FanPost

Minnesota Timberwolves Game Preview: The Blazers can not lose.

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This image is everything...

This image is the greatest NBA moment in the past two decades...

This image is the torment of the city of Portland...

This image is what makes Phil Jackson the greatest coach in NBA history...

This image is why Kobe Bryant could cure cancer, and he would still be hated by the city of Portland...

This image is what makes Shaq one of the top 20 players to have ever played the game...

This image is everything...

This image arguably captures the greatest collapse in NBA playoff history...

June 4th, 2000... A day that will live in infamy...

Having won games 5 and 6 of the Western Conference Finals, the Blazers had managed to force a game 7, and were now up 15 in the fourth quarter, in Staples...

And then, to quote Mike Rice, the Blazers couldn't buy a basket...

The Lakers went on a 15-0 run, culminating in that Kobe-Shaq alley-oop...

As Shaq turned and gave us that look, it was over; the Blazers had been crushed...

It would take the next decade to realize just how destructive that collapse was for the Blazers franchise...

With the win, the Lakers would advance to the NBA Finals, and win their first NBA Championship in over a decade...

Shaq would lead the Lakers to win 3 consecutive NBA Championships after that moment...

Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant would win 5 NBA Championships together after that moment...

The Blazers haven't won a playoff series since...

The Lakers defeated the Blazers in the first round each of the following two seasons, as they won their 3-peat...

Every other NBA franchise has won a playoff series since (excluding the Charlotte Bobcats who didn't exist until 4 years after this moment)...



The Blazers have hit their expected rough stretch, winning just 6 of their last 15 games...

However, they still have the 4th best record in the Western Conference, with a record of 37-18...

To break the streak, it would be really beneficial to have home court advantage in the first round; which would require the Blazers maintain the 4th best record in the Western Conference...

If the Blazers don't win 5 of the next 6 games, it's hard to see the Blazers with a top 4 seed at the end of the regular season...

The next 6 games include a game @Denver and 5 home games: Minnesota, Brooklyn, Denver, Lakers, and Atlanta...

The reason these next 6 games are so important is that 11 of the following 15 games are road games, including @Mia, @SA, @Hou, @Dal, @Mem, @Atl, @Chi...

KLove would love nothing better than to come into Portland and extend the TWolves winning streak to 4 games...

Last night, KLove recorded his first triple double of his career with 37 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists...

The Blazers will be without LaMarcus Aldridge...

But the Blazers have won 15 of the past 16 games at home against the Timberwolves...

That lone home loss to Minnesota, along with the loss @Minnesota 4 days later, led to the firing of Nate McMillan and the trading of Crash and Camby within days...

The Blazers play the Timberwolves tonight at the Moda Center at 6PM...

If the TWolves win tonight, the Blazers can kiss home court advantage away... and we can look forward to attempting to break the streak by winning a playoff series @Staples against the Clippers...

The Blazers can not lose tonight against the TWolves...

Period.

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