Apr 13

Regular Season Ends in East Bay

By mikebarrett

We expected a game with playoff-type intensity.  Instead, Memphis decided to roll the dice in an attempt to avoid the L.A. Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.  It left the Trail Blazers a bit surprised, a bit out of sync, but with plenty of energy to pick up win number 48 of the season. 

With the win, the Trail Blazers locked up the sixth seed in the Western Conference race.  Going into the final night of the regular season, that's about all we know.  It's out of our hands now, and this will give Nate McMillan a chance to finally rest some regulars before the playoffs begin.

Last night's move by Lionel Hollins sparked a bit of a debate about how to go about getting that first-round matchup you want.  McMillan has always believed that you simply win the games you can win and let the chips fall around you.  Given the same opportunity, I don't think he would have taken the route Memphis did on this night.  It might work out for them, but it's a gamble.  They'll now try to lose tonight's game against the Clippers, and set up a first-round matchup against San Antonio.

The positive for the Trail Blazers last night, other than clinching the sixth seed, is that they kept their momentum going, clinched another season series with a playoff team, and got Rudy Fernandez back on track. 

LaMarcus Aldridge recorded another double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, and only had to play 29 minutes.  But, again, it was Rudy who we spent the most time talking about late in the game.  In the three previous games he had gone 0-11 from behind the three point line, and had lost some confidence.  In this one, he hit five of his six shots overall, and went four for five from long range.

The Blazers closed out the Grizzlies in the fourth quarter, and won it 102-89.

We're in Oakland now, and take on Golden State tonight in the final game of the regular season.  This will be a chance for Portland to rest some key people, give some others a chance to play, and coast into the playoffs. 

You don't need me to spend a lot of time previewing this game tonight, so let's just get to the scenarios that are in play tonight.  We'll soon know where we'll be headed this weekend for the first two games of the playoffs.

clinches homecourt advantage throughout the NBA Playoffs with a Bulls win and Spurs loss.
San Antonio clinches homecourt advantage throughout the NBA Playoffs with a Spurs win and Bulls loss.
If Chicago and San Antonio finish tied, homecourt advantage throughout the NBA Playoffs will be determined by a random drawing by the league office.

All seeding determined

LA Lakers
will be seeded:

  • #2 if Lakers win OR Mavericks lose
  • #3 if Lakers lose and Mavericks win

Dallas will be seeded:

  • #2 if Mavericks win and Lakers lose
  • #3 if Mavericks win and Lakers win OR if Mavericks lose and Thunder lose
  • #4 if Mavericks lose and Thunder wins

Oklahoma City will be seeded:

  • #3 if Thunder wins and Mavericks lose
  • #4 if Thunder loses OR if Mavericks win

New Orleans will be seeded:

  • #7 if Hornets win OR Grizzlies lose
  • #8 if Hornets lose and Grizzlies win

Memphis will be seeded:

  • #7 if Grizzlies win and Hornets lose
  • #8 if Grizzlies lose OR Hornets win


  1. So, I hope Roy plays tonight. I'm liking our chances. Now, it'd be a HUGE letdown if we get the Mavericks and lose to them in the playoffs. I'm saying Portland in 5 or 6. I think Lakers will wipe the floor with Sactown unless they want to play Portland. New Orleans will rest, because winning is doom for them. Memphis will try to get 8th, which they will. And OKC will likely win, but that doesn't matter if they win or lose.

    by Herr on 4/13/2011 12:16 PM
  2. Thanks for the update Mr. Barrett. Hope you and the Wild One enjoy the final game of the regular season and I hope it's a W :)

    I am glad the players will get some rest, but am bummed for Kassandra, who was looking forward to seeing the whole team play tonight, since she will be in the house!

    Until later...

    by SisillaRiann on 4/13/2011 12:20 PM
  3. Mike: I asked M Rice if Nate would play LMA a few minutes to let him play in every game this year. He talked about it, but I am not sure I ever got the answer. LMA, also has some other records to play for, like 30 minutes will make him playing the most minutes in the NBA since he was only trailing, I believe, Monty Ellis.

    I do believe the Lakers will win tonight, as well as the Mavs and also OKC, therefore I think the picture is already set. If Memphis is tanking, first I say shame on them, Second they might not like the results.

    by Hg on 4/13/2011 12:37 PM
  4. EowynAmarie:

    It would be nice if Kassandra got to watch everybody play. She is a true Blazer fan and will understand sitting out key players and will enjoy watching the rest of the team play. I hope she gets to talk to Mike and Mike since MIKE BARRETT, invited her to the game.

    by Hg on 4/13/2011 12:40 PM
  5. Whts funny is EVERYBODY wants to play the Mavs. No one wants to play the Lakers. And for good reason, they are the defending champs. BUT...lets be real careful...Dallas could come into the playoffs with something to prove, cause Iam sure they have heard all the talk as well, and dont like it. They will want to let everyone know that thier a great team and can be very dangerous.

    As for playing LMA...neah..sit him!...who cares about most min played, least thats my opinion..and knowing LA..he doesnt seem to care too deeply about #s..If this was for the scoring title..or games played streak ect..then yeah..but sit him out, hes been working his butt off all year...let Roy play more..get Mills out there..maybe some Armon..they need to get some confidence somewhere.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/13/2011 1:25 PM
  6. Hey Mike good post like always . I think the lakers will lose in Sac. this is the last game in Sac forever possibly and the fans will be loud I dont think Phil wont play Kobe after last night game. Phil will rest his starters its all up in the air till tonight . have fun Kassandra at the game to bad the warriors not in the playoffs . And also Blazers could play the warriors and go to more games. anyway have fun I have to go bowling its week # 32 with 3 weeks left. Go blazers in the playoffs

    by jyp on 4/13/2011 3:02 PM
  7. whitefeathers21380: You just have to play him one play to play all 82 games this year. That is huge in Blazer land

    by Hg on 4/13/2011 3:05 PM
  8. Meh......I tend to disagree that playing all 82 is huge in Blazerland,specialy as long as I know the reason. Now if your playing to keep your consecutive games in row going, then yeah. But Aldridge typicaly plays 75-80 games season, so he has no such streak.

    Also your stats take a slight dive, 1 game..so not huge..but ppg/rpg...thats per game..so LA is what? 21.8 ppg right now, play him 3 min and he scores 2 points, then hes like 21.5 ppg...and LA doesnt care...but still..then what happens by the 0.1% chance that he might get hurt in that short playing time? Our luck last couple years SUCKS!!...I say he sits out this game,looks like that is what Nate is going to do, In my opinion, I think its best.

    Nobody in "blazerland" lost any sleep when Adelman rested Clyde,Jerome,Buck or Terry..if they played 81 instead of 82 games, the sky didnt fall down. You and I have different views regarding this issue Hg.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/13/2011 6:34 PM
  9. Looks more and more like it's the Mavs for us.

    I'm not afraid of the Lakers basketball-wise but I am afraid of their resident loony, Ron Artest. That dude is going to seriously hurt someone someday and I'd rather it not be a Blazer.

    by dgpdx on 4/13/2011 7:40 PM
  10. I don't think the Lakers want to play the Blazers.

    by mgb on 4/13/2011 7:44 PM
  11. whitefeather: I am not all that concerned about it really. I just thought it would be nice to have one Blazer that played in all the games. No real big deal with me. Plus, he did need to take the time off.

    by Hg on 4/13/2011 9:16 PM
  12. Yes we are playing Dallas awesome I see round 2 coming for the blazers this year...............

    by jyp on 4/14/2011 1:56 AM
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