Wheels falling off for the Blazers

There's an expression in sports, "peaking at the right time." There are 14 games to go in the current pro basketball season, and the Portland Trail Blazers are not peaking. At the moment, they're troughing. (Is that a word?)

They just dropped two 1-point games in a row, at home. The Clippers and Denver. Both games were winnable, but as I've chronicled before, the Blazers just can't beat the better teams in the league. They seemed especially demoralized after the second one.

Now on a 3-game losing streak, Portland has lost 7 of its last 10 games, fifth worst in the league over that timespan. They've lost four in a row at home, where fans are not allowed in the stands yet. 

There's a real danger that the Blazers will fall into the "play-in" mini-tournament that the 7th-to-10th-place teams in each conference must endure in order to make the "real" playoffs this year. Portland is now only a half game above having to suffer that indignity, and could easily wash out in a "play-in" scenario. The other teams that may be sloshing around in there are Dallas, San Francisco, Memphis, San Antonio, and New Orleans. The way things are going at the moment, Portland could lose a crapshoot to any of them.

I think it's those hideous new gray Blazer uniforms. Lose those. Throw out the brown ones, too. Leave that nonsense for the Nike colleges.

The playoffs will drag on into July, probably. But Blazer fans will likely be free to pursue other activities long before the league wraps up its long, strange season.