by Marcel Mutoni

The Portland Trail Blazers are unquestionably the hottest team in the League. Having won 15 of their last 17 games, the Blazers have shocked just about everyone in the hoop world with their stellar play. Well, everyone but themselves it seems.

Firmly entrenched in second place in the Northwest division (in a virtual tie with Denver) and following a gutsy double-overtime win in Chicago last night, the team’s confidence is at its highest in years, and these guys say they’re for real.

“People can say what they want about this team,” Brandon Roy said. “But this is a tough team to beat.”

“We’re for real,” James Jones said.

So, just how “real” is this squad? For starters, they’re led by an entirely likable but outright deadly shooting guard (Roy’s name is even being included in some of the MVP chatter), and they don’t seem to be afraid of anyone.

While I certainly don’t expect them to keep winning at this clip, especially not in the brutal Western Conference, it’s pretty obvious that Portland has no plans to wait until Greg Oden joins the lineup to become a force to be reckoned with.