The Portland Trail Blazers boast not only the most wins of any NBA team (23), but the most road wins as well. The Trail Blazers and the Spurs have both tallied league-leading 12-3 records in other teams’ arenas. In fact, the 12 wins Portland has accrued are more than they had all of last season (11). Their success on the road, even with tight scheduling, has been pivotal to their overall success and has shaped their 2013-2014 season thus far.
11/1 – Denver Nuggets (113-98)
11/9 – Sacramento Kings (96-85)
11/15 – Boston Celtics (109-96)
11/17 – Toronto Raptors (118-110)
11/18 – Brooklyn Nets (108-98)
11/20 – Milwaukee Bucks (91-82)
11/23 – Golden State Warriors (113-101)
12/1 – Los Angeles Lakers (114-108)
12/9 – Utah Jazz (105-94)
12/14 – Philadelphia 76ers (139-105)
12/15 – Detroit Pistons (111-109)
12/17 – Cleveland Cavaliers (119-116)
Of those teams, only the Nuggets and the Warriors are above .500 right now. So this is the part where I’m supposed to temper expectations and remind everyone that strength of schedule has played a large role here—valid points, but you know what? You can only play the games on your own schedule. As amusing as it would be to see LaMarcus and the gang interrupt a Heat/Pacers matchup like Kanye West at the VMAs, it’s probably better that the Trail Blazers play the opponents they are given.
How can anyone still say they are not an elite team when they have done exactly what elite teams are supposed to do? The Trail Blazers are winning the matchups they are meant to win. I think many people underestimate how difficult it is to play 48 minutes on someone else’s court and walk away with a W in the NBA, regardless of opponent, and especially in back-to-back games. Portland has accomplished that feat more than any other NBA team this season (except San Antonio with whom they are tied).
But here I go getting defensive while arguing with no one in particular like I’m practicing confrontations in my morning shower. The Trail Blazers can defend themselves soon enough, as their next eight road games include the Pelicans, Spurs, Rockets, Warriors, and Thunder (x2). This time next month we’ll know exactly what the Trail Blazers are made of. For now, they have the best road record in the NBA, and I’m glad to see the numbers reflecting Portland’s station in the league.