Stuck In OKC, Trail Blazers Travel Day Of Game For Back-To-Back In New Orleans
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A wave of brutally cold weather has caused a host of serious issues around the country, leaving many without power and water while stuck at home or stranded somewhere in between due to impassable roads. And while they issues the Trail Blazers have encountered on the road are nowhere near as serious, they too have had to adjust on the fly due to inclement weather.
Despite being scheduled to play Wednesday night in New Orleans, as of Wednesday afternoon, the Trail Blazers were still in Oklahoma City. Typically, teams fly out right after games, and that’s especially true in between back-to-backs, but the Trail Blazers’ flight out of Will Rogers Airport was cancelled before tipoff of their 115-104 victory Tuesday night versus the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena, apparently due to a lack of deicer.
Now, the Trail Blazers are scheduled to fly out of Oklahoma City bound for New Orleans, with their arrival time estimated to be less than four hours prior to the 8 p.m. local time tipoff. Rather than going to the team hotel, they’ll bus straight to the Smoothie King Center and begin their pregame preparations as they look to extend their season-best winning streak to six games.
While it’s exceedingly rare for teams to travel on the day of game -- NBA rules state that teams must make every attempt to get to the location of road games the day before -- the Trail Blazers have somewhat recent experience flying into a location and then playing a few hours later, though oddly enough, it occurred before a home game.
Back in 2017, the Trail Blazers defeated the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday, January 11 and were scheduled to return home that night in order to face the Cavaliers at home on Wednesday, January 12. But a snow storm in Portland kept the Trail Blazers from returning home, so after a long delay at LAX, the team flew to Sea-Tac Airport in Washington, stayed the night in Tacoma and then got on a plane the day of the game, flew into PDX and stayed at a downtown hotel before hosting Cleveland in a game that they would go on to win 102-86.
Assuming the Trail Blazers make it to New Orleans in time -- there is a cutoff for how long prior to the game the team has to arrive in order to play -- they’ll look to repeat history, albeit in a different location.