In losing to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night, the Portland Trail Blazers looked horrific. But that happens, no team can waltz through an 82 game season without a few lackadaisical nights of subpar performances, right? But the Blazers 97-78 defeat was more than just an off-night, instead it was a sign of something seriously wrong with the team. That defeat was arguably the worst the team has endured since Brandon Roy's rookie year in 2006-07, and it proved that where the Blazers are at right now is a very bad place to be.
This point was hammered home last night when the Blazers traveled to New Jersey and were toppled by the lowly Nets by a score of 98-96—in front of a Kardashian sitting courtside, no less. The loss was so bad the team held a players-only meeting, where they either yelled at each other for awhile and/or addressed their issues through repeat trust falls and a book on tape of Tony Robbins' Unlimited Power.
I'm usually one to fall on the side of reason above irrationality, but Blazers fans you should be panicking right about now. Nate McMillan's plodding offense has always been tough on the eyes, but now his unimaginative playbook resembles a stalled vehicle stuck on the tracks. The return of Brandon Roy—a very tender on the knees, should probably not be playing Brandon Roy—has been more curse than blessing, as Portland's offense set is now wildly inconsistent, often going minutes at a time without scoring or coming anywhere near the basket. It's difficult to disparage the saintly Roy, who has carried this team on his back since that 06-07 season, but McMillan's myopic insistence to play him out of obligation has severely damaged this team's hopes of making the postseason.
The Blazers travels to Philadelphia tomorrow to play the 76ers, the worst team in the Eastern Conference. If they drop that game—which would be their fourth in a row—look for plenty more closed-door meetings and things to get much worse before they get better.
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