What a team. What a time to be a Portland Trail Blazers fan, let alone a new one like me and even if you aren’t one, how could you not love these guys?
Folks who have not watched the Blazers in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, will learn to love them.
Here are some of the highlights from Sunday’s Game 7 Western Conference Semifinals’ victory over the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. I can’t get enough of it;
This Portland Trail Blazers team is scrappy, man. They do — not — quit. And that speaks for ALL of them. For starters, I’ve never seen a group of NBA “bench guys” come out and help the star players like these Blazers have done.
Not only are they contributing points, but they are contributing on DEFENSE — big time.
Zach Collins looks like a freaking mad man out there sometimes, flying from the paint — back out to the wings to contest a shot or trap the ball handler — then quickly back to the basket to grab a rebound. The same goes for Al Farouq Aminu (most of the time), Meyers Leonard, Rodney Hood, heck — even Enes Kanter!
The Blazers new starting Center, whose dealing with all that stress back home in Turkey, PLUS everything that goes along with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan (particularly, fasting and a lack of normal daily nutrition). Even KANTER is flying around the court making guys work for shots.
Against both OKC and Denver, the Trail Blazers’ starters and bench players came out with passion. They cared. They wanted to win more than the other guys, plain and simple. And they did it.
Sometimes — that’s all it takes. I heard Jalen Rose, on Sunday, give the Blazers a “puncher’s chance” against Golden State.
I think that’s an inaccurate representation of the Blazers’ odds, but — I still kinda like using the term “puncher’s chance” in reference to this upcoming series…because it is going to be a BATTLE.
Rip City baby — let’s go make these Warriors quit.