It was a grueling week for those rampaging Portland Trail Blazers. They had no game on Monday. Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or Thursday. Not bad work if you can get it.
The Trail Blazers are in a giddy stretch. Not only are they winning, and doing so convincingly and efficiently, but they are also doing it without the irritant of airports, buses, hotels, groupies, Spectravision, wake-up calls and other accoutrements of the road.Portland's last road game was Nov. 17. Margaret Thatcher was still the prime minister of Great Britain. Its next road game will be next Saturday. In between, there will have been five home games spread out over those 14 days. Whew.
Is there any wonder the Blazers are where they are? In no other sport is the home advantage so tilted, and when a good team has a long stretch like this without a single trip to the airport, watch out.
While Utah was flying all over creation, Dallas was going East and Phoenix was recovering from its opening weekend in nearby Tokyo, the Blazers were virtually grounded. Ten of their 13 games in November were scheduled at Memorial Coliseum. The three road games were with the Lakers, Denver and Sacramento. They do have a rough December (12 of 18 on the road) but by then, they could well be 13-0.
Still, the schedule does even out (or so we are told), and you gotta take care of business at home (we know, we know), which Portland is doing. Clyde Drexler is putting up MVP numbers. The Blazers went through a stretch in which they shot better than 60 percent in four consecutive games. They were outscoring opponents by an average of 15 points a game.
The only glitch has been threats by seldom-used Drazen Petrovic to return to Yugoslavia if he can't be traded. But even he wised up and apologized.