The 2016-17 NBA season hasn’t gone how the Portland Trail Blazers expected it would. This group has disappointed to the point that many are wondering if the playoffs are an achievable goal…or even a desired one.
Simply put: It’s time for some giggles.
The All-Star break is around the corner, and CJ McCollum is the Blazers’ lone representative in the three-point contest. But that’s not what we’re here to discuss.
We’re here to remind you that the NBA and the Trail Blazers shouldn’t consume your lives. Basketball should not be your focus no matter how passionate you are between October and June.
Memes should have a special place in your heart deep beneath your 9-5, and we’re here to help you tap into that.
Here are some popular memes focused on the Trail Blazers to get you through this, let’s just say, rough patch.
There seems to be an epidemic around water coolers in Portland. No, it’s not the flu—although, for a while, it was the flu…stupid influenza.
Fans in Portland haven’t quite caught on with the fact that the Blazers’ offense is the problem as of late, not the defense.
Since the turn of the calendar year, Rip City is just 21st in offensive rating, per NBA.com. Even more surprising is the fact that this group is 11th in defensive efficiency.
Al-Farouq Aminu’s return has a lot to do with that, but so does the dropoff in production from Damian Lillard.
Rip City apologists would love to exclude Lillard from the blame here, but so would Sean Spicer.
Lillard’s raw numbers are fine, but his shooting percentages are down. That’s a bummer considering he’s the face of a franchise looking to take the next step.
Challenge Meyers? Howbow Dah?
Isaiah Thomas is legit. If there’s any doubt the Boston Celtics have a superstar, he’s proven otherwise. He’s the King of the Fourth and he’s got the C’s ready to challenge the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers when it comes to an Eastern Conference championship.
Here’s the problem: He’s still five-foot-nothing, or at something close to it as far as Meyers Leonard, 7’1”, is concerned.
Thomas used an interesting tactic to get himself going against the Blazers last week: He challenged a big man he knew was going to do nothing in order to pump himself him.
We’d like to sit here and talk smack…but it worked.
Thomas ended up with 15 points in the fourth quarter and 34 total in Boston’s 120-111 win.
The Leonard-Thomas skirmish was as fake as Portland’s chance in this one.
Point: bad guys.
Blazers fans are two things: passionate and educated.
This fan base understands concepts beyond what the casual fanatic gets. But, shoot, if Rip Citizens don’t love their team and their players both unconditionally and illogically year after year.
Most Portlandians understand that this Portland squad—especially following the Plumlee trade—isn’t going to contend right away. And you should know that’s okay.
Despite an overachieving 2015-16 campaign, this group is still rebuilding following the departures of four starters just two offseasons ago.
But while many of the finest fans in the land understand this and rationalize losing quite well with a stacked draft class on the horizon, it’s always tough to see your team lose.
The Blazers don’t get many national television games, but they’ve had three recent ones against the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks. The problem? They’ve lost all three.
Portland fans know deep down that losing is crucial right now, but, quite frankly, it sucks when it’s in front of the nation.
Don’t be afraid to cheer for your team, Rip City. But think about the future when it loses.
No. Just. No.
The Blazers aren’t making the playoffs this season. Call me a doubter; call me a hater; call me whatever name in the book you’d like—I can take it; I swear.
Just don’t tell me the Blazers are making the playoffs this season. And seriously, for real, like, really, don’t tell me they have the firepower to compete with the greatest team ever assembled.
The Golden State Warriors.
If the current roster was going to remain intact for years to come, I might be on your side here. After all, these Blazers gained valuable experience last year making it to the second round.
But Plumlee is gone. Olshey signed the players he signed because A) He knows he can’t get anyone much better in free agency, and B) the contracts in question are large enough to swap down the road for a star who needs a change of venue.
This roster as is won’t compete for anything significant come playoff time. No, it’s not going to defeat the Warriors in the first roundup of the playoffs. And, no: The postseason likely isn’t going to happen this year.
Sorry, Rip City. This story has been written,
Damian Lillard is, has been, and continues to be the franchise figure in Rip City.
But if CJ McCollum isn’t right there behind him at this point in the process, we don’t know who is.
Lillard Time, as much as we’d like to think shots against the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans still matter, isn’t what it used to be. Lillard is eighth in fourth-quarter points this season, according to NBA.com, but McCollum is right behind him at 12th.
Lillard has attempted 209 field goals during crunch time (defined as under five minutes to play when the score is decided by five points or fewer) and made 89 (42.6 percent). His backcourt partner has taken 230 attempts and drained 106 (46.1 percent).
Along the same note, Lillard has hit just 30 percent of his three-pointers during this stretch (27-of-90) while McCollum is knocking down 41.3 percent of his clutch triples (33-of-80).
All this said, what we’re getting at is that Portland has another option in the clutch—and another option in the community.
McCollum, now one of Portland’s best and most clutch players, is doing what he can to groom the next generation of sports journalists with his CJ’s Press Pass program.
The Blazers are going to face questions in the future (and not the distant future) about whether it can build a championship team with two scoring guards leading the way. What it can’t question, however, is the quality of the people leading the franchise at this point in the process.