The Portland Trail Blazers are heading to the 2011 Western Conference Playoffs after clinching a spot on Tuesday night. Â With a loss by the Houston Rockets (the ninth place team); Portland was able to punch their ticket back to the postseason.
The Blazers are sixth in the Western Conference right now, but that could change in the last four games of the regular season. Â They are just a half game ahead of the New Orleans Hornets (seventh) and one game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies (eighth). Â As those teams play out their final games, things could shift around in the West.
If the NBA Playoffs started today, Portland would be playing the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, and that might be a series they could win. Â The Blazers beat the Mavs the last two times they played this year, and showed they could contend with some of the elite teams of the conference. Â Falling to seventh or eighth in the conference would force them to play either the Los Angeles Lakers or the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.
This is quite an accomplishment for a team that has suffered through so many injuries this year, and it is amazing that they are still heading to the postseason. Â Games will begin on Saturday, April 16, and now fans just have to wait to learn who their first round opponent will be.
Do you think the Blazers have a good shot in the playoffs? Â Is this a team to watch out for in the postseason? Â Who will you be rooting for in the Western Conference Playoffs?