PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers are used to being counted out.
Before the playoffs began, most picked Portland to bow out in the first round against an Oklahoma City Thunder team perceived to be more talented.
Some public opinion swayed the Blazers' way after they dispatched the Thunder in five games, and most picked Portland to beat the higher-seeded Denver Nuggets in the second round.
But that confidence was shaken after the Blazers fell behind three games to two after a 26-point drubbing in Game 5 in Denver. Most turned on Portland again, saying even if they won Game 6 at home, they couldn't beat Denver at the Pepsi Center a second time in this series.
The Blazers proved their never-say-die skeptics wrong again, beating the Nuggets in Game 7 to reach the Western Conference finals for the first time since Sheed and Bonzi roamed the court in Portland.
Now the majority of pundits and experts are picking the Blazers to fold in the conference finals against the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Even with star forward Kevin Durant expected to miss at least a game or two, all but a select few are picking the Warriors to win in five or six games.
(We see you, John Canzano. We see you).
That's not a surprise. These are the Warriors after all. They've averaged 64 wins the past five seasons and won championships in three of the past four seasons.
But what about your favorite podcasters? What does the 3-on-3 Blazers crew think? On this special Western Conference finals preview episode (read that again, Blazers fans!) of the 3-on-3 Blazers podcast, we look back at the memorable Game 7 win against the Nuggets and preview the conference finals matchup with the Warriors. Plus, a MEGA RECAP of playoff Rip It!
Listen to the most recent edition of the 3-on-3 Blazers podcast
MEET THE 3-ON-3 BLAZERS TEAM
Jared Cowley is a digital producer who writes about the Blazers and other topics for KGW.com. Jared has written about the Jazz and Warriors as a sports editor at two daily newspapers.
Orlando Sanchez is the sports anchor and reporter for KGW News, Sports Sunday and Friday Night Flights. Orlando has covered multiple NBA Finals, NCAA Basketball Tournaments and World Series.
Nate Hanson is a digital producer who contributes to KGW.com’s coverage of the Blazers, Ducks, Beavers and high school sports.