Now that the evil empire has all but assured another championship notch in it's bed post(season) and the sharp pain of the Blazer's playoff demise has dulled to a slow throb, it's time for a little perpective and reflection.
The moment our beloved Blazers locked in the fourth seed, I looked at our bracket and saw what I believed at the time to be the hardest route to the championship we (I use "we" when I talk about the Blazers because I am a loser) could have possibly drawn. When the Houston Rockets beat us in six, I lost sight of that. I hit the panic button.
THE SKY IS FALLING! We need two new point guards (Deron Williams and Chris Paul), a mentor for Oden (the Big Shaqtus), a lock-down wing defender (Scottie Pippen circa 1994), and some tomahawk missiles for Blazer One.
THE SKY IS FALLING! There's no way Nate is a championship-caliber coach; it's time for KP to hire a necromancer to revive Knute Rokne's corpse and have it replace Coach Mac.
THE SKY IS FALLING! The city of Portland deserves better announcers than the two Mikes; we need someone with eloquence and a high basketball IQ, why don't we get Barack Obama? (I made a Mike Barrett+Mike Rice+two second round picks for Barack Obama work on the ESPN trade machine. The salaries match, get it done KP!)
THE SKY IS FALLING! Lebron James is going to win the next 15 championships. He's already won zero in a row!
And then... the rest of the playoffs unfolded. The Rockets take the L*kers to seven games, even though Yao missed half the series (if only my voodoo doll would have worked 5 games faster). The L*kers beat Denver in six. The L*kers up 3-1 in the finals. The stupid, &^#%ing L*kers are about to win a championship and so far the only team that has tested them is the same team that eliminated the Blazers!
Well gee, it appears that the Blazers were indeed in the toughest bracket in the toughest conference in professional basketball. Maybe there's some reason for optimism. The soon-to-be champs don't match up that well against us. They haven't won at the Rose Garden since the Eisenhower administration. The only team that took the L*kers to the brink of elimination beat us by less than 3 points in two of their victories WITH their starting center. And the biggest reason for optimism of all: this team, as is, hasn't come close to reaching it's potential.
I think it's time to moth-ball the daily trade requests. Put the "Steve Blake sucks" rants on ice (I'm not naming names, but I'm thinking in Ben's general direction). Remove "toughness" from your Blazer lexicon (again I'm not naming Fatty's name).
Let's sit back and enjoy an off-season where we all have only a cursory interest in the upcoming draft. Then, let's sit back even further and enjoy watching Bayless bend the rim with the power of his mind during summer league. After that, it's time to lie down, take a nap, and hibernate 'til pre-season.
Until then, make mine BlazersEdge!