Those who have followed my work know by now that last August I picked the Blazers to win 47-49 games + or- 3. As of this writing (March 5, 2016), they are right on the cusp of finishing the season within that range.
At the time of the original article I numerologically chose seven games that would be a barometer for gauging the season’s progress. One of those seven games turned out to be the early win over the Kings. At the time they were neck and neck for a playoff position. After that loss the Kings faded somewhat in the race. Another was the bitter loss to Houston on Febraury 25th, certainly a key game that seemed to light the young Blazers fire. Next is the Sunday game with Detroit.
So far these indicate they will reach below the high end prediction of 52 wins. If fact, it suggests they will be near or slightly below the predicted low of 44 wins. Whatever the Blazers do now there accomplishments will have been a surprise to everyone except old man numbers here. Here are those picks>>11/8/15 (L), 1/8/16 (L), 1/26/16(W),/All Star Break//, 2/25/16(L), 3/6/16(L), 3/24/16, and 4/5/16.
The month of March will find the young Blazers experiencing a wide spectrum of emotional experiences as they traverse the tricky terrain of the late NBA season.There will be moments amazing and awkward, stumbling and sterling, but always striving. Expect the unexpected. When they should win, perhaps a loss. When they are considered down and out, a big win
They have done well so far pretty much keeping together, and now the real signs of maturity or inexperience will show up. It looks like CJ will reach yet another level of productivity and performance by the end of the month. This will be an important time of testing particularly for Harkless, Aminu and Vonleh that not only will determine their late season and possible playoff time, but could be important in how long they will be with Portland.
By the numbers it would be nice to see some more playing time in March for Cliff Alexander and Luis Montero, since they could prove to be more valuable than given credit so far. If circumstances give them time, one or both could light up the court. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened with Pat Connaughton if he had been given opportunity to play more this season. Perhaps he will get some time in April if not before. However, it looks that slot will go to Brian Roberts as he starts to better grasp the system.
Numerically speaking the few games remaining in April will provide a time to get serious and put together the foundation for a playoff run should they get there. It will be a time when the tough of the team get going. This will be a particularly important moment for Aminu to prove himself, or slide in the rotation. Numbers indicate Roberts shows up, and Meyers Leonard will be placed into a position to determine his future with the club by his performance at that time. Expect Dame’s discipline, leadership and presence to be even more pronounced than ever.
One thing that they have shown is play their heart out and compete with tenacity and togetherness. What a joy to watch, and how exciting it has been to see this combination of players come together.