The playoffs are right around the corner and the race out west looks like it could come down to the final game against the Thunder. The Spurs lost to the Nets tonight moved the Blazers up a spot into 7th right behind the same Thunder. Blazers lead 2-1 in the season series.
The Good News -
The Blazers are hitting shots on a consistent basis and they aren't just jacking up shots from the perimeter like they were earlier in the season. They are moving the ball, setting picks which leads to better spacing and better shots for everyone.
The Blazers are at an advantage this time of year because Andre Miller and Marcus Camby are part of the starting lineup. Roy is still the number 1 option on offense but Andre Miller controls the game like a quarterback and he knows when and where to get Roy the ball. He's been everything the Blazers needed and will continue to get better and better when it counts. Andre Miller's got a lot of playoff experience & when you have Roy & Miller in your back court you will always have a chance to win. I didn't feel this way when Blake was starting next to Roy but with Miller I truly believe the Blazers have a chance this year. He gets the ball to everyone when they need it (see Lamarcus dunk ) and he can become a scorer whenever you need him. Andre Miller game is exactly what the Blazers needed and trading Steve Blake was one of the best things to happen to the Blazers this year.
Marcus Camby is the other big addition that gives me hope. Camby has finally settled into the mix giving the team a shot blocker and weak side defender it truly needed to have a chance at winning a 1st round playoff series. He's providing a little bit of scoring after learning the playbook which is a bonus.
The Blazers are playing great defense in March led by Camby but Nicolas Batum is another reason the Blazers are keeping teams under 100 a game. He's long and he gets to the spots he needs to be. Along with Camby he's the Blazers best defensive player. What I don't understand is why Batum isn't getting more minutes (25 minute avg ) If Nate keeps Batum on the court for 30+ minutes during the playoffs and Camby stays healthy I'm picking the Blazers to get out of the first round this year.
2009-10 NBA Regular Season Conference Standings - National Basketball Association - ESPN