Pawson: Why the Blazers won’t make the Western Conference Finals

Cooper Pawson Sports Editor

The Blazers managed to tie up the playoff series two nights ago at home in the Moda Center, in that game the L.A. Clippers all-star guard Chris Paul fractured his right third metacarpal. Blake Griffin, the Clippers all-star power forward also reaggravated a lingering quad injury.

With the Clippers losing two of their biggest contributors, on both sides of the court, Blazer fans have been overcome with confidence and a false sense of accomplishment.

The Clippers are still a legitimate threat to the Blazers. Not only do the Clippers still have home court advantage but the Blazers have yet to prove that they can win on the road against this team.

It’s easy to get excited over back to back Blazer wins, but let’s be realistic the wins were at home, in front of a crowd in which the Blazers thrive, besides the final quarter without Paul in game four the Clippers have been in every single game.

Based on the series so far the Blazers definitely have a chance to win this series but the Clippers won’t simply hand the Blazers a spot in the second round. Remember the Clippers won both, games one and two at home by double digits. Granted this will be a very different Clippers team than they faced in those games but they still have real threats on offense and of course on defense.

Jamal Crawford, maybe the greatest sixth man of all time is a born scorer. I would say he is a better true scorer than Chris Paul. Although he does not facilitate as well as Paul does, Crawford has the ability to put a team on his back, especially in front of a home crowd.

DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers monster center, is still a crucial threat to the Blazers, he has contributed much more on the defensive end than the offensive but defense is what the Clippers are known for. Jordan plays a big part in the double teaming of both of portland’s guards CJ McCollum and Damian Lilliard. His defense has severely cut the offensive performance of both of them, and has forced others to step up in their place.

The bottom line is that the Blazers are going to have their hands full with the rest of this series, let alone what is waiting for them in the second round.

Again another injury that has overshadowed the entire NBA playoffs is the ankle and now knee injury to, last year’s MVP, Steph Curry. The Warriors are likely to win their series against houston which would put them right in Portland’s path, but like the Blazers series, a substantial injury has reignited a feeling of hope among Houston fans.

Curry will probably be gone until the Western Conference Finals, which only piles on the sense of hope for Blazer fans everywhere, because when it comes to die hard fans the little things can snowball into an irrational idea of what could happen.

The Warriors still are the most dangerous team in the NBA even without Steph Curry. You don’t win the most games of all time during the regular season because of one guy. Their team has more weapons than most divisions as a whole have.

Klay Thompson, for example, the other “splash bro” is a phenomenal scorer and draymond green is a force on both ends of the court. In game four of the Warriors and rockets series, Golden State won by 27 in Houston and they were almost completely Curry-less. He played 18 minutes and scored six points. 121 points on the road is enough to beat just about anyone, and it’s simply another ode to how good this team truly is.

As the Blazers themselves will be doing, Fans of RipCity must take these playoff games one at a time. Getting ahead of yourself can make the crash and burn that much worse. For me the postseason alone was more than I expected so i’m going to continue to ride this wave as long as it lasts.

On Twitter: @cooperpawson

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