Everyone loves a winner. However, when times are tough, its easier to appreciate the people who just survive. Consider, for example, the Phoenix Suns opponent tonight. This season, the Portland Trail Blazers lost star center Greg Oden to a season-ending knee injury. Odens replacement, Joel Przybilla, got hurt, too. Along the way, both of Portlands co-captains, Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, were hobbled by injuries. Hell, even Blazers head coach Nate McMillan was crippled after rupturing his Achilles tendon.
By all rights, the Blazers should be dead in the water. Instead, due to gutsy play and a trade for center Marcus Camby, Portland is in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. In fact, only a few games separate the Suns and Blazers, which means the contest at US Airways Center is critical for both teams chances of survival.