After Friday night's games, the Portland Trail Blazers possess the league's longest winning streak (nine games). They have vaulted to third place in a competitive Western Conference. All of that is tied to their most victory, a 125-108 triumph over the defending champion Warriors.
So impressive are their recent credentials that All-Star guard Damian Lillard couldn't hold back from making a declaration after his team's win.
"We're the real deal," he told ESPN's Chris Haynes.
Critics will surely point to the fact that Golden State was playing the second half of a back-to-back, and they were missing star guard Stephen Curry (ankle), as well as rotation players Andre Iguodala, Jordan Bell and David West.
The Warriors, however, are still 11-5 without Curry in the lineup this season. Portland was also resourceful enough to overcome a 40-point night from Kevin Durant and an additional 25 points from Klay Thompson.
If the Blazers are indeed "real" in comparison to years past, it could indicate that Lillard expects more than the first or second-round exits that have been Portland's fate in each of their last four postseason appearances. If the postseason began today, the Blazers would play Minnesota in the opening round, with Golden State potentially waiting in a second-round matchup.