The All-Star break usually allows teams fluctuating between the bottom and middle thirds of the NBA to determine if they should push for a playoff berth or think about what's best for their future (which, yes, sometimes involves tanking). Most preseason expectations would have put the Portland Trail Blazers squarely in the latter camp, at least if they hadn't already firmly established themselves as lottery participants. Yet Portland has been one of the pleasant surprises of this season, playing well enough to establish themselves as a true contender for a postseason spot ahead of several teams that were supposed to take serious leaps forward.
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Monday night's game at the Memphis Grizzlies was a particularly useful example of the Blazers' talent and ability in pressure-filled situations. Down 102-100 with just seven seconds remaining in regulation, Damian Lillard attempted a game-winning three-pointer. He missed,Read More »from Blazers force OT with buzzer-beating tip-in, beat Grizzlies