The Portland Trail Blazers were the lone team to vote against the proposed 22-team format for the NBA to return to play, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Thursday. The League reportedly got approval from the Board of Governors during a meeting today for said 22-team format, which would feature the 16 teams in playoff position and 6 outside the picture.
The Blazers are among that group, trailing the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. Portland preferred a 20-team format, per Haynes, which would have increased their chances of making the postseason. The Blazers trail the Grizz by 3.5 games in the standings, so Memphis is pretty safe.
Portland, in the extended format, is not safe. The New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings are both tied with the Blazers. The Spurs were only 0.5 games back of the three of them. It was very tight at the end of the West. Throw in the Suns and their shred of hope and that’s a few more teams the Blazers have to compete with to make the playoffs. This rather than playing out regular-season games and you can understand why Damian Lillard and the Blazers are frustrated.
Dame and SG C.J. McCollum have both been vocal on social media during the break when it comes to the team finishing out the season.