The Portland Trail Blazers are tied with the San Antonio Spurs with a 15-3 record, which puts both teams atop the Western Conference. Not to far behind both teams sits the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 13-3 record. Regardless of the fact that Portland is tied with the Spurs right now, San Antonio is the best team in the West. Tonight’s battle between the Thunder and Trail Blazers will determine who can stake claim to being second-best for the time being.
Entering the NBA season, the Spurs and Thunder were the talks of the West. However, Portland’s early surge now has them in that same discussion as well.
All three teams are playing great basketball right now, and the Trail Blazers already hold a victory over the Spurs and Pacers, which are the two top teams in the NBA right now. A victory tonight over the Thunder could honestly boost them right past the Spurs and end all speculation on who is the best in the West. A loss to the Thunder would continue skepticism about whether or not Portland is the real deal or just a flash in the pan.
A victory for the Thunder would put them right back where they were at the beginning of the season — second to the Spurs. A loss for Oklahoma City, on the other hand, would be very damaging. Not only would they fall out of the spot they’ve been in for a while now, but their road woes would continue, which could be very harmful come playoff time.
Regardless of the outcome, I still believe the Spurs are the team to beat in the West. Tonight’s game between Portland and Oklahoma City is huge for both teams. There are repercussions for both teams if they lose. I don’t have full faith in the Trail Blazers, so I expect to see Oklahoma City pick up a huge win on the road.
Portland’s great start has been a nice story, but considering just about only 25 percent of the season is done with, there is still a long way to go for the Trail Blazers to maintain their success.
Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org