it tough to catch Portland for the division, so unless they go on a hot streak, Blazer fans become Jazz fans when the teams aren't playing each other.  If Utah can somehow win in Denver, that gets Portland back into the lead in the division, and a TRUE four seed, by virtue of its better record than NO.  If Utah can also pull out a win against NO, then Portland pads its edge against NO, while still having an edge over Utah for the division. 

CHEER FOR PHOENIX ON THE ROAD, TOO!!!

The other team that could potentially help us is Phoenix, especially if they can pull a road win in NO.  That would pad our edge for homecourt if we can somehow beat out Denver, and/or would allow us to stay ahead of NO even after dropping another "should win" game if either Phoenix or the Jazz can find a way to beat NO in NO.

MAYBE CHEER FOR NEW ORLEANS, IF THEY LOSE TO UTAH OR PHOENIX?

Under the scenario where NO loses to either Utah or Phoenix at home, if Portland holds serve on the remainder of its games, we then become NO fans for their game against Houston.  Because in THAT scenario, New Orleans could knock Houston a game behind the Blazers, moving Portland into the 3 or 4 slot (depending on whether we beat out Denver), while Houston would get the 4 or the 5 (again, depending on Denver).

BEAT HOUSTON!!!

Of Course, God helps those who help themselves, so the best thing Portland could do for itself would be to steal the game in Houston, and hold serve on the other "should wins," making all the tiebreaker talk moot, as Portland would gain a game on Houston in the standings, and would earn the tiebreaker with Houston based on the head-to head, while moving a game up on Denver also, earning the 3 seed and winning the division if all else goes to plan.  But, failing that, there is one more thing Blazer fans can root for:

ROOT FOR ORLANDO!!!

Orlando could help us if they find a way to win in Houston, which would also knock Houston behind Portland, if all else goes to plan, again giving Portland the 3 or 4 seed, depending on where Denver ends up.  (We now really need Denver to cough up a game somewhere)

 

Bottom line:  What we as Blazers fans should be rooting for (and that's really the question here, right?) in any game between playoff contenders in the West is that the home team holds serve, except when Utah plays Denver in Denver, and when Phoenix or Utah play on the road against New Orleans, when we want the Road team to win, and now that NO has dropped behind Portland, we also root for NO to beat Houston on the road.

All clear now?

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