For those who are big fans of the Portland Trail Blazers, the main goal is of course to improve the chances of the team being victorious in their endeavors to win the NBA Finals. The same goes for the fans who bet in their favor via the Betrivers sportsbook, too – and for those who maintain an interest in the team’s success through shareholdings and more.
But what are the chances of the team managing to nab the top spot in the NBA Finals this year? What factors might play in their favor – and which might cause problems? This article will endeavor to explain just how successful the team might be, and whether it’s wise and realistic for the fans to be confident of victory.
The statistical chances
First of all, it’s important to look at the statistical chances of the team winning the NBA Finals. The reality is that they are unlikely to secure a huge victory: according to FiveThirtyEight, a website that uses advanced statistical models to predict outcomes in everything from sporting tournaments to elections, the chances are slim. There’s a less than one percent chance of them winning, which in statistical terms essentially means that there’s such a negligible chance of a victory that it’s practically zero.
But there’s something to be positive about. The same site predicts that the side has a 28% chance of winning the playoffs – and while that’s lower than it was in around December, it’s higher than it was at the end of November. So there’s certainly some hope present in the middle of the statistics – and fans certainly shouldn’t have cause to lose all hope!
In terms of the momentum running in favor (or otherwise) of the Trail Blazers, things aren’t looking great. This trend towards less than positive performance was exemplified in recent days when the side faced the Miami Heat. The writing was on the wall: to begin with one of the side’s star players, shooting guard CJ McCollum, would have to miss the game because of an infection in his upper respiratory tract. This in itself was enough to cause fear among many fans, and it transpired that the fear was well-placed.
The bad news about McCollum came despite hopes that Miami stars such as Jimmy Butler, who was out due to back soreness, would let the opponents down in their absence. But that didn’t turn out to be the case. In the end, the match in Miami ended with the Miami Heat on 26-10 and the Blazers on 122-111 – meaning that many fans are now left wondering if the side can ever regain its momentum.
After the game, Damian Lillard – who serves as a guard for the Blazers – was candid about the reasons for the loss. “It’s tough not having him,” he said about McCollum. “But they didn’t have their best player, so it’s not really much of an excuse. We just didn’t compete hard enough to start the game and we dug a hole,” he added. That sort of honesty is not unheard of in the sporting world, although it’s definitely rare – and could well signify what the mood is like inside the Trail Blazers’ dressing room when it comes to thinking about playoff chances.
The playoffs are now the key goal for the team, and the question is whether or not they will make it to this end of the table effectively. It’s certainly not out of the question, especially given that some skilled plays – such as Hassan Whiteside, who plays in the center – are now on side. But on the whole, it’s still not guaranteed that they will get there – and if they keep up repeat performances such as the one against Miami Heat, it’s even less likely they will get there.
For a fan of the Blazers, the last few months have been somewhat grim. The chance of the team reaching the playoffs has gone up and down, but now the trend is very firmly downward according to statistical analysis – and the chance of the side ending up right at the top of the table and winning the league is even lower. Poor performance in recent matches can only compound this problem, although now fans will be pinning their hopes on the potential positive performance of players like Hassan Whiteside who may well be able to turn the side around.