Portland Trail Blazers Eliminated From Playoff Contention

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blazers exit

Game 1: Memphis 100 – Portland 86

Game 2: Memphis 97 – Portland 82

Game 3: Memphis 115 – Portland 109

Game 4: Portland 99 – Memphis 92

Game 5: Memphis 99 – Portland 93 

Memphis won the series 4-1.

The Portland Trail Blazers have been eliminated from playoff contention. This season, the Trail Blazers lost eight of nine games when playing the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies will meet the Golden State Warriors in the semi-final round.

The Grizzlies won game five without starting point guard Mike Conley who has no timetable to return. This is what his eye looks four days later.

conley eye

OUCH!!!!

Injuries plagued the Trail Blazers towards the end of the season. Wes Matthews was averaging over 16 points per game before he self-tore his achilles tendon. Aaron Afflalo was acquired at the trade deadline and injured his shoulder just before the playoffs. When he played in the playoffs, he was a non-factor only scoring a combined five points and seven rebounds through three of the five first round games.

Game 5 could be LaMarcus Aldridge’s last in the Rip City. In his final game, he only scored 14 points with nine rebounds, a -15 rating, and fouled out. He wasn’t playing like himself. As the series went on, Aldridge got scared of Zach Randolph and stayed away from the paint and took contested jump shots. Aldridge managed to convert 37 of 112 shot attempts this series. This is a terrible way to end in Portland and doesn’t make his decision any easier if he decides to leave or not. A discouraged Aldridge had this to say at the end of Game 5:

“It hurts because this team is a whole lot better than what we’ve shown.”

lma

Portland hasn’t been very successful in the Playoffs since Aldridge got drafted. Since 2006, the Trail Blazers have made the playoffs five times. They only advanced to the second round once and lost that series 4-1 when they played the San Antonio Spurs. If the Trail Blazers are historically unsuccessful against the Western Conference’s best, I see no hope for them beating them in the future.

It is clear LaMarcus wants to win. He knows that Portland can play better basketball but they end up always falling short. He has also been committed to the success of the Trail Blazers and openly mentions that he loves the City of Portland. But if the Trail Blazers never win, he needs to find a home where he can win. He will be making a boatload of money no matter where he goes. A lot will be running through his head this offseason.

All eyes are on LaMarcus Aldridge. Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, Dorell Wright, Steve Blake, and Aaron Afflalo have the options to opt out of their current contracts with the Trail Blazers. Free agency starts July 1st, 2015.

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