The NBA's play-in tournament begins this Tuesday with the headline being LeBron James and Anthony Davis vs. Stephen Curry Wednesday night for the seventh seed.
Here's why Blazers fans should tune in and cheer for the Golden State Warriors to pull off the upset.
With the winner of Golden State and Los Angeles getting the seventh seed, it means they will be on the same side of the bracket as the Portland Trail Blazers, and let's be honest, defeating the Warriors or Suns in a seven-game series seems much more probable than the defending champions.
Also, should the Lakers fall to the eighth seed, the Blazers will only need to get through one of the Los Angeles teams to get to the NBA Finals. Both the Clippers and Lakers present immense matchup problems for the Trail Blazers with LeBron, Davis, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George. While the Suns, Nuggets, and Warriors are all appealing matchups, at least as far as the Western Conference goes.
If the Warriors can pull off the upset in a single game, then the Lakers, Clippers, and Utah Jazz (NBA's best record) will need to defeat one another to make the Western Conference Finals.
Meanwhile, the Blazer's route to the West Finals would include a Denver team without Jamal Murray, a Phoenix Suns team where the large majority of its roster will be playing in the postseason for the first time or a Warriors team whose third-best player is Andrew Wiggins.
When the Blazers made the Western Conference Finals in 2019, it was largely due to a favorable side of the bracket where it avoided the Warriors and Rockets (arguably the two best teams in the West that season) until the Western Conference Finals.
If Stephen Curry can go nuclear against a hobbled Lakers team, history can repeat itself this postseason.