Our it's our time that tiger talks and NBA and joining us now from the sporting news's Sean debating a shot afternoon Dario. Do well appreciate Joyner show today and what are the discussion we've been having is about the trailblazers and other expectations for the season obviously today they're much different than they were beginning of the season the consider what their schedules like the rest of the way. What do you think are legitimate expectations for the big picture this year for the blazers. Well there's you know I would say second round of the playoffs you know they should be able to. -- hang around Erin and an. And be near the top of the copper on court and and it -- and -- Are we get into that second round you know it's not quite is no question that they played a barbaric. But to add a little bit. And has been fantastic panel but it was eight. The kind of defense. -- that is gonna really show up in the playoffs and and and that's probably going to be. The biggest thing you need to improve. But when you look at this team you know I -- I don't picket. You know -- question to see them as one of the final. Fourteen in the Western Conference -- I don't know that they. They get past. You know on Oklahoma City are sent to -- -- it would meet in the postseason now. I mean it's like around I do think that they're certainly getting out of pressure -- Israel. Are they there to your most surprising team in the NBA this year. Are easily as. Mean they're they're spent some disappointing teams. And then if you wanna count those as surprised as you know -- -- -- the -- -- something. But like that then then didn't and that that might be -- in equal prize but in terms of positive surprises. You open Phoenix would be up there -- -- but -- think anybody is it surprising. As quote that thought it would be better and -- united in the question that. The big thing they needed to address last year what that ventured out terrible that that was. But. That no -- address that but they've had their starters play. Well above I think anybody thought they would particularly Dillard and and Aldridge and and yet your two best players. You know reaching a level that that's gonna terraces team. You know when it comes playoff time this blazers team what do you think is the bigger issue is that the lack of playoff experience -- at the the you know lack of defense coming off the bench. Yeah I know it's probably beat that's really I mean you can. I sometimes think there's no question that has valued. You to -- ethics expert can be overrated I mean if you got the talent. And and and you've got. Certain ways that you played well here. But you get the play out there and and and I'm not sure that experience is -- -- it matters but it's not something that's going to override. You know talented system and all those sort of thing that. -- the x.s and o's and strategy. You know that that matters to sell -- take that. It's it's going to be more -- defense that. The problem and the you know that's something that. Tressel I don't know that they can really address it. Between now and the end of the year I don't know that -- personnel and that they can make that's going to you know make them that. That much of the better defensive team but I know in the playoffs. You know teams are going to be able to slow down. Spent the week more than eighteen. And the legacy you see it time and time again. You've got to be able to get -- -- he's going to be at the plate that sort of championship caliber eat that's an important just not quite there yet. We even looking at that within the Western Conference there's no really easy outs it if you really look at if you -- to look at the playoffs today the easy outs because of the balance in the Western Conference and everybody -- on out it's a top heavier over in the east. No matter who gets in the playoffs in the west are gonna have a couple tough playoff series before they get to the finals. It's it's -- it's such different than than what we're looking and I in the Eastern Conference that. It's it it's going to be not that really got about. -- -- -- to about six economical data. Number today you know -- can get one of those course expel the I actually think Portland is good enough if they have that on. On court advantage. I think that they're good enough to beat a team. Like like the rocket like through like media. Warriors and like the clippers I think there on the same plane as those teams I mean they have the home court advantage in this serious. In a series against one of I would I would give them in the event. And it jet in that period like said that you know there's there's something to be said for playoff. Experience but I also think you know Portland is just the better team than not. That members of the team to go up. John Delaney is our -- from the sporting news and Sean since the injury to Russell Westbrook and we expected to see the thunder take a little bit of the slide their ten and five over that stretch. And their five game win streak -- one on the road at San Antonio they've beaten Portland beaten Golden State he won on the road in Houston. How impressive has this stretch been without Russell Westbrook. Well I mean this -- -- stretch where Kevin Durant has has won the MVP -- not meet. -- did it did the chant that does that pump little change in the bottle that are out of somebody else like you know the fact that that. That that without Westbrook. Durant has put this team on his back. At the sort of run that he's -- -- -- it. Nine in a row thirty plus. And then and not just putting up numbers on that tee and the putting not up. Numbers on ID you know -- argue. Let it leak you know. At step in the real different -- is that what he's doing is so remarkable in terms -- not to the numbers but the Winnick. -- it is the winning out. -- yet that this is definitely stretch where we're Kevin Durant has sort of elevated and so. You know 222 -- equal and and you know I am not quite sure. You can see that. You know at the end of the year but but certainly at this point you have to police say that they can enter and it is right there I could drag LeBron gains in terms of a talent and ability and and and and how they should be ranked. Across the leak. You know I asked -- earlier -- about to balance the Western Conference in the Eastern Conference and everybody I think is it's Indiana Miami and then you've had some of those major disappointments especially like Brooklyn. Looking at some of those things is there any possible way it's anybody. Else besides Indiana or Miami in the finals. Now I know really you can make a case of -- when net net you know they still are counted in that started late better. -- lately that 18 out of the last nine. You know that that's probably not. Something minute with a publicly to keep up. They weren't bad as they work to start the year either so even -- -- Brook Lopez out you know date and that will be able to make some noise. Opposite that. Regular season and and and he'll be opting to play. In the play out like you know without Lopez and it really does get oxidant that to get very far in the post season so you know I would say that -- Really the only team I'll bet that that would be the possibility that. When you look at everybody else at little Washington. You know the other -- That currently there Chicago if there's nobody that really scares you are as a possible final look. Ideal into the finals it past Miami. In India and Eastern Conference. -- know Sean consider we haven't seen a team reached four straight finals in here since the eighties. -- -- injuries that they heated it -- lately especially Dwyane Wade Lyoto the he's going to be in the playoffs and that kind of thing. Are the Miami Heat you are are they what they -- they've they've taken the step back are they now behind the pacers when you look at the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Yeah I think he's still have to look at at the pacers that. Times are -- at the he has the cricket a favorite just because. They are the defending champs. They'd been through this grind before they know that that the that they lose some games and in January no need to panic. Make nobody is gonna come down to that meet -- what is it that he is not under present. When he Lou when it's time to play out from. In May and June. They're going to be in trouble is there it is no question about it that they need to get the playoffs you're going to need something a lot. Hello -- did you not getting that from Dwyane Wade they could be in trouble there's no question about that. That's up guy. I think he can. The pages sort of above the key terms of how they're playing. I don't know that I -- necessarily call the pace is the favorite right now. Carried -- -- a lot of -- gonna depend on I'm only held on and it -- help Leo that they've got to take the they eat in the unity playoff series. Against Indiana but again you not like that's gonna come down to wouldn't that -- -- -- or not. There's some -- it tonight the NBA all star starters again be announced the reserves here in the next few days I don't think anybody around here doesn't expect to see why LaMarcus Aldridge. In the all star game but is -- -- are going to be an all star as he deserved to be elsewhere is he going to be an all star. Yeah you know it it's really -- I think he can be one of the lab guys. And I and you gonna have a decision to make when you really break it down. You know play it peaked -- -- that. That's going to be unique opportunity. Within what you get in you'll get data lat couple spot them at twelve and Oscar are you gonna. Have names like Tim Duncan Dirk Nowitzki. And -- app. -- wonderful coaches vote those guys out in favor of being -- not to do when you look at all the way that rosters going to be constructed. Before we get into injuries it's going to be tough. But coaches rather -- to look at that. Good to look at guys like Durkin and Tim Duncan and a note and take second year player loaded at that that. That's going to be difficult but I do think he deserves it and I think once things get sorted out with injuries the -- on T -- to play so. You -- he might not make it at first but I think that when that game is played on average sixty you'll be -- Sporting news NBA writer Sean Delaney is our guest you can find him at sporting news.com on Twitter at Sean Delaney shuttle is great to talk to thinks much of the time. Oh.