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The Race to Save Face

With nine games to go, the Blazers have assured that they will end the season with the worst record in the Western Conference.  On top of that, this season will go down as at least the 6th worst season for a Portland Trail Blazer team from a win/loss standpoint, and it could end up as the second worst season ever if the Red and Black fail to win another game.  If I'm Nate McMillan, I'm sending a nice thank you card to all the members of the '71-'72 team for setting the bar so low.  So in one respect, the Blazers are playing against the ghosts of Trail Blazers past.  I doubt that most of the guys on the squad care about finishing the season better than the likes of Ollie Johnson, Terry Dischinger, or Larue Martin, but if they did, now would be the time to start showing a little grit and determination, or else Larry Steele and Stan Mckenzie are going to be talking a gang of shit the next time they're at the Rose Garden.

There's another distinction that this team is flirting with as well; that of ending the season with the league's worst record.  The '71-'72 team finished the season with 18 wins, four fewer than the Buffalo Braves, which is to be expected when you're in the second year of existence, but unfortunately, the '05-'06 team doesn't have that goat to scape.  With a record of 20 wins, 53 losses, the Blazers have a better record than the Knicks (19-53) and the Bobcats (20-54).  Looking at the each team's schedule (here, here, and here), it would seem as though the Blazers have the best chance of not finishing the season as bottom-feeders, but who knows, especially with the epic losing streak this team is on.