We have all been there before, early Monday morning and it feels like you have already worked a full work week. The main thought that helps push through the rest of the day and week is what is coming up on the weekend.
The Portland Trail Blazers have been tearing through the league and surprising everyone. Entering Wednesday's game against Milwaukee, they are on a 7-game win streak, three of which have come on the road on the current road trip. Holding the second best record in the entire Western Conference has made people across the league take notice of this young team that shoots a lot of threes.
Listening to analysts around the sport has been interesting in the opening weeks of the season. The belief in this Blazer team has taken a meteoric rise since the opening night loss to the Phoenix Suns on the road. When you listen to the "talking heads” as of right now, there is no question whether the Blazers make the playoffs this year.
I am a Blazer fan but try to keep a wide angle view on the team and season. We are 11 games into the season. Yes, this team has exceeded expectations so far. Yes, the bench is much better than last year's. Yes, Wesley Matthews has been on fire along with consistent play and leadership from LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Friday night Derrick Rose and the defensive-nightmare Chicago Bulls come into the Rose Garden. That is the game that I have circled and highlighted on my schedule. I want to see how this electrifying offense reacts to the suffocating defense of the Bulls. If they can come out of that with an impressive showing and a win, I will be buying a lot of stock in this team.
After that battle there won't be much time to recover or celebrate as they head to Oakland right after the game to play the Golden State Warriors Saturday night. That will be a much different game. The Warriors are a very well rounded team but they rely heavily on their back court shooting led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The Blazers will need to shake the fatigue from the night before and play great defense to beat the young and athletic Warriors.
In no way am I trying to diminish what this Blazer team has accomplished so far in this young season. This is their best start to a season in over 10 years and they look to extend their winning streak against a weak Milwaukee team. Come Saturday night though, I feel like we will have a much better idea of what this team is. If they can win Friday and Saturday night ... Watch out Portland, this is going to be fun.