One of the early front-runners for story of the year in the NBA has to be the Portland Trail Blazers. They currently lead the Western Conference with a record of 17-3 and have really surprised everyone with their strong start. I don’t know if we forget about the Trail Blazers because they are so far west, but this team has come out at full force.
Led by LaMarcus Aldridge with 20 points and 15 rebounds, Portland demolished the Utah Jazz, 130-98. It was a tough game for the Jazz, who fell to 4-17 on the season as they continue to look for a solution to the struggles.
Utah can basically be written out of the playoff picture, but Portland could contend for Western supremacy if they continue to play at a high level. The are ranked in the top 10 in points, rebounds and assists per game and have collected wins against the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Indiana Pacers.
The biggest concern for Portland is experience as they are a relatively young team with little postseason play under their belts. There is no doubt that they have proven to the league that they have the ability to compete night-in and night-out, but the NBA season is one that physically and mentally drains players and teams.
With 25 percent of the season complete, it is safe to say the Trail Blazers will make the playoffs, however, it is not safe to say what seed. It is possible that Portland will crash and burn as we move closer to April or they could gain the No. 1 seed and the inside track to the Finals.
A new powerhouse may have arrived in the Association, but only time will tell.