The Portland Trail Blazers have been granted permission to wear their sleeved "Rip City" alternate jerseys for the remainder of their second round home games. Normally, the NBA prefers that teams do not exceed four playoff games played in their sleeved jerseys, as noted by Trail Blazers Digital Reporter Casey Hohldal, who initially reported this story. By those standards, Saturday’s meeting with the Golden State Warriors would have marked the last post-season appearance of the Rip City alternates. In said jerseys, the Blazers are 7-0 through the regular season and playoffs.
The NBA would typically prefer that teams wear their sleeved jerseys no more than four times throughout the course of the playoffs, which would make the next time the Trail Blazers wear their "Rip City" jerseys, as they plan to do in Game Three Saturday night at the Moda Center, the final appearance of the sleeves in the postseason.
Regardless of the overwhelming negative response to sleeved jerseys as a whole, the Blazers’ are among the most visually pleasing, but it is not just aesthetics that has the team eager to wear the alternates. Per Holdahl, point guard Damian Lillard posits the correlation between wearing sleeves in practice and shooting well with them during games:
"I ain’t superstitious, but maybe we shoot better (in the ‘Rip City’ jerseys)," said Lillard. "We play in sleeves in practice every day. Every day you got sleeves on, so maybe that has something to do with it. We haven’t lost in them, so we’re going to take our chances."
He could be right. If not, there is no harm. The Blazers will don their alternates against the Warriors tomorrow, and look good—win or lose.