Originally written April 23, 2014 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Rip City Revival The playoffs have arrived, and the Portland Trail Blazers have shown that they’re embracing the underdog role every step of the way. In the final game of the regular season, the Blazers had nothing on the line. Their seed had already been decided, giving the bench plenty of time to see action.  LaMarcus Aldridge is pumped for the playoffs. The playoffs, on the other hand, are where the rotations get short and the stars step up. The postseason should feature a long ride ahead, but for now, let’s review how we got here. April 16 vs. Los Angeles When the Blazers took on the Los Angeles Clippers, both teams emptied their bench. Chris Paul sat for rest, Blake Griffin was suspended and LaMarcus Aldridge sat in preparation of the playoffs. Even Damian Lillard, who went off in the first quarter, sat most of the way to get ready for the first postseason game of his career. Fans didn’t get the star-studded showdown they’d hoped for, but they did get an entertaining faceoff between role players looking to make a name for themselves in the final game of the year. April 20 @ Houston (Round 1, Game 1) And so it began. The Trail Blazers made their postseason return with a thrilling overtime victory against the Houston Rockets. They came out of the gate energized, but that didn’t stop the Rockets from gaining a double-digit lead in the second half. Luckily for Portland, it had two stars ready to take over in LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard. Aldridge finished with 46 points (a franchise postseason record) and 18 rebounds while Lillard had 31 and took over after L.A. fouled out. Portland stole home-court advantage with a two-point win in overtime, but there’s plenty of work to do if the team hopes to make the second round for the first time since 2000. This is going to be a hard-fought series, and if all goes according to plan, the Blazers will take momentum into Game 2 in Week 26. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!

Russell Wilson admits in new essay: 'I was a bully growing up'

Miguel Cabrera turns down playoff bonus from Tigers

Rich Gannon blasts Raiders personnel: ‘They’re stealing’

Suspended KeiVarae Russell: Notre Dame becoming ridiculous

Antrel Rolle: Amukamara improved after losing virginity

High school football player dies after suffering head injury


Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

Manziel, Kevin Sumlin went to a Rick Ross party together?

AUDIO: Radio host crashes car during interview

GALLERY: Derek Jeter tops list of athletes with weird phobias

WATCH: LeBron James makes one special Cavs fan’s night

10 most shocking developments so far in 2014 NFL season

WATCH: Matthew McConaughey gives pep talk to Longhorns

ESPN reporter announces she has breast cancer

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

Hibbert texts Duncan for advice on being like Spurs

Belichick repeats moving 'on to Cincinnati' during presser

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Russell Wilson: 'I was a bully growing up'

Radio host crashes car during interview

GALLERY: Athletes and odd phobias

Amukamara better after lost virginity?

H.S. player dies after suffering head injury

Cowboys player accused of rape

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.