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Successfully improvising against the Jazz in the semi-finals, the Portland Trail Blazers have Utah playing out of tune, and find themselves in the unenviable position of emerging as the only potential roadblock in the LA Lakers charmed path to the finals. Historically a strong team, Portland has made some inspired personnel decisions over the past seasons, resulting in a roster top-heavy with talent. While they seemed to momentarily lose focus midseason, they have circled the wagons to great effect in the playoffs.

Their leading eminence, and one of the newest members of the squad, is the venerable Scottie Pippen (born Sept. 25, 1965, in Hamburg, Arkansas). Portland is counting on Pippen’s years of championship experience as Michael Jordan’s sidekick to take them to the next level. With the Sun, Moon and Mercury in Libra, a sign associated with partnerships and relating, Pippen has enjoyed a career as a famous partner to the greatest player of them all; a kind of basketball John Lennon (another Libra) to Jordan’s McCartney. Cunning and gifted in his own right, his relationships have always defined and improved him.

Another crucial relationship in the development of Pippen’s career is with his former Bulls coach, Phil Jackson. The two share some very close Libra placements between their charts. Now Pippen’s former partner looms as his next adversary, as the Trail Blazers roll on to face Jackson’s Lakers in the Western Conference finals.

I’ve made several references recently to the upcoming Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus. It’s hard to say enough about it, for it should be a dominant astrological influence throughout the playoffs. The conjunction of these two major planets will be exact at 22 degrees Taurus at the end of May, which should coincide with the Conference Championships. This could be a trying time for Pippen, who has a strong natal Mars at 24 degrees of Scorpio, putting it in opposition to the forces of the powerful Saturn-Jupiter conjunction. While this alignment puts a spotlight on his athleticism, he could also find himself pitted against the signs of the times, locked in combat with an overwhelming adversary.

Leading the Trail Blazers is Head Coach Mike Dunleavy (born March 21, 1954 in Brooklyn, NY) who, in his third season with Portland, has a veritable dream team of talent at his disposal. With so many egos on one bench, this Aries’ job might be tougher than it seems. The NBA coach of the year in 1999, Dunleavy has amassed a wealth of basketball experience as a player, coach and executive. He defeated the Jazz last year in the semi-finals, only to lose to San Antonio in the Western Conference Championships. His team is even stronger now, after adding Pippen and dumping the troubled Isaiah Rider on Atlanta in exchange for model citizen Steve Smith, a move growing more brilliant in hindsight with every passing day. However, opposition has grown stronger too, and there’s the rub.

Barring that we don’t know Dunleavy’s Ascendant or Midheaven, he just doesn’t seem sufficiently locked into the current astrological patterns to go all the way. The Ascendant and Midheaven are the signs that were rising and culminating in the sky at the moment of birth, so we would need an exact birth time in order to calculate those points. However, we can use the planetary positions for his birth date.

Dunleavy does have a helpful trine (a harmonious 120 degree aspect) from transiting  (current) Pluto in Sagittarius to his natal Venus in Aries. However, the massive Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is only going to make one connection within his chart—an exact square (a difficult 90 degree angle) to his natal Pluto at 22 degrees Leo. Squares often manifest as delays and obstacles and can be very frustrating.

The planet Mars should be a little more helpful for Dunleavy as it speeds through Gemini during the Conference Championships. Mars is the original macho planet, and has a lot of influence on athletic skill, performance and energy levels. His Trail Blazers are not going to go down quietly. They are an excellent team, but playing under mediocre circumstances.

In a Lakers-Trail Blazers showdown we will be watching not only the two best teams in the West, but possibly the two best teams in the league. With the combined talent of these two units, every contest will be like an All-Star game. The thunder will roll, the ground will shake, giants will once again roam the Earth and only one team will remain, battered, but still standing once the smoke clears. The East better be ready to bring it on!



Courtney Roberts, M.A.,is a writer, teacher, and consultant, originally from Miami, FL. Her work reflects a unique perspective: a real passion for the 'big picture' that combines cosmology, religious studies and history with a lifetime of observing the dynamic interaction of spirit and cosmos.

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For more information about Courtney Roberts Conrad, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Courtney Roberts Conrad:

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  • Foot and Mouth Comes to a Head   3/18/2001
  • Dale Earnhardt Reaches the Finish Line   3/2/2001
  • The Philadelphia 76ers: On a Hot Streak   2/23/2001
  • Jennifer Capriati's Shocking Outback Comeback   2/6/2001
  • Super Bowl Recap: Scoring by the Stars   1/31/2001
  • The Super Bowl: Sitting on De-Fence   1/26/2001
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  • Alonzo Mourning: Say It Ain't So, 'Zo!   11/1/2000
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