Can a rivalry help Portland to the NBA Finals?

Sure the Blazers can win - a lot - but can they attract a TV audience
Dec. 16, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
AP photos.

It seems like just a week ago that fans of the Portland Trail Blazers were being polled on whether the team could win 60 games this season.

Now, the poll is up to a 70-game level, as in "can the Blazers win 70 games?"

Even if they do, will the pro basketball community care? Imagine the potential match-ups for Portland in the NBA Finals. Miami? Indiana? Carmelo Anthony after being traded to the Pacers? How will that roll with the NBA in terms of television viewers?

Portland might win a lot, but what's winning without star power? And, Portland lacks star power, even with two potential All-Stars.

That's where the Oklahoma City Thunder comes in, and it's a key topic for the cast of Sportsland, Oregon, during its 27th episode of the year.

Can the NBA build enough of a rivalry between Portland and Oklahoma City, which was a heavy franchise rival when the team played in Seattle as the Sonics. How much value to TV networks would a Portland-OKC rivaly make?

The cast also talks up the woes of the Dallas Cowboys and strength of pro football in terms of people wanting to pay to see a game.

It's all recorded at Blitz Pearl in Northwest Portland.