Found January 22, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Two Steps Back Holding yourself among the playoff contenders in the NBA is done by sustaining hot streaks and not falling into periods where your team does not play well. All too often do we see teams get hot at one moment and jump into playoff contention only to hit a cold streak and fall off the face of the earth. The Portland Trail Blazers (20-21) are currently doing the latter of the two, which isn’t good for morale. After going through a streak of games that saw them jump into playoff contention and be recognized as one of the more dangerous rosters in the league, the Blazers have all but disappeared as they have lost six straight games, the latest being a buzzer-beating loss to the unimpressive and downtrodden Washington Wizards (9-30). Portland is not feeling good after a tough loss to the Wizards. (Photo: USA Today Sports) Somber and pissed at the way things have turned for Portland as of recent, here is our hate ‘em and hate ‘em from this past game. Hate ‘Em They’re the Wizards Yes, every NBA team has high-caliber talent that make them some of the best in the nation. Yes, Washington has won five of their past seven games. And yes, the Blazers are still a relatively young team looking gassed as of late. But still, they’re the Washington Wizards. Prior to their latest outburst of wins the Wizards were flashing a 4-28 record, an absolutely terrible record that proved them to be one of the league’s-worst teams. The Blazers, on the other hand, had been putting together a great few weeks that saw them jump right into the thick of things in the Western Conference. With they had been playing you would think Portland would have been able to pull out of their recent slump against a Washington team that shouldn’t even be considered to be mediocre. Back under .500 One of the best moments of this season so far (besides Portland jumping into playoff contention) was the Blazers finally finding a way to once again eclipse the elusive .500 mark that they had been used to dancing around. And, after sustaining enough momentum to go as far as five games above the .500 mark, Portland now seems content to just slip back to mediocrity as they now post a 20-21 record with some very tough games ahead. This is not to say the Blazers cannot turn things around for the better in the coming weeks. The likelihood of that happening, however, is dreary (especially with their recent play). Portland, in their next three games, will face the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday and then play the Los Angeles Clippers on back-to-back days in Portland and Los Angeles; games the doctor didn’t exactly order to help the Blazers get back on the winning track. Six in a Row As mentioned previously the Blazers have dropped six consecutive games, an unimpressive statistic that will not help them get into the playoffs by any means. Besides dropping under the .500 mark, one of the worst things about this recent losing streak is the fact that Portland has had the opportunity to win some of these close games and help mitigate their losses. Unfortunately for the Blazers and their fans, they have been unable to win these close games and have thus fallen off the ledge and lost any momentum that they had previously built up. Hopefully the Blazers can find a way to turn things around in the near future and make a decent run at the playoffs. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT OUR TRAIL BLAZERS BLOG AT THE NWSB!

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