There was a tiiiiiime...
Wherever you find yourself this evening - perhaps somewhere celebrating your ability to purchase alcoholic beverages in the US? - you owe it to yourself if you're an NBA fan at all to at least glance at a TV set at some point and watch the Celtics, the reigning NBA champs, take on a team who may very well be future champs themselves some day, the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Blazers, you may be aware, are the team who actually did land Greg Oden in the 2007 draft, the same draft the Celtics were accused of trying to improve their lottery positioning for by intentionally losing games down the stretch. The Celtics wound up picking fifth, trading for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, winning a title, etc. while Oden, the much-coveted target, missed the whole year recovering from microfracture surgery on his right knee.
But the Blazers improved even without Oden thanks to the ascension of Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, and now that he's mostly healthy - though still injury-prone - and now that the team has added rising star Rudy Fernandez to the mix as well, they look like they are taking yet another step forward. Right now they have the second-best record in the Western Conference behind the Lakers and they're still kind of a work in progress. They have a sharp coach, they're young, they're exciting, and they don't like the Celtics very much.
So yeah, this should be pretty awesome.