The Blazers are getting stingy. They've been hoarding wins by the handful for over a month now, and show no signs of sharing them any time soon. After an amazing 13-game win streak, they've been able to snag four more consecutive wins after the original streak was snapped by Utah last week.
There are a few things that make this feat so impressive. First, the current Blazers have the youngest average age in the NBA. So while most young teams are developing their players with an eye on the future, the Blazers are winning now...and at an alarming rate. Also, the sloppy, selfish, and disorganized play that is characteristic of young teams, is not evident in the Blazers.
Secondly, they are playing as a team and finding different contributors every night. In Denver, Iverson and Carmelo score 75% of the team's points every night; in Los Angeles, it's the Kobe Bryant show. In Portland, however, everyone has contributed to the 17 wins in the last 18 games. Naturally, Roy and Aldridge are making things happen. But when they don't have a good game, Martell Webster or James Jones steps up. Or Jarrett Jack. Or Joel Pryzbilla. Or Travis Outlaw. Get it...they have depth and can share the load.
Lastly their only loss in the last 18 games came at a time when their head coach, Nate McMillan, was attending a funeral and couldn't be at the game. What if he had been there? Hmmm?
Here are a few of the standout stats:
* James Jones is shooting just under 54% from three-point range.
* As a team, the Blazers lead the league in three-point shooting percentage.
* The Blazers have the 9th best assist to turnover ratio, which means, despite being a young team, they are not turning the ball over easily.
* Among point guards, Steve Blake has the 6th best assist to turnover ratio. Among shooting guards, Brandon Roy is 1st.
* They have a real, live-in-the-flesh gypsy on the team. His name is Sergio. He can fly and one of his favorite foods is Spanish ham.