But now that we are at midseason, some people, including John Hollinger, have come to the conclusion that the Trail Blazers are for real.
A quick memo to those of you who thought those upstart Portland Trail blazers would soon fade out of the Western Conference race: They're not going away.
Usually in a club this young, there is a tension between the desire of the players to win games and their desire to further their individual accomplishments so they can establish their careers and earn a bigger contract.
With this group, at least so far, they've managed to keep that instinct buried. It helps that none of their players are habitual ball dominators, and that the two best players, Roy and Aldridge, are as comfortable in the catch-and-shoot game as any of their teammates.
Hollinger also notes that, should the Blazers avoid disastrous injury, they could be "a dominant force in the West for the next decade." I like the sound of that.