mikebarrett

Apr 08

Blazers Run Away from Lakers

By mikebarrett
On Friday night the Lakers were looking to finish off a four-game sweep of the Trail Blazers for the first time in 22 years.  They had already won the season series (for just the third time since 1989), but this night turned into a confidence-building win for the Blazers, and the fourth-straight loss for the Lakers.

Both of these teams have implied that they don't want to see the other in a first-round playoff series.  It could certainly happen.  If it does, we could be in for a war.  Even though the Blazers lost three games to the Lakers this season, two of the losses were one-possession games in the closing seconds.  All of them were intense, and the bad blood was boiling on Friday.

The Trail Blazers, who were playing on the second night of a back to back, somehow found the energy to build a 24-point lead.  They also executed a game plan that involved running, and running, and running.  They had 16 fast-break points in the first half, and 20 for the game.  With no Marcus Camby, the Blazers figured their best opportunity was to get the Laker big people on the move.  It worked.

For Portland, it was the ball that was moving.  The team recorded 28 assists on their 35 made field goals, and that's an incredible ratio.  Andre Miller finished with 12 points, 13 assists, and six rebounds.  He helped the Blazers shoot 46 percent, while the defense held the Lakers to 40 percent shooting.

There was the thought that perhaps the game meant more to the Trail Blazers than the Lakers, and because of that, we'd see Phil Jackson use his bench and even perhaps rest some regulars.  That didn't happen, and the Lakers badly wanted this one.  The intensity on both sides fueled the playoff atmosphere at the Rose Garden.  It was physical, and there were several confrontations.  Most involved Ron Artest, who was borderline out of control.  Losing streaks are frustrating, as the Lakers are finding out.

The intimidation tactics work on some guys.  They don't work on Gerald Wallace.  After the game he boldly stated that his team isn't afraid of the Lakers, and sounded like he'd welcome a first-round meeting.  Even if he'd rather see someone else in the playoffs, that's the way you like to see him approach it.  Wallace, who scored 29 on Thursday night at Utah, had 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists for Portland.  That's an impressive back to back for Crash.

If there was a negative for Portland, it was the lack of production from the bench once again.  The Blazer second unit was outscored by the Laker subs 29-7.  It put a ton of pressure on the Portland starters, but all five players scored in double figures, and three of them had double-doubles.  That works for one game, but would be difficult to maintain in a seven-game playoff series.  

The Trail Blazers build a 24-point lead in the third quarter, but to the Lakers' credit, they never threw in the towel.  Kobe kept them in the game in the first half, and their defense got them back in the game late in the third quarter.  They countered a 19-2 Blazer run by scoring 12-straight points to end the third.

The Lakers actually had the Portland lead down to seven with just under two minutes left, but Nicolas Batum hit a clutch three with 1:47 left, and that was the dagger.  It put Portland's lead back to 10 and slammed the door shut.  The Lakers had come from behind on the Blazers in the last two meetings to steal wins, and you could feel that doubt creeping in for Portland late in this one.  Batum, who's becoming a go-to guy late, was unflappable, drilling the biggest bucket of the game.

To listen to Nate McMillan's post-game comments, click here.

The Blazers don't totally control their own destiny, even following this win.  Their goal is to win their final two games, but could still draw the Lakers in the first round if they don't get help.  They still host Memphis, and have to wrap up the season with a win at Golden State.  Even if that happens, New Orleans will have to lose one of its remaining games for the Blazers to grab the sixth seed.  That certainly could happen.  The Hornets have to play at Memphis, host Utah, and have to end the season at Dallas.

This was huge for the Blazers though.  They've now beaten the top four teams in the west in the last two weeks.  Memphis is next, following a much-needed three days off.


 

55 Comments

  1. Excellent win! Love Miller's and Wallace's game.

    Now to take care of the final games and have NO lose one.

    GO BLAZERS!!!

    by mgb on 4/8/2011 10:43 PM
  2. Big game on Sunday. GO MEMPHIS!!!!!!

    Meanwhile, that's a big confident booster.

    Few things you forgot to mention Mike, but don't worry, everyone seems to, because this game has THAT much good.

    -The Blazers played last night in Utah, and didn't get home until 3am, probably not getting to sleep until 4am. They practice (correct me if I'm wrong) around 10am, and go to the arena around 4pm.

    -Wallace and LaMarcus have played over 80 minutes in 24 hours each.
    - Lakers were sitting comfortably in Portland, likely watching the game on TNT.

    -Marcus Camby didn't play (you did mention that one)

    -Nate McMillan is at .500, with 245-245. First time he's done that since he was 3-3 in 2005.


    HUGE win. Not just for the team and it's direction, but for the fans. Gave lots of confidence, earned respect around the league (they did the same thing to Miami, who was expected to come in and crush us), and did a big favor to their coach.

    Meanwhile, I just learned that Utah will be getting NOH on the second of a back to back after their Memphis game. GO UTAH!

    I'm liking our chances. NO LET DOWNS.

    And yes, we BEAT LA!!!


    One more thing I'd like to add is how awesome Wallace is. Not only for sticking out and making Artest look like a B****, but his attitude is contagious. After you guys went off the air I listened to 95.5 and Jay Allen interviewed Batum who, confidently, said "We could verse them, we could verse Dallas, San Antonio, we don't care". Thing is, he sounded convincing, even though he said the goal was to get 6th seed the previous night on courtside. I think this team is welcoming any challenge in front of them. That's what Wallace does. The team seems to be more tough. They were by far the more physical team, and they made the Laker squad look like a bunch of girls out there. No one had Artests back, but everyone had Wallace's back, especially the crowd. Big plus to Wallace. Nico is going to live up to his potential and Wallace is going to open that door.

    I'd also like to mention, and EA can back me up on this, is that I talk on NBA.com a lot, and a lot about the Blazers. They somehow (league pass im guessing) were saying how biased and how bad of broadcasters you guys were, and I was like, "what? Really?". Turns out it was because you kept stating actual facts that kept pissing them off! Oh boy it was fun. They also called Gerald Wallace a flopper. Someone even said, "don't call him Crash, call him flop". Hahah and they wonder why we hate them. Oh the joys of winning! Those bandwagon fans didn't get to feel this tonight!!

    by Herr on 4/8/2011 11:19 PM
  3. I'd also like to mention that I believe the play of this game was Ron Artest walking over Gerald Wallace while he was knocked to the ground in the 2nd quarter. After that, the Blazers turned on the switch and destroyed them. Just proves that if the Lakers want to play that game, we'll play it harder.

    by Herr on 4/8/2011 11:22 PM
  4. The Lakers are so much easier to beat when Kobe tries to do everything himself.

    by DHawes22 on 4/8/2011 11:30 PM
  5. Great BLOG Mike.. Though I wish you would of included 2 small notes. 1) G.W.'s first lob to L.A. and 2) the chant of G.W. in the Garden. Just want to know the atmosphere of both situations as you felt it. Watching it from home is nothing compared to the feeling of being there.

    by Jestatom on 4/8/2011 11:31 PM

  6. Thank you Mike for the prompt blog:

    I was so impressed with this win. This team just never ceases to amaze me. If we can ever get Camby back to staying healthy for more then a couple of games we would be out of this world.

    Boy, at first I thought Artist was trying to intimate us, but in the end it was GW getting under his skin an intimidating him.

    Well this took some what ifs out of my pondering. I know we can take care of business doing the play-off’s and won't be scared by anyone. That is a sign of maturity. BTW, we also beat Denver late so we beat all five teams above us.

    Rice was willing to bet his house that he doesn't have that Grizzlies would beat NOH and we would beat Memphis. Do you suppose he looked into Merlin’s crystal ball before he left? It sure sounds 48 games are going to be it. Not to shabby of predicting.

    by Hg on 4/8/2011 11:35 PM
  7. Did anyone else notice that this game looked like a montage of the Blazer's whole season? There was the big man out with an injury and the key player going down in mid-game. We had so many alley-oops we could hardly tell the plays from the replays. We had the Blazer team that outhustles the opponent, and the Blazer team that gets pushed around on the boards. We had the sharp-passing team that racks up assists and the team that goes cold and shoots and misses one three after another. Luckily that also came with the team that shuts opponents down for five minutes at a time. But we did add one thing we hadn't seen but once before: the fast-break team that looks like it was born to run. Where has THAT team been all year?
    It felt really, really good to stuff those guys. The bully-boy tactics of the Lakers are infuriating, but at least the officials called them on it. I'll tell you, though, if this game had been played thirty years ago there would have been a major fist-fight on court. It's a good thing the league has cracked down on that stuff, though how anyone resists clocking Ron Artest I'll never know.

    by Islander on 4/8/2011 11:39 PM
  8. This win almost insured that we'll get Dallas in the first round, assuming the rest of the games play out "like they should". It's almost better to play the Lakers in the first round though because they seem to get stronger as the playoffs progress. I see Memphis matching up with L.A. in the first round; that should be a pretty physical series if that happens, so hopefully the Lakers would be beaten up a little if we were to meet them in the second round.

    by C. Larry on 4/8/2011 11:56 PM
  9. Herr, I absolutely agree with you're assessment of GW. The guy's attitude is contagious there seems to be a new toughness about the team. Remember when Wallace and Fartest went down and were tangled up and Fart was kicking Wallace's head? Even though the game clock was running the basketball game stopped and Andre and Aldridge were right there ready to back Wallace up. Andre had the ball and blatantly traveled with the ball as he walked to the scrum but nothing was called. The refs were too busy trying to decide if they should call something on the two pit bulls.

    This game was an absolute joy to watch. The team executed beautifully and played with a lot of heart. I really believe that this win's biggest importance was the mental edge the blazers gained going into the playoffs. Wow, what a pick up Wallace was!

    In all fairness, the Lakers didn't play their best ball but at the same token I don't think we played our best either. In the end I think we showed more heart and that is what the playoffs are all about. Everyone is tired, bruised, and mentally exhausted but the winners are the ones that show most heart. We have it and we are ready for the playoffs!

    Gerald Wallace is the man. When you see a guy throwing himself out there, fighting, and giving all he has, it's inspiring. You feel bad if you aren't giving more yourself. That's why he's contagious.

    And to the rest of the Blazers, Awesome, awesome, awesome game tonight! Kudos to Nate McMillan. He had a hell uv a game plan tonight. GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT GAME!

    Go Blazers! Bring on the PLAYOFFS!

    by thedanman on 4/9/2011 12:04 AM
  10. thedanman,

    I agree with you that this does give us a mental edge should we meet in the playoffs. It just has to add to our confidence no matter who we play.

    by mgb on 4/9/2011 12:14 AM
  11. It's 2am and I'm STILL all jazzed up from tonight's FAN-tastic victory. It's going to be a very long wait until Tuesday, but there's alot of B-ball to watch on NBA League Pass, and we ALL know who to root for and against. I loved being at the RG tonight, sitting right next to four Lakers fans in the usual Kobe jerseys. They were the quietest "fans" ever, and it was my extra pleasure to shout out and give MY GUYS a standing ovation often and long. Red Hot & Rollin, bring on the playoffs! RIP CITY LIVES~

    by Pamela Porter on 4/9/2011 12:59 AM
  12. Good win. But Im not a expert I think the lakers gave that game to Portland Lakers had a nice rest coming to Portland on Thursday afternoon . and I think the lakers took a gamble trying to fall to # 3 seed if dallas keep winning so they can play a easier team which will probably be the blazers. They lost 4 in a row now. I know we will beat memphis and lose at golden state . what do you think HG and how are you.

    by jyp on 4/9/2011 2:31 AM
  13. I didn't think the Lakers gave the game to us. Kobe certainly wanted the win as well as Jackson or he wouldn't have played Kobe late in the game as he did. If we should meet in the playoffs I don't think Phil wanted to give us any confidence what so ever which is exactly what we gain by this win.

    by mgb on 4/9/2011 2:34 AM
  14. jvp: after that win I am better then fine. I usually don't let myself get that excited because it is rough on my ailing heart LOL.

    I don't think the LAL, gave us the game, I think they think they are so good they only have to toughen up and play the last 3 minutes or so of each quarter to beat us, as it looked at the end of each quarter. OTOH, that is when our second unit was in and our second unit, especially Rudy didn't really bring it tonight. Therefore, I really don't know what is going on with the Lakers. This is the fourth game in a row they got beat. Maybe they are trying to coast, and win, maybe everybody they play is up for them because they are the champs, maybe in our case we wanted it and needed it more.

    Long short, I made the statement to Sarah on her blog that I wanted to win this game and I didn't care how are why. If the Lakers are tanking it then shame on them, but I will still gladly take the win. With us pushing the tempo and the score up to a 24 point lead against the Lakers is still fantastic, therefore you can't take anything away from the Blazers. We executed our game plan to a T. We didn't let our tired legs from a B2B be a big factor, other then maybe making 3's So regardless of what the Lakers did or didn't do this was a fantastic win for us.

    BTW, Tuesday night is my bowling night and if I wasn't secretary of the league I would probably be better off to get a sub because I have to listen to it on the radio because of no Comcast in our area, but we are in last place so I don't think my lack of attention to my game will matter that much. I have a big week-end tournament starting at high-noon, and I am excited about that.

    Ancientone, have you finished your snack yet.

    by Hg on 4/9/2011 5:28 AM
  15. Herr is right Sunday is the day to watch. Not only does NOH and Memphis match up, the LAL and OKC square up, Dallas and PHX face off. If Dallas wins, OKC wins and Memphis wins, the places from 2 to 8 will be all scrambled up again
    Dallas would be tied with the Lakers and Dallas plays NOH next, the Grizzlies would be tied with NOH and plays us next. Who is next on the LAL list? Who owns the tie breaker between the Mavs and Lakers and the Mavs and OKC because if the Mavs lose Sunday and OKC wins the Mavs and OKC would be tied for the 3 spot, I think.

    by Hg on 4/9/2011 6:01 AM
  16. Nate out coached Phil in this one. What a first half, and the toughness to finish it out in the second.

    As chippy as the Lakers got in the second half you can't say they handed this one to us, we took it. Great time to have the most entertaining game of the year.

    Butter Pecan Ice cream Hg. I love it, keep it coming. Every diabetic needs a binge now and then as long as he covers it.

    by Ancientone on 4/9/2011 7:21 AM
  17. As Islander noted, the blazers ran the fast break like I haven't seen since the teams of the 90's. Last year they were among the league's worst in that area. Now that Roy isn't slowing them down we know that this team is capable of playing at this pace and there is no excuse not to see more up tempo ball. If you want to talk about play being contagious, how about those lob passes? I don't believe Gerald deserves any label such as being a "flopper". He hustles to his spots quicker than his opponent, and the charges called on the Lakers (such as the one on Bynum), you could see coming 5 or 6 seconds before they were called. The Lakers were expecting Portland to fold from the pressure and who could blame them? It worked three other times this season, just not on this night.

    by Phi Slamma on 4/9/2011 7:23 AM
  18. Personally I would hate to see any team 'throw' a game. Why wouldn't you always want to do your best and get the win for your club AND your fans! Last years final regular season game, against the Warriors, I was SOOOO disappointed in the Blazers. I mean really, GS was down to 5 players, one of them having to play after fouling out, and the Blazers LOST??? C'mon! I understand the game really meant nothing in the standings, nothing was going to change win or lose but you have 20,000++ fans in the stands who paid to see their team play and have the right to expect that their team will do everything they can to get the win.

    by Holly Belgarde on 4/9/2011 10:27 AM
  19. Just wondering when NBA officials are going to stiffen their spines against the likes of Princess Artest. It's interesting that a double technical is called when he is allowed to walk on, shove and kick players. Sick of him

    by allie-oop on 4/9/2011 10:47 AM
  20. Lakers did not throw this game. Believe me, you saw the energy of them when Artest cut it to 7. They wanted it, Gasol and Bynum just had awful games. Kobe threw up everything like he normally does when he's the only one to show that's of any importance. Ron Artest couldn't stop anyone. However, their bench 6th man showed up and had an impressive double-double. I hate the Lakers, but I applaud Lamar Odom. It's hard to have a + in the +/- when getting blown out, but that guy scares me more than anyone in the league. He is the sole reason the Blazers lost the first game to cut our 9 game winning streak at home. He also helped a lot last night and the previous night.

    I thought the Lakers would give this game away, but they had everyone playing their normal rotation and normal minutes. They wanted this win, because there is a chance that we'd meet them in the first round, and they wanted to send a message. Looks like the message was reversed, and a new one sent to them. Now I know they REALLY don't want the Blazers in the first round.

    I think it's safe to say Artest is a dirty player. Anyone remember that nearly a year ago Brandon Roy's career almost ended because of Ron Artest banging knees. Was it accidental? Maybe, but somehow I doubt it. He also pushed Nicolas Batum in the back to cause him to roll his ankle (WILLIS REED!), and then was walking on Gerald Wallace like a moron. I was surprised nothing was called. Andre almost got 8 seconds because he stood there with the ball before dribbling going "What the hell you doing?". I know he's trying to intimidate, but that was just flat out dirty. Big props to Roy for stepping in front of Wallace and Artest and telling him to back off and keep a straight face.

    Nice win to be proud of your team.

    by Herr on 4/9/2011 12:29 PM
  21. In all hubbub and commotion of making the playoffs and beating the Lakers, I'd like to mention a guy who is looking more and more like a keeper -- Chris Johnson.

    In the absence of Marcus Camby and the need to rest LA a least a few minutes per game, Chris has been getting some minutes during crucial parts of games recently and doing a good job of it. He's got the skills to be a player much like Camby, and for this team, that's exactly the kind of center we need: a rebounding, shot-blocking, rim protector.

    Here's hoping he continues to improve.
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 4/9/2011 1:59 PM
  22. two nights in a row and two great examples of teamwork. we all know how pesky the lakers can be in a tight game, but we just never relinquished the lead we got. it was an excellent game on both ends of the floor for us.

    so ... i'm thinking this Gerald Wallace guy can play some ball! he's really showing up night in and night out and showing us more in every game. my only criticism of the trade was that i thought we gave up a little too much, but Crash is eliminating that criticism of the trade. Crash is one of the two missing pieces we needed.

    i'm going to agree with Herr; Artest is dirty. has anyone actually forgotten about the huge brawl in the stands when he was in indiana? the way he tries to intimidate in ways which have nothing to do with the game itself. the cheap shots against our guys last night just further proves this. of course, last night he bit off more than he can chew. there was no way Gerald was backing down and, in a brawl, my money is on Crash. i also love how Brandon stepped in the middle to prevent something ugly from happening -- and yes, with a straight face!

    we need a little help go finish sixth, but it's not unrealistic. obviously we have to win these final two games. new orleans has two tough road games. i'm thinking there's a better chance of them losing to memphis since their last game at dallas may not mean much to the mavericks if they are solidly positioned in the playoffs.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/10/2011 12:35 AM
  23. Kass,

    I usually agree with what you say, but I think the Crash trade was one of the most lopsided trades in our favor in quite a while. We gave up peanuts compare to the calibre of player we received.

    by mgb on 4/10/2011 2:56 AM
  24. Hey Kassandra:

    On chalk talk Friday, Rice guaranteed that the Grizzlies would beat NOH, we would beat the Grizzs and Mavs would beat NO. That was before the Lakers game, in which, if we won the GSW game wouldn't mean anything. That would also protect his 48 win prediction, BTW is looking awfully close to being true.

    If you look at the upper end of the spectrum, if OKC beats LAL today, which is possible, The rest of OKC games are easy, whereas LAL then plays SAS. With the way LAL is playing of late it is possible that they lose that gametoo. then OKC would jump the Mavs if the Mavs loses and knock LAL to 4th. If the Mavs can win out in that case they would be second and OKC would be third,

    Saying it is too early to predict anything. It all starts today with the Griz vs NO, and the Lakers vs the Thunder.

    Of course NOH can control their own destiny by winning out, but who they play will still be uncertain.

    I love your input in the Up and Adam show, I join the rest in when are you going to be the guest? Adam gushes over you so much, he may not even be able to talk LMAO. I should talk, I can talk to all my blogging friends from the key board, but face to face, I'd probably be tongue tied.

    I hope to talk to you on the Up and Adam show tomorrow, more things will be in place by then. I am wondering or maybe guessing that MB might be there as a guest---How about it Mike, the team will be back to practice and you will be around anyway. Please, Please, Please.

    by Hg on 4/10/2011 3:05 AM
  25. My memory might be bad, but I thought Rice predicted 47 wins.

    by mgb on 4/10/2011 3:45 AM
  26. Yes what a pick-up in G-Dub it was!! But i knew this was what we were going to get from him. Doesn't it remind anyone of Pip when he took this team upon his shoulders some 10 years ago. Great game all-around from everyone on our team.. but I want to point out a rarity and something i'm glad Portland is adapting to and that is B-Roy's continuing show of unselfishness. Were not getting that much out of him anymore and that's the really good part because we have a deeper team than before and he also made a couple of key passes i was impressed with. But again this was of course G-dubs night. With his hustle, heart and i now see him as a leader of this team. Even him stating "his team" isn't afraid of the lakers just goes to show, but the way he carried himself in this game just pulled the team like a magnet and that's what we've needed. This team was more unified than I've seen in awhile and if we get this out of every game in playoffs, i cannot see us NOT getting to the finals THIS YEAR!! Yeah i said it! I've seen our team will their selves and try so hard but only against the elite teams and by that i think they will make it to the finals. It reminds me of the celtics of last year when they took it easy during the season but when the real elite teams came along all it took was a pedal to the metal play. Now let's finish it off with these last few games! Let's go Blazers!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 4/10/2011 4:51 AM
  27. MJB: That is probably right, I couldn't remember.

    by Hg on 4/10/2011 5:11 AM
  28. Hg,

    I'm not the coffee! MGB! :)

    by mgb on 4/10/2011 5:25 AM
  29. MGB: My bad.

    by Hg on 4/10/2011 6:44 AM
  30. GO BLAZERS!

    by briantheblazerfan on 4/10/2011 9:03 AM
  31. Great win, fun to watch, trying to keep it on the DVR (running out of space!) so I can get it on disc!

    Memphis just won, so....If we win out, we secure #6. If we win out and Denver loses out, we secure #5 (according to Hollinger's tweets). Destiny totally in our hands now!

    WIN OUT! WIN OUT! WIN OUT!

    by SisillaRiann on 4/10/2011 4:28 PM
  32. EA: you beat me on Hollinger's tweet, so i just had to retweet him! :) it's crazy to think that, even in a longshot, we could be fifth. this game against memphis on tuesday is hugely important if we want to control our own destiny.

    mgb: i appreciate your opinion. however, i've seen too many trades that didn't work out this way for portland and we ended up getting the short end of the stick. that was my concern. i'm a very straightforward person and i tend not to believe something until i see it. i have now seen it. as i stated, that concern is being eliminated by Crash's play, his toughness and his ability to fit in with his new team.

    Hg: we've already met Rice's prediction. with the grizzlies' win, we will clinch the tiebreaker over them and guarantee ourselves no less than seventh. that's going to be a tough game, but we can do it. then we have to beat the warriors on wednesday. tall order? yes, but again, we can do it.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/10/2011 4:47 PM
  33. Only way we'd get Lakers is if they drop to 3rd (They can clinch 2nd seed tonight) and we get 6th, or if we win against Memphis and drop the game in GSW, which I kind of fear.

    That's assuming NOH doesn't drop more games, but, they do play Utah tomorrow. However, the domination started in the start of the 4th, and Monty realized they have a game tomorrow so they waved the flag. Paul got a lot of rest tonight, so I don't think they'll lose to Utah. However I do see Dallas consistently fighting with OKC for the 3rd spot. George Karl wants them for a reason.

    So far my predictions are right, ever since I set them in my blog.

    by Herr on 4/10/2011 5:46 PM
  34. we can still end up seventh or eighth, depending on the outcomes of memphis and new orleans. if we lose to memphis, beat gs, and the hornets win just one more game, we're in eighth. if we lose to memphis, beat gs and the hornets lose to utah or at dallas, we're in seventh. if we beat memphis, lose to gs, the hornets win out and memphis loses their other game, we're in seventh."

    i do expect the lakers to clinch second in one of their final games, but there are some scenarios which still put us smack dab in seventh. this is why it's so important for us to "simply" win our last two games.

    too many scenarios, so little predictability.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/10/2011 6:03 PM
  35. Yes The hornets lost today I think we are nowthe #6th seed worried about the lakers I still think they will drop to # 3 seed. and Blazers play lakers reminds me back in 2001 play offs

    by jyp on 4/10/2011 7:05 PM
  36. Lakers now are tied with Dallas, but they own the tiebreaker. I'm getting nervous. Would really really suck to get 6th seed and have to play the Lakers.

    by Herr on 4/10/2011 8:12 PM
  37. On the other hand, if the Lakers don't shape up, we may be just the ones to knock them out. Thinking back to 2000, there's a lot of poetic justice in that thought...
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 4/10/2011 8:16 PM
  38. Oh crap! So, Dallas has Houston and NOH. If they win those two, that's scary. If OKC goes 2-0, and Dallas goes 2-0, that'd put LAL 3rd, Dallas 2nd, and OKC 4th.

    OKC owns the tiebreaker over Dallas, but that doesn't matter because Dallas would be 1 game ahead. LAL owns the tiebreaker over OKC, so if OKC goes 2-0 (they will) and LAL goes 1-1, and Dallas goes 2-0, we'r playing the Lakers if we get 6th seed.

    So confusing...

    Let's put it this way.

    LAL has a record of 55-25. They play vsSpurs @Kings
    DAL has a record of 55-25. They play @Rockets vsHornets
    OKC has a record of 54-26. They play @kings, vsBucks

    Let's say that Dallas goes 2-0, OKC goes 2-0, and LAL goes 1-1 (losing to Spurs, likely).

    2-4 seeds would end like this.

    Dallas (57-25)
    Lakers (56-26)
    OKC (56-26)

    Now, lets assume Portland wins out, and gets 3rd seed. Guess who we are playing. That's right, the Lakers.

    I highly doubt OKC will lose their last two games, especially after beating the Lakers and scoring 120 against them.

    I'm starting to think the rolling Spurs will beat the Lakers, who will beat the Kings, making them get their 1-1.

    Dallas is up in the air. Houston is still a good team, and they are like 2 of their last 10 or so against New Orleans.

    We might need NOH to beat Dallas, which means we have to win out if that is the scenario, which is good.

    So, if Dallas goes 1-1, LAL goes 1-1, and OKC goes 2-0, there is a 3 way tie, and we're playing OKC.

    So, even though we have our own destiny of getting 6th, who we're playing is still up in the air.

    I'm not going to get much sleep...

    by Herr on 4/10/2011 8:43 PM
  39. Also, ironically around this time last year we threw the Thunder into the Lakers to prevent them ourselves. Now, looks like they got their revenge. Their win tonight against the Lakers... could have thrown them to 3rd seed, and against the Blazers.

    So, now the Mavs may be out of question. The ONLY way we're getting the Mavs is if we place 3rd seed and the Lakers go 2-0. Or, if LAL does lose on Tuesday, and the Mavs go 2-0, the Blazers should beat Memphis and lose in Golden State to get 7th seed.

    So, our destiny is not in our hands. Ugh...

    by Herr on 4/10/2011 8:47 PM
  40. Oh man, so many numbers, so complicated. Basically, we just need the Lakers to win against the Spurs. So, I hate to ask, but root for the Lakers on Tuesday. Painful to ask because I like the Spurs. Lakers will be at home, but they are NOT playing well, while the Spurs are. We want the Lakers to go 2-0, so they secure the 2nd seed. That is the safest way, assuming we are to win out. I just got a retweet from EA that Monta Ellis was taken to the hospital, so that could increase our chances to win there. If we want to avoid OKC, and play Dallas, we want Dallas to go 2-0, because I can guarantee that OKC is not going to drop their last 2 games. We want all 3 of them to go 2-0 to keep things the way they are. Or at least have OKC go 0-2 so they're out of the picture.

    I'm not sure of Dallas' record against Houston or NOH, but they could go 0-2, which puts us against OKC. Same if Dallas goes 1-1, because OKC wins due to tiebreaker.

    All in all, Lakers losing to OKC tonight was BIG... and BAD for the Blazers. The Lakers could have clinched 2nd, and Dallas would have been able to clinch 3rd with a win @Houston tomorrow. But, the Lakers giving up 120 and ultimately sucking against OKC... is really bad for us.

    by Herr on 4/10/2011 9:17 PM
  41. Herr I kinda want the lakers i know it is crazy to think. But i would enjoy the games more than any other even if we lose. however, i would rather get them in the west finals. But im not realy scared of any of the teams there all scary in their own way. But we do have our best chances against the Mavs

    by Avgjoe28 on 4/10/2011 9:52 PM
  42. I agree with you Herr. I still think blazers will lose at golden state and lakers will get 1-1 spurs will beat LA and LA will beat kings. it will be interesting few days. I still think we will play LA I have to watch Mike courtside monday night at 6 and see what hes says . I hope we wont end our season on game 6 like the last 2 seasons . April 29th 2010 blazers season ended in game 6 in Portland against the suns.

    by jyp on 4/11/2011 2:08 AM
  43. jvp:

    Have faith we are going to win out. Did you hear that Monty Ellis was hospitalized after a hard fall and it is unknown whether he plays against us. Check our Blazersedge.com for updates. If he doesn't play the game will be easier. Nevertheless, if the Blazers win tomorrow night and by the time we start play, the NOH and Mavs game will be close to over, and that might change the complex of the importance to win.

    Of course if the Lakers get by SAS Tuesday night, because the game means more to LA then it does to SAS, and SAS might rest Duncan, just IMO, If lakers win the Kings game. then they would retain second.

    Much will be decided tomorrow night. The Blazers should beat the Griz at home. If SAS beat the Lakers, you can darn will bet that OKC will be playing TAO to get out of fourth place.

    BTW, I bowled in my tournament much like the Blazers played against GSW. Not good.

    by Hg on 4/11/2011 6:35 AM
  44. Mike: I just heard on Adam's daily report that you are going to be on the Up and Adam show. Thank you, thank you, thank you for ansering my plea. OK down right begging. See you in about an hour. BTW, I think Monty Ellis will sit the last two games out because of lack of incentive to play with what could be a bad injury. Getting your bell rang is no laughing matter. Nevertheless we may not want that game anyway LOL.

    by Hg on 4/11/2011 6:52 AM
  45. The Grizz have been playing really well so I don't know if we win this or not. They are better at home than on the road, but we'll see who wants this the most.

    We couldn't beat the Warriors in our house even though they are really bad on the road, I doubt we'll beat them on their court where they play much better.

    We might get a split, but I wouldn't be surprise seeing us go 0-2 to finish the regular season. Hopefully the Blazers prove me wrong!

    by mgb on 4/11/2011 7:55 AM
  46. Monta is out with a concussion for the last games of the season. Hopefully, he is okay and recovers without any lasting effects. Concussions can be dangerous, depending.

    We have a tough time in Oakland, but without Ellis, the Warriors are just not the same team. I am with mgb in believing that the Memphis game will be very tough. We are all fighting for position here, and everyone seems to think the 6th spot is the best one to get and all three teams are more interested in getting the Mavs than the Lakers or Spurs :) I expect a srappy game, but we BETTER win!

    by SisillaRiann on 4/11/2011 10:24 AM
  47. You know, I kinda am nervous about the GSW game without Ellis. Yet again, could be better. BUT, Oakland is still deadly, and the Blazers have had some tough times against teams that are missing their best players.

    Anyways, I am getting sick and tired of people, even Portland fans like John Canzano (even though I like him), saying we're going to lose in 5 to the Lakers. That means we're going to lose game 1 and 2, and lose one at the Rose Garden, and eventually fall in LA.

    Seriously?? SERIOUSLY?!? I want an explanation. I'm not saying Portland in 4, or Portland in even 7, but losing in 5 games? That'd be a huge disappointment. We're way better than that. I understand the boundaries of being a homer and being realistic, but I still don't think we're losing to the Lakers in 7 games. The slump isn't even the reason why, it's just that these teams match up nicely.

    If we do get the Lakers, I wouldn't be surprised if we took either game 1 or 2. I say this is a 7 game series, 6 at worse (unless its the Blazers winning).

    by Herr on 4/11/2011 2:49 PM
  48. Thanks to NO losing tonight, If we beat Memphis, we're 6th seed. At the moment, that would mean facing LA in the first round. It's gotten so I don'e care about that anymore, the Lakers don't look so scary lately even if they do step it up for the playoffs.

    by dgpdx on 4/11/2011 10:48 PM
  49. I agree with dgpdx. I kind of am at the point I don't really care if we get the Lakers. These two games are very important to them. If they lose any we get them, but at that point, it kind of shows that their dominance has dwindled. If we can get them to run, we could beat them. Their whole starting lineup is slow or easily fatigued.

    by Herr on 4/11/2011 11:47 PM
  50. Ok these last two days are filled w/ scenarios and numbers. But i want to pose a question based on a few scenarios I've heard of. If we were to win the last 2 games and LA lost one more we'd play them in the first round but if POR & LA both won the last 2, we'd still meet up in the 2nd round. Would you rather play the lakers in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd round? oh and take a breather if you read this..

    Let's say we lost the game against the Grizz but won over GS, we'd be the 7th seed.. and assuming Dallas holds on to that 2nd seed we'd play them and likely beat them but we'd still play LA in the second round. But Let's say we rested a good number of our players and lost the last 2 games to end up tied with NO (who WILL WIN their last game vs Utah), that means we'd end up behind the Grizz and NO to be the 8th seed. We'd play the spurs and assuming we got past round 2, chances are we play LA in the 3rd.

    Again, would you rather play them in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd?

    IMO... LA seems more scary if they gain enough momentum in the playoffs. But with the way their playing now and counting our recent win against them, i'd rather play them over SA/DAL but only in that 1st round. If we were to avoid them they'd get a likely sweep in the 1st round over NO/MEM. We'd get them in the second round if we ended up 6/7 but it would prolly be a more difficult task because of the monstrous momentum they would have. I know i'm jumping ahead and a real basketball team would say stop the gimmicks and nit picking because it seems cowardice to avoid one team and that's our blazers team saying that.. but it's crazy!!

    I know we're going to try and win these last 2 games.. and the way i see it i don't see us playing LA. I see us playing DAL in that 1st round. That's winnable but a tough task since they got momentum right now with a 4 game winning streak and im just saying. But i should really say 'Bring Whoever and they mama' lol cuz i like our team right now!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 4/11/2011 11:57 PM
  51. People can say Lakers in 5 all they want. Before Wallace I'd agree but noway now.

    And controversial Canzano is no genius. He's good at making catchy headlines and puking pessimistic predictions and suggestions but that's about it.

    Personally I'd like to play the Lakers while we have the mental edge and momentum. And why hope for a weaker opponent? That's just wimpy.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 4/12/2011 12:48 AM
  52. I completely agree with thedanman, especically about Crapzano!

    GO BLAZERS!!

    by mgb on 4/12/2011 2:20 AM
  53. On another Blog EowynAmarie said we should be careful of what we wish for.

    Everybody, including me says we don't want the Lakers;
    Are we sure about that?
    Does anybody know how the final cards will fall?
    Does anybody know other then determining from the past, which team is the best to play in the play-offs?
    Are we sure we want 6th seed that everybody, including me is wishing for?
    It seems to me that all our worrying is for not. Maybe we are destined to play the Lakers, then maybe not. I just want us to win out, play great the last two games and go into the play-offs with a head of steam, energy and a little wiser.

    Batum says he doesn't care who we play, GW says HIS TEAM is not afraid of the Lakers, Nate says bring on whoever we just play one game at a time and we prepare for the next team on the schedule. Therefore like the team, I am going to try to have faith in them and be happy to play the next team that is on the schedule. Let’s just start by preparing for the next team on the schedule, which is Memphis.

    OBTY, I am on record to saying that the Lakers will beat SAS because they want it more, and SAS may be resting key players, so IMO, if everybody is still wishy-washy about our team being better off at 6th, at 7th, or at 8th. BETTER BE CAREFUL OF WHAT WE WISH FOR.

    by Hg on 4/12/2011 6:12 AM
  54. On an other note, Mike Barret has said countless times that the scouting in the NBA is terrific and close netted. If one team figured out how to beat a team, other teams will follow suite and win the same way until the team figures out how to stop the onslought. He says in the Blazers play that is to play tough D, rebound or cause turn overs and attack before the other team can get set. That seems to work for the Blazers.---Other teams has found out that pushing the tempo in the open court is the way to beat the Lakers because they are as Dave says on BE, LOB. that refers to Lazy,Old, Fatherless male child LOL.

    Long short, we figured out how to stop the Lakers from packing it in on LMA, but will or can the Lakers stop the Blazers new transition Offense with the LOB, poor transition defense. With the acquiring of "CRASH" we did our part, now the ball is in the opponents corner to figure out a new way to beat the Blazers. THEY CAN'T MAKE US SHOOT THREES IF THEY CAN'T BEAT US DOWN THE COURT.

    by Hg on 4/12/2011 6:25 AM
  55. If we win tonight, I'd like to see Wallace, Miller, and LaMarcus stay home. Have Brandon start at SG, Wesley at SF, Batum at PF, Johnson at C, Patty at PG for Golden State game. I'd like to win that game, but if the Blazers really hammer the Grizzlies tonight, we know how valuable the rest is. Oh, and also rest Camby of course.

    by Herr on 4/12/2011 6:56 AM
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