Tanking Ain't Easy

I did it. Yesterday, I made the mistake of looking at the Blazers' schedule for the rest of the season. It's a murderer's row mixed with a Texas tornado. Bad deal ... unless you're thinking about draft positioning.

Then I made the further mistake of calling David Thorpe to talk about who the Blazers should pick. Then I let myself start thinking about what might happen if that deadly schedule translates into Portland creeping up a notch or two, into Joakim Noah/Corey Brewer territory. I scanned draft websites.

I started dreaming, and then I started to get greedy. I started to feel like there might be a silver lining to facing Utah with Raef LaFrentz starting in place of LaMarcus Aldridge, who would have been starting in place of Zach Randolph (playing between Jamaal Magloire -- who was starting in place of an injured Joel Pryzbilla -- and Ime Udoka, who was starting for an injured Darius Miles).

But then the funniest thing happened. Portland won. (Highlights.)

You know what that makes me think? That Brandon Roy, with his 25 second half points, is not only pretty good, but he also doesn't give a damn about that draft pick. The Oregonian's Jason Quick reports:

The win prevented the Blazers (30-44) from moving into the fifth spot in the race for the highest chance in the lottery. With eight games remaining, the Blazers are tied with Philadelphia for the NBA's sixth worst record. "As long as I'm on the court, I'm going to keep trying to hurt that lottery selection," Roy said. "I think we got great guys in this locker room -- a great draft pick would be great, but I'm going out to win basketball games. The lottery things, I leave that to Kevin Pritchard."