I haven't been paying real close attention to the standings lately. I knew that Portland had been struggling and was clinging to the #8 spot despite having a much better than .500 record. I also knew that Portland had the chance to catch a couple of the teams in front of them if things went right. What I didn't know was that the only team completely out of reach is the L@kers. We're 5 games back of Dallas with 18 to play. Dallas is currently on a 9 game winning streak during which they passed up 2 teams and distanced themselves from many others. If Portland can muster a similar run they can achieve a much better position than 8 or 7.
I'm not trying to suggest that Portland has a likely shot at the two seed, or is likely to win the division, but all I've heard and read lately (without actually following through and checking myself) would indicate that Portland is destined for a first round visit with the Fakers and an early exit. I believe that with the proper application of winstreak and chokejob Portland can still pickup as high as the 4 seed, and can give any team a run for their money (providing what happened early season doesn't flare back up).
I just wanted to inject some hope in the sidebar. Discuss. Or not. It's your call.