Apr 20

Portland's Turn to Hold Serve

By mikebarrett
Going into a playoff series you tell yourself that you've got this to fall back on- two home games, just like your opponent had.  It's kind of a worst-case-scenario thing going into the first two games of a series.  It's more of a "let's steal game one," to a "let's earn a split on the road," to a "okay, all they've done is hold serve." 

Technically, that's all Dallas has done in this playoff series.  They've won two games they were expected to win.  Any result other than 2-0 Dallas following that trip would have taken an upset.  You sit and talk yourself into these things when you're the one down two games in the series.  

Honestly, it feels like the hole is deeper than that right now.  It was a long flight home. 

It really doesn't make much sense to feel that way, especially seeing how the Trail Blazers were in position to win game 1, and were down one point to the Mavericks going into the fourth quarter of game 2.  Perhaps the reason it feels like this mountain just got bigger is that Dallas was better in the second game, and is playing very, very well, getting contributions from anyone they toss out there.

One of the big advantages I felt the Blazers had, going into the first two games, was all the pressure the Mavs were feeling.  It's usually on the home team in those first two games, and given their recent history of earlier-than-expected playoff exits, I really thought Portland could seriously dent Dallas' mental state with a win.  Or, as others have put it, Portland's best chance for a win in Dallas would be in one of the first two games.  The thought was that if the Mavericks were allowed to get that confidence going, and start rolling, look out. 

That's where we are right now.

Now then, I'm kind of a voice-your-fears first kind of a guy, and then I usually sort things out and end up feeling positive.  In other words, this is a typical process for me.  

If the past has taught us anything, it's that a lot can change, quickly, in a seven-game playoff series.  Momentum can swing back and forth, and home crowds make a big difference.  The one thing I heard voiced over and over in Dallas, by people close to the Mavs' team, is their respect for Portland's home-court advantage.  Perhaps they were just trying to motivate themselves for the first two games, and the importance of not dropping one of those.

The one thing that really gives me hope, other than coming back to familiar surroundings, is that I don't think Dallas can play a lot better than they did in game 2.  I'm not saying we've seen their absolute best, but just about everything went right for them on their home court.  They got big games from Dirk, out-of-the-ordinary big games from Jason Kidd and Peja Stojakovic, and their bench was tremendous.  Their second unit outscored Portland's second 39-11 in game 2.

The Blazers can play better.  A heck of a lot better. 

We saw Portland make adjustments after game 1.  They tried to be more physical.  They tried to get themselves to the free-throw line, and they tried to run more.  They were better in these catagories, but I still think the area they can really pound is fast-break points.  Like most teams, the Blazers run more at home.  They take a few more chances at home, and their bench always plays better at home.  They also shoot better from long range at home.  The Blazers did shoot 50 percent from three-point land in game 2, but that's a tad misleading.  Andre Miller hit two threes (giving him 6 now for the season), and Marcus Camby hit one (giving him 1 for the season). 

Pressure has to be taken off of the half-court offense, especially late in games, and running is a big way to do that.  Pushing the tempo is also a way to get your confidence back, and that's clearly something that needs to be addressed.

And, they need Brandon Roy.  

Nate McMillan got heat for playing Brandon during the fourth quarter of game 1.  He then took some heat for not playing him in the fourth quarter of game 2.  Brandon spoke out, and everyone is now focusing on that.  I don't think this is that big of a deal.  It's not going to split the team, or anything like that.  It's not like this issue has just popped up.  I still maintain that Brandon is going to play a key role, and is going to have to, in this series.  Portland badly needs a closer.  Roy can still be that guy.

What the Blazers need more than anything else is their beloved home court.  Clearly, if Dallas was feeling the pressure in the first two games, they won't be feeling it now.  It's Portland's turn to deal with that.  Rather than the weight of the moment scaring them, and having them crawl into a hole, I think it'll inspire them.  Nothing motivates like the fear of failure.

It worked for Dallas in games 1 and 2.  Now, it's got to work for Portland.



  1. hey MB: i think most of us were pleased with the way we came out at the beginning of the game. what i think needs to happen is that we need to play that way for 48 minutes, not just 12 or even 24 (yes, Kassandra, we've heard this before from you, but ...). we did play like that in stretches when we made runs, but not for as long a game as we needed. we also need to defend their three-point shooters -- whatever age they are! that hasn't been a strong suit for us this season, but it will be vital should we come out with a win.

    from everything i've gathered, the hardest person on Brandon Roy is Brandon himself. i'm sure he's frustrated with himself more than anyone else is with him or Nate for his rotational use of Brandon. i'd like it noted that the only ones i hear bashing him are the fair-weather fans who will probably rush out and buy a jersey from the winning team (regardless of whom it is) the day after the championship is won. i hope he understands that those are fair-weather fans and they do NOT represent the feelings of the BlazerNation.

    if i were an administrator or coach of a team (don't laugh!) and were up 2-0 in a playoff series having to play on my opponent's home court, the last place i'd want to have to play the next two games would be the rose garden. i'm getting a very strange vibe, even from 675 miles away, that the reception, cheering and pure decibal level is going to be amazing. bottom line, the rose garden is where the true fans will be, and they will make themselves heard in texas!

    it's not over. there's no need nor use for desparation. it's just time to get down to work.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/20/2011 11:10 AM
  2. Hey Mike: when the going gets tough the tough gets going Right?
    All the motivation speeches need not be, I am sure the Blazers are as motivated as need be. They may be scared but they are not intimidated. They played their game and could have should have won both of them.

    I told my wife that both teams played pretty bad offensively the first game and I knew the Blazers would play better the second game offensively, but my fear was that the Mavs would also find their offensive game. Boy my fears were right. My wife, VL, told me after the game if the Mavs live by the three they might die by the three as I always preach about our team. Boy, I hope she is right.

    The Blazers are not known for their great road game play, but they really need to rally on the home court. It is not only important to win at least one home game to keep from being shut out, but both home games to tie the series and to get their confidence back.

    It boils down to the fact that the Blazers are the number 6 seed and the Mavs are the number 3 seed, not the other way around. The lower seeds upset the upper seeds occasionally, but not often. I feel for the most part we have played pretty well in the two away games. Of course not without mistakes, but nevertheless they did what they could and played hard.

    I think BRoy just needs to quit thinking, quit worrying about what the fans think and just go out and play BB. He is worried about taking to many shots and I am worried that he won’t take the shots needed. Remember that is what Rudy did last year.

    I have faith that we will win our home games.

    by Hg on 4/20/2011 11:12 AM
  3. Kassandra, covering 3 point shooters is rough when you have a Dirk down low. But maybe we should just let Dirk get his as he seems to anyway and stop the others from shooting, besides that LMA can almost neutralize him anyway. So maybe you have a point. 48 minutes huh, It does seem like I have heard that before from you LOL.

    by Hg on 4/20/2011 11:20 AM
  4. Hg: i am aware that covering three pointers is rough, but we have to do it. dallas is too good a three-point shooting team to leave those guys open. besides, if we cut off those guys, Dirk will have trouble passing when he's in trouble and that will lead to bad decisions. sometimes, i just think we rotate a bit too much.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/20/2011 11:27 AM
  5. Thanks Mike. I was able to catch the second half here in Prague. Towards the end there, we couldn't stop Peja hitting those threes, which really hurt our last few attempts to keep the game close for the last few minutes. I just hope we come out fighting in Game 3 and just give it our all. Like you said, they did what was expected of them, win at home and like the title of your entry says, now it's our turn. It's going to be tough regardless, but just take it quarter-by-quarter, hope guys step up, and keep focused, through the runs and swings that inevitably come during a game and of course, a series.

    Loved that Marcus hit that 3 and flashed the goggles.
    -Anees, from Prague

    by Anees on 4/20/2011 11:34 AM
  6. Portland will win this series it go to game 7 on april 30th at dallas

    by jyp on 4/20/2011 11:36 AM
  7. "Remember that is what rudy did last year." HG i was going to write that. And if he doesn't step up (i'm sure he will) we'll suffer the same fate as last year and that's going down in 6 games. I know he'll step up in the home games but can he be comfortable when we hit dallas again. Maybe Roy wanted to play more point and during Mills few minutes and i think that's y he may be a little frustrated with the 8 he got. The rotation changed a little in this game.

    I'd like to point out that when we were down a few baskets in that 4th and Nowitizki muscled to get that easy lay-up, i wonder how easy that would have been with Camby in there. I would have liked to have seen Camby a little bit earlier especially on offense when Aldridge had a hard time with Tyson late in the game. Carlisle is an offensive guru and that clearly is what they put us away with. We need our D! They beat us, but we also let the game beat us, not the Mavericks. You have to play tight d on that perimeter! We were saggin off a bit. And J.Kidd is 40 years old averaging 20 a game in this series. Is he Brett Favre? I always respected Peja but even more when he was on really good teams. Sactown anyone?

    But i am optimistic now because were in p-town. It's gonna be a different story for the Mavs. Those 2 games were basically one. And i think that's what were going to get in the next 2. We'll be faster, rely on our D and Roy will step up! And that's all we can pretty much be now is optimistic! Cuz were at home!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 4/20/2011 11:48 AM
  8. When the going gets rough, L-Train will rip off a 35 and 15 game!

    I was saying it all night game 1, and again last night... you can't let the guy who's on fire behind the arc wide open. It doesn't matter who it is and what their tendencies are... Its the PLAYOFFS!

    Dirk will get his... and right now he is getting his, along with most of their team.

    We start off the game perfect... aggressive, getting their starters in foul trouble. Then we stop... we go away from what works and we become indecisive and turn the ball over. Then goes confidence, followed by what's left of intensity and hustle... and cue up the identity crisis.

    Play our game all game long and show Dallas they really don't have what it takes. I wanna see the high pick and roll, the running pick and roll, the lobs, L-Train dunking and draining 18 footers... I wanna see Wesley lighting it up from three and Batum/Wallace cutting to the rim. No more standing around!

    by Misfit503 on 4/20/2011 11:52 AM
  9. I couldn't wait to read what you wrote, MB. I just knew you were going to make me feel better but I read a lot of 'maybe's, if we play, home court, we could turn it around...' kind of words. Maybe I'm missing your point but I don't see or feel much enthusiasm or hope, coming from your words. I'm sick about how we played last nights game. I've not seen us that bad in a very long time.
    I have two hopes for Thursday's game. That I'll get tickets..wait, I went to my 'happy thoughts place' - no I sincerely hope that Dirk wears down trying to keep up to the Blazers fast paced game. That, plus, I agree, let Brandon be the closer. Go Blazers! You can do it!

    by kaemicha on 4/20/2011 12:09 PM
  10. Kassandra: I sure am not going to argue with you. If we stop the three at least it will be mosly Dirk we have to worry about. So you are saying stay at home and stay in front of your man.

    I thank you for your reply, sounds good to me.

    by Hg on 4/20/2011 12:17 PM
  11. Mike,

    It's the curse of the Lakers game 7 in the 2000 Western Conference Finals!!! Portland has not won a playoff series since that 4th quarter collapse. Watching the game last night was hard for me because we blew a lot of chances in the 4th quarter. We just looked scared... We still have a chance to win this series but we need to play a heck of a lot better and put everything on the line. Dallas is going into Portland with one mentality: a split. If they win one of the two upcoming games in Portland the series is most likely over. Dallas would have 3-1 advantage going back to Dallas for game 5. The Blazer team is so deep and talented it would be a shame for us not to make this a series. Also BTW I really wish Lamarcus got the respect Dirk gets when it comes to ticky tack fouls. What do you think??

    by Kurtis Dement on 4/20/2011 12:17 PM
  12. EA: On the last Barrett's blog, You are right, I know that but that irresistible urge just gets the best of me. I have the same problem when I see somebody kicking a dog, or man beating up on a woman such thing.

    by Hg on 4/20/2011 12:42 PM
  13. You got to win the next 4 games, not going to happen. As much as I love the Blazers, and as much as I try to dig deep for positives (believe it or not, I do that), I don't see the Blazers winning, and now the game 1 letdown by poor officiating hurts. Here is what I think we need to do in this series. WIN. But, might as well look at the obvious flaws in the Blazers.

    First - Dirk is still getting treatment from the refs, especially compared to LaMarcus. No way should LaMarcus only have 4 FTs a game when Dirk is getting 17. Dirk has shot 30 FTs in this series. The Blazers have shot 36. LaMarcus has shot 8. That is wrong, especially when LaMarcus is the more physical player, and getting the blows, while Dirk gets touched slightly and gets an And-1. Money was well spent for the Blazers getting more fouls, but Dirk still was able to get to the foul line when he didn't deserve to be. That's a big concern, and I pray that it only has to do with homecourt advantage.

    And lastly, we need to fire Nate. Look, I've always been a big supporter of Nate. I thought he got robbed last year and had a good case for being COTY this year. However, when it comes to matchups, mismatches, and being a good coach, he fails badly. He is getting out coached EASILY by Rick Charlise. That is embarrassing. Let me explain why.

    First, he waited until the post game to complain to the officials in game 1. When a call is made, you see every single Maverick inside the officials ears, including their coaching staff. You see calls being made by the Maverick coaching staff. When the camera shows Nate after a bad call? He sits there pouting with his arms crossed like a spoiled child being punished. I respect that the Blazers aren't a bunch of morons that complain, but when you actually are getting screwed over, you need to make a statement. It's a lot easier to give crap when people are taking it, and the Blazers are taking it, so the refs are going to keep taking it.

    Another reason is Nate flat out does not trust his team at all, and doesn't know how to play his rotations. In game 1 he was eaten alive for "forgetting" about Wesley Mathews, who played 19 minutes and is full of potential. In game 2, he nearly made Roy burst into tears because he missed two free throws. If Nate can't take the heat from the media that he'll always get win or loss, being a coach doesn't serve him right. He looks like he's trying to protect himself over his team, so he's not letting them play. Roy can play, and he wanted to play. We all heard the interviews, and his drive in which he got to the foul line was something we've been missing. What does Nate do? Take him off the bench and makes him the last option. What did Patty do? Turned the ball over (like he always does) and gets more minutes than Roy. Nate doesn't trust his teammates, and he never has. And when he finally has to because of injury, that player becomes a big surprise. Look at Wesley. Would Wesley be this good if Roy hadn't been injured? What about LaMarcus? These players were given the opportunity to play and it worked out. You can practice all you want, but that's nothing like playing an NBA game. Nate lacks trust, and when that happens, he becomes a dictator for the team. Having a 6 man rotation in the playoffs (the only player that got significant minutes to play was Batum off the bench), you're going to fall, especially when the opposing team has about 9 weapons.

    Lastly, I do not get why LaMarcus doesn't just go 1 on 1 with Dirk. LaMarcus defends him best, and Dirk got nothing when LMA was on him. The double team is killing the Blazers, leaving 3 point shooters wide open. Dirk has mastered a shot out of the double team, it's useless. Everytime I saw Dirk miss he had a hand in his face by one player. Everytime he made a shot, it was because he was double teamed. He knows how to play that. The Blazers are making the Mavs kill them while trying to shut down Nowitzki, which obviously isn't working. Every 3 point shot the Mavs took was WIDE OPEN. Every jumpshot they took was WIDE OPEN. Double teaming is useless. Nate needs to figure that out. Also, he needs to get vocal and start calling calls like the Mavs are doing. Tyson Chandler consistently was doing the moving pick on Wesley to free up Kidd in the start of the 3rd, in which the Blazers saw their last lead vanish in about 3 seconds to start the quarter. He also was consistently camping in the key. I was yelling at my TV for it, and we are the ones getting called for it, because of the Mavs bench.

    If we win this series, I'd love that, and yeah it can be done, but right now we're burying ourselves more than the Mavs are. I'd give them credit, but it's not hard to make shots when left wide open and you've been shooting that shot for 16 years.

    Let's fire Nate and sign Adelman.

    by Herr on 4/20/2011 12:49 PM
  14. Blazers only forced 6 turnovers. Mavs simply walked the ball up the court, nestled into a staggered pick a roll, farted around, and steamrolled us in the 4th quarter of what was a close game....twice now Mike.

    If we don't start getting some on ball pressure, and attacking the passing lanes, we're gonna get swept my friend.

    by Tobyus Sanchezo on 4/20/2011 1:08 PM
  15. Herrs last comment got me inspired and the blazers should see it. It would help them. The best way i see Blazers winning this series is if Roy goes full throtle and i mean starter minutes in the next game. Even though he hasn't shown much, i believe it will boost his confidence going into games 4,5,6. When Roy has his minutes he gets to the free throw line, and then the rest of the team gets to the free-throw line. Don't continue to throw gasoline on the fire! Get that boi some minutes! If he's mad give him what he wants in game 3 and go from there. Doesn't anyone remember the 2006 NBA finals when Wade had to put his team on the back. Ironic thing is they won 4 straight games. We need that mentality.

    I never like the match-up with GW and Nowitzki. LA can take him. I'm still optimistic about our next 2 home games but i'm worried about games 5 and 6 down the road. The only way you can prepare for those games is if you stick with a game plan that can help you win a series. We already taste tested the style of play in Dallas and in Portland it's going to be a different story. It's gonna be more high-octane no doubt, but don't think the Mavs are gonna change the way they play. I see Terry, Marion, and Barea all having the same games. And if Kidd shows consistency in his shooting, it could spell trouble. But only when they go back to Dallas because they'll play the same way in Portland. It's like a conditioning practice. We play the same way when we lose, they play the same way when they win. So somethings gotta change. And that means Roy stepping up when the time is needed.

    Dallas knows that the crowd is gonna be there, the intensity will be there and THE REFS will be there to help decide a game. All that's there, but can we be there to REALLY take this team OUT!!! We need a knock-out punch!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 4/20/2011 2:02 PM
  16. Mike, I want to thank you for answering my concerns on yours and Scott's show today. Kassandra says, that we also have to get out on the 3pt shooters, so you are also in tune with her.

    I think Starting BRoy might be a good idea. Or at least do something other then what we are trying. because clearly BRoy is a much better player then he is showing. Nate started Matthews ahead of Nic because Matthews plays better as a starter, the same thing goes with BRoy. He doesn't have to be the big scorer, but he should have the green light to shoot. That is the only thing I miss about his playing is he won't shoot. much like Rudy last year, and we need his scoring.

    HERR!!! Go to your room

    by Hg on 4/20/2011 2:02 PM
  17. Our starters played big minutes and it showed in the 4th quarter. The backups need to produce. I was hard on BRoy after game 1. It's because we are being unfair to him asking him to be something he isn't. He's not a point guard. You don't run a quarter horse in the Kentucky Derby, it's for Thourobreds. Yes Patty made errors quickly in game 2. But he can play the point he just needs to settle down and play. BRoy needs to play shooting gaurd or small forward. Let Roy be Roy be Roy not something else. He's slow, methodical,crafty, intelligent and effective.

    Sorry Hg I got carried away.

    by Ancientone on 4/20/2011 2:09 PM
  18. This series is starting to look very similar to last year's. Jason Richardson and Dudley got repeated wide open threes, and Amare bullied us on the interior. LaMarcus or Camby has to guard Dirk at all times. Batum and Gerald are just not strong and long enough to guard him one-on-one. We have to stop switching the pick-and-roll on defense, and scoring at least 90 points on offense would be nice. Dallas' defense is good, but we could help ourselves by getting more movement on offense and hitting our free-throws that we begged to get. Maybe fronting Dirk to try and deny him the ball would be a good option on defense, especially in the fourth, but there has to be backside help from a big.

    by C. Larry on 4/20/2011 2:04 PM
  19. Ballinrotation365: game six is back in the RG. It is either 5 or 7 that we have to worry most about. If we can win our three home games then a game 7 would be at Dallas and that would be a knock down drag out fight.

    by Hg on 4/20/2011 2:08 PM
  20. Ancientone: don't need to say sorry to me; This is the play-offs, everybody on the team has to be accountable and that includes BRoy, my debate was not just BRoy. My complaint about BRoy is not shooting, much like Rudy last year. I'd rather see both of them miss a bunch then to never take a shot unless the clock is running down because we need scoring from one or the other of them. BRoy may not want to dunk anymore, but he can make lay-ups like Dre does and use his body to protect the ball, instead of driving all the way to the rim and then kicking out. Mavs now knows he isn't going to shoot and play for the kick out and a steal.

    by Hg on 4/20/2011 2:18 PM
  21. I wonder if any of you urging a bigger role for Brandon heard Jerome and Steve discuss his play on Talkin' Ball last night. It's clear that what both former players see is someone who simply can't do the things he once could. Removing confusion about his role, or clearing up doubts about trusting him isn't going to change that sad but fundamental fact.
    I have to say that while I'm not nearly as anti-Nate as Herr, I have not been impressed with his handling of the series so far. For one thing, he has gone back several times to the Batum-on-Dirk match-up that worked once several games back because Dirk kept trying to shoot from outside. Now that he knows to post up and go to the basket, the match-up is hopeless.
    I gather that what Herr felt when Patty came in at the end of the third quarter was "See; he can't do it. He missed a lay-up and turned the ball over." I was unhappy about those events too, because I suspected that Nate would respond the same way, and go back to the Rudy-Brandon backcourt. That combo failed again, beginning our slide. (I know it's meaningless in short minutes, but as a Patty booster I have to point out that in spite of his misses and turnover, he had the only positive plus/minus on the Blazers' team). But I really don't understand what happened after Andre came back in the game. The Blazers played as though they had no idea what to do out there.
    I'm rather like Barrett right now, seeing the negative and seeing the positive as a matter of hope rather than expectation. But if we are to win, our poor bench play has to improve. The player who really needs his confidence boosted is Rudy, not Brandon. I don't see any way we win without one of them stepping up, and since Roy's knees won't support steep steps, Rudy is the only hope. We could also use Nic a bit better. And, of course, we can give Patty a real chance, instead of these little stints where the rule is that you play until you make a mistake.

    by Islander on 4/20/2011 3:00 PM
  22. John Canzano asked on his radio show a few weeks back, the day of the Laker game, "Which coach is the most important in that sport?". He asked a bunch of local big names, and most said the MLB (which, well, I don't know baseball, so I don't see how so). Canzano at the end said, "It has to be basketball". I agree. The playoffs are considered a "chess" match, and every move the past 3 series coaches have put Nate in a checkmate no matter what Nate does. He's not a good playoff coach. Nothing against him personally, he has a great attitude, but I just don't like him as a playoff coach, especially if we could sign Rick Adelman. I agree with Canzano, that a coach in basketball is the most important coach of sports. We've got the right players, we're headed in the right direction, but we've got obstacles we shouldn't have. We killed ourselves last night, not Dallas, and 90% of it has to do with Nate. He seems so passive on the side line, and took Roy out way too early after Roy made a great move - he just didn't hit is FTs... but who did on the team?

    Here is what I would do if I was coach.

    1) I'd open my mouth instead of sitting on the sideline. The way this series has gone so far Nate should have been ejected or at least have one tech.

    2) I'd let LMA guard Nowitzki, or have Camby guard Nowitzki. Play man to man if you must. Keep Wallace/Batum/Wesley on Kidd/Terry/Stoy... umm... Peja. LaMarcus isn't going to pick up the fouls. He got away with a tad bit on Dirk last night. He's not an all-star or superstar like Dork, but he at least has some reputation in this league.

    3) start Roy. I agree completely with you MB. Roy has NEVER done well coming off the bench. Since Chandler guards Aldridge, I would honestly start small. Have Dre, Wesley, Roy, Wallace, Aldridge. Put Wallace on Chandler and LaMarcus on Dirk. Maybe try that? Wesley might not be good coming off the bench, but Roy is near useless coming off the bench. I think the main thing messing up with his mind is that he's gone from the first option to the near dead last option. He should have also played in the last game of the season.

    We also need Aldridge to get the ball more often, especially on the home court. Chandler won't get away with so much on our home floor.

    BTW, as far as "turning" points go, and this is why I think Nate needs to step up and use his voice. After Tyson Chandler got his technical foul, the Blazers didn't score in that half. The made T put them at 52. The Mavs ended the quarter on a 4-0 run, and if Haywood didn't suck at FTs, would have been a 6-0 run. That then was built to about a 12-4 run, and the Blazers never led again. That was the major turning point.

    by Herr on 4/20/2011 3:18 PM
  23. Also, forcing ZERO turnovers in the 2nd half doesn't help either, especially if you plan on commiting 8 of your own

    by Herr on 4/20/2011 3:19 PM
  24. Hg: I was apologizing for the length of my blog.
    Islander: I agree that we need to give Patty a real chance. He's pressing to do something afraid he won't be there long enough to show something.

    Rudy hasn't shot well since Jan.. His passing up open shots leads to us fighting the clock.

    by Ancientone on 4/20/2011 3:27 PM
  25. Herr: One thing I am thankful for is that you are not coach. tunnel vision, narrow minded coaches causes mayham. Or Maybe it is your way or the highway syndrome.

    It sounds as though you are somewhat upset, but declaring yourself as a savior is not the answer to the problem.

    That is IMO only.

    by Hg on 4/20/2011 3:33 PM
  26. Ancientone: sorry about the confusion. I would like to see Patty get more time too, he can hit the outside shot, he is not afraid to shoot and he has good handles. With more playing time I think he would be great. That is not a knock on BRoy, BRoy is not a PG. besides, I think Mills and Rudy should play together because Patty seems to make Rudy better. We need BRoy as a shooting guard not a point guard, we need him scoring in order to win games, if he can't shoot then sit him, but give him and Patty time to prove themselves. BRoy isn't looking for his shot because he doesn't want to step on toes, and that is what makes him below average.

    by Hg on 4/20/2011 3:45 PM
  27. Well said Kassandra. I agree with all the points you made. I really have nothing to add, you covered it all. I have a few choice expletives you did not use, but I am calm now. I am looking forward to making this series 2-2.

    by L.T.G on 4/20/2011 4:57 PM
  28. Mike, enjoy Applebee's with your kids... you deserve it. Thanks for answering my questions on your show today.

    by Kurtis Dement on 4/20/2011 6:50 PM
  29. I found it incredibly interesting that Nate made many of the changes fans were advocating for, most noticeably with Brandon and Patty, but the end result was the same. Don't any of you wonder if this team really has what it takes to make it to the second round right now?

    Look, I love this team beyond reason. I haven't been this happy with a Blazer ball club since Clyde and Terry played, and I think I like these guys even more. I absolutely believe we have most of the talent we need, the coach we need, and that these last two years have been huge in shaping the tenacity that will be necessary to take us to the next level. But one thing this series has made painfully clear is that our depth is gone! We do not have a reliable or deep bench at all anymore. We have lost several role players, like 8 I think, and replaced them with two starters and a bunch of rookies who either don't or shouldn't play (plus picks that are intangible at the moment). Now, our starters looks pretty good most nights, as does Nicolas Batum, but beyond that? It's just to hit and miss. We can't win a series without Rudy and Nicolas stepping up every moment they are on the court, in every game, from here forward, be it on the road or at home.

    Both of them appear unsure, uncomfortable, and timid most of the time. BRoy is not a PG, and Rudy is so determined to show he is not just a shooter that he has forgotten how to shoot! They are the keys it seems, and neither of them seems to be capable of doing their jobs right now, albeit for different reasons.

    Anyway, that is what I think at the moment. It's just my opinion and I hope they all prove me wrong.

    Btw, Steve Blake is wearing a headband tonight. What?????? The Grizzlies lost. Would love to see the Hornets win :)

    by SisillaRiann on 4/20/2011 7:14 PM
  30. "Let's fire Nate and sign Adelman." by Herr

    That makes two votes for Rick Adelman, the man at the helm when the Blazers were last a great team. Adelman is a great offensive coach and with our talented group of thoroughbreds, he could get us over 100 points a game without detracting from our defense.


    Why does the running game grind to a halt just when it's most needed?

    Why has the trapping defense that was working so well after the Wallace trade disappeared in the playoffs?

    You're right, Mike, that the pressure was on Dallas in games 1 and 2. Now it's on Portland. How will the team respond?

    Just askin...

    by dgpdx on 4/20/2011 7:41 PM
  31. Hg, I've sat through three seasons of seeing Nate look like a bad coach in the playoffs. How many more chances are we going to get? He panics, he loses trusts, and he acts scared of the media. As EA said, he did what the media/fans wanted him to do, and it didn't end with any different result. We're blaming Roy, making his life hell when we should be on our knees praying to a statue of him. Fans are frustrated, and Nate's getting scared. I think his time is done, that's just me. I like him in the regular season, because he works well with adversity, but he's not the guy you want leading the controls in the playoffs. If he can't make up his own decisions, he's not a professional. It's not my way or the highway, it's either make up your mind and tell the media to F-bomb off or get out.

    This city wants this team to win a series, and they're blaming the players that sent them into this position (IE: Brandon Roy), yet I blame Nate for never giving Roy the chance, even in the regular season.

    Meanwhile, if we lose the game tomorrow, Wesley Mathews is going to kill someone. From everything I've heard/seen from him, I'm surprised he hasn't broken a knuckle by beating up a locker. He nearly destroyed a monitor when he saw how many free throws Dork got.

    by Herr on 4/20/2011 8:32 PM
  32. I would take Adelman over Nate. How about Mike Brown as our coach? Nate has been out-coached for 3 yrs straight (by Adelman, Gentry and now Carlisle). Herr is exactly right - first when atrocious calls are being made you complain then and there even if it means you get a technical. Second you stop the bleeding immediately by nullifying the other teams momentum with a timeout. Two instances, in the 1st and 4th quarter of game one where he let 6 point leads dissipate to a tie.

    Brandon just needs to get in a rhythm. Nate made several flaws by not playing him heavy minutes against GSW and in blowout games over WSH and PHI. There is no point other than to get your star player back into his rhythm - a player you need to advance deep. Nate is a great basketball mind but terrible manager. He knows the X and O's but doesn't know when and how to best employ them.


    In this game Brandon made the final bucket and play perfect defense closing out.

    by Roland on 4/20/2011 9:07 PM
  33. Kassandra, very well said. I haven't given up on Brandon and I think most loyal fans haven't either. People just have to understand that he had surgery in January.

    WIth that said, am I the ONLY PERSON who thinks Brandon Roy should be starting again?? Bring Wesley off the bench. Stick Roy on Stevenson Or Kidd. Neither of those guys have the ability to blow by someone and take it to the rim so it would make Brandon less of a liability on defense. Brandon is the type of player who needs to start, I don't care if he has 60 year old knees or not. He's never been the type of guy to come in and blow everyone away with 4 or 5 minute spurts. He needs to feel the game out and produce at the end, when we need it most. If I could talk to Nate McMillan, I'd tell him he NEEDS to start Brandon Roy. Let's see what Brandon Roy and those knees are really made of.

    by Mark on 4/20/2011 9:56 PM
  34. Sorry for the double post but I also wanted to respond to what Herr said about Nate McMillan. I don't always agree with everything you say but I have to completely agree with you on this one. Nate's a great regular season coach. He's proved that he can coach through pretty much any adversity thrown our way. BUT, he really hasn't proved anything in the playoffs the past two season and so far in this series. If we go on and end up losing this series, there's no one else to blame but Nate. I hate to say that because I think Nate is a stand-up guy and a great regular season coach, but it's hard to sit here and watch our team score in the 80s against the Dallas Mavericks of all teams. They aren't the Celtics or Lakers on the defensive end, that's for sure. Nate's a great defensive mind, but I question his offensive approach and have for quite some time now. Also, I've always been a really big fan of Rick Adelman... especially when he coached here in his early years. Sure would be awesome to see Adelman as our head coach and Nate as the defensive assistant.

    by Mark on 4/20/2011 10:10 PM
  35. Herr: I watched the same three play-offs that you did, and I don't see it as Nate's fault.

    by Hg on 4/20/2011 10:38 PM
  36. Well after reading everybodys thoughts+opinions..not much for me to throw out there. As for getting rid of Nate, Blazers just re sign him, so prabaly not going anywhere, hes our coach. I agree...start Roy...Islander..you could be right, I watch the show too..he might not be capable no more, but lets put him in starting line where he is most comfortable, and give him the green light. Then its trail by fire lol, well find out in that game if Roy is for real or not, simple as that.

    Feed the Ball to LMA more...much more. And yes LMA can guard Dirk pretty good, hes really the only Blazer defender that i see make Dirk miss. Oh and at the very least!!....please I dont wanna see Mathews or Andre guard Dirk, I dont care about what offense Dallas is running, if there doing a high pick..Its absolute suicide having a 6'3 guy on a 7 foot shooter.

    We just need to man up and play defense, and I agree on no double teams..I dont feel we need double teaming in this series, on our part anyways. We just need to let go of the leash and let our players play...and LMA needs to get the ball almost everytime, doesnt mean he has to score, but id like to see the ball go through his hands.

    There is more to say but its been covered somewhere Im sure, we know we need to win these games in portland bad...and 1 game in Dallas...just got to get it done. Defense..........Defense...and everything else will fall into place.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/20/2011 11:18 PM
  37. Quit bitching about freethrows, the Mavericks just simply outplayed the blazers in game two for sure. They have lots of guys that can step up and make plays for them to help out Nowitzki, now it's up to the blazers supporting cast to step up and help Aldridge. I don't think it's impossible to come back, there were still times during game 2 where the mavs really struggled to score against our defense, and away from home it may be even more difficult for them. Was worrying though that Kidd was able to get any shot he wanted yet again, even after spanking the blazers in game 1. Defending the 3 should almost be a priority against this team, don't leave your man. Don't need to double anyone, including dirk.

    by Becker24 on 4/20/2011 11:26 PM
  38. I agree with Herr and everyone here who has said that BRoy deserves a chance -- heck, maybe even a starter's role, come to it. All the haters and doubters seem to have forgotten how big a heart Brandon has -- coming right off from surgery last year to help the team in the playoffs. I was hoping that his minutes were being managed in the waning games of the regular season so that he would be given a bigger role in the playoffs.

    How can we expect him to perform if he's tossed a couple of minutes here and there? How can he get in the groove when Nate, through his actions, shows he doesn't trust him. Although I disagree with Roy's public venting of his frustrations, I can see where that is coming from. It's like he's an afterthought. Roy deserves minutes... period. He's certainly earned them. When everyone else was injured and he stepped up, it was fine and dandy.

    Now, the organization needs to step up for him.

    by Kap on 4/21/2011 1:20 AM
  39. why do we need to fire Nate he just signed a 2 yr contract thru 2013 . If it wasnt for nate being coach I rather have Terry Porter

    by jyp on 4/21/2011 1:39 AM
  40. Honestly, I thought we had more control of game 1 than game 2 and in game 2 it felt like we were reacting. I was amazed at how many times Dallas was able to find mismatches and capitalize on them. Why are our small guys getting caught having to defend Dirk? It's like an automatic 2 or and 1 situation. If we get caught in that situation we should foul him hard and make it count . Wallace and Batum obviously weren't able to stop Dirk so hopefully we stop that junk.

    This series aint over yet. I believe if we get two strong wins at home we might have enough momentum to take one at Dallas. If we lose either of the next two, we're toast and we can kiss a hard fought season goodbye.

    We should win this series. We have no key players out. I'd be hurt too if I were Roy but let's face it, he's not looking good. Somewhere, somehow, I think Nate needs to discuss his plans with the team beforehand so they can know what to expect.

    I just don't know what the problem is. Hopefully we can turn this thing around.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 4/21/2011 5:22 AM
  41. I think what we do is good enough If we do it for 48 minutes like Kassandra says. Except we need more hussle and more intensity. Of course home cooking will help that.

    Does any one else notice that Portland just doesn’t play as well when there is more time between games then the normal B2B, that we have had all year long. Maybe it is just me, but it seems as though their memory muscles has short term memory loss. If called up on immediately the muscles remembers and responds, but let it rest for more then a day and the muscles forgets what they have been doing all year. Of course that might be true to the muscles between their ears also LOL.

    Anyway this and the next game are must games, only to stay in the play-offs. They are not must games for the success of the season IMHO. We have succeeded far higher then my thoughts gave us early in the season. My hopes of making the play-offs after some of the critical losses were dimming fast at times. Now my hopes has diminished again by the loss of two road games in which the Blazers all season has been poor at, well maybe rotten at, My hope has always been rekindled when we preform miracles at home. Therefore I have the same feelings tonight.

    Give me hope Blazers.

    by Hg on 4/21/2011 5:56 AM
  42. Hey Herr, I like the way you think (I'm a Mavs fan), if you put Aldrige on Dirk and don't double him, Dirk will go off for 50 or more and LMA will be so tired from being schooled he'll have no energy to score, especially in the 4th quarter (same as first 2 games). Besides, are you all aware out there in Rose Garden colored glasses land that Dirk has only been shooting 38% so far vs. his season average of 51%??? And Kassandra, same point goes to your comments. The only way you can take away guys that Dirk can pass to is to NOT double Dirk... Go ahead, single cover Dirk, it'll make my day!

    by A Voice of Reason on 4/21/2011 7:13 AM
  43. 50 points...wow.....nice prediction. Ok its test time, I want to test the actrual inteligence of this Mavs fan. Ok so ill start the baseline- Iam a Blazers fan, And right now Mavs are playing better than the Blazers. Also the Mavs are a very good basketball team. Okies...so now you realize that im not going to let my "blazer" emotions get in the way of facts.

    First off- out of all blazers who "defend" Dirk, Aldridge has been the most succesful, even during the reg. season. Now Dirk is going to get his points, but all in all LA does a pretty good job on him.

    Also Dirk is overrated, hes a 7 footer gifted with awesome shooting abilities. He can make it anywhere on the floor. But his defense? Its common nba fan knowledge that his D sucks. Hes not very physical. His driving abilities are average @best. Once he has the ball very close to the basket, he can score, but your not going to see any fantastic drives to the hoop. And the refs LOVE him. Wayyy before this series..ive watch him against other teams,forget the Blazers..Im talking general here..the guy gets to the line ALOT, by silly ticky tack fouls. Even a MAVS fan has to admit that, and if you do, youll get coolguy points in my book. As a MAVS fan, If I was one, I wouldnt be complaining, if the refs want to favor Dirk, who am I to argue, Im just saying you know, and I know the real deal, its WAY obvious for many years.

    He scored what 33 points game 2? he was 9-22 shooting..but had 17 ft attempts...now Aldridge had 6?...If you hate the Blazers..fine..whatever..your MAVS fan...but seriouly look @ this in a neutral manner, you can see Aldridge post up against Chandler-Haywood-Dirk...and he gets just as much contact if not way more, than dirk and no foul, yet hes still avg. 25.5 ppg in this series.

    Obviously were down 0-2, and the Mavs played really good, getting contributions from alot of thier guys, I give them props...and dont get me wrong Dirk is a awesome b-ball player, but if he was 6'4 would he be as dominant??....he happens to be 7ft and can shoot the ball as good as anyone, hes good..hes clutch..but he is over rated and the refs ride his n#ts all the time. Im just calling how I see em, and its not as a Blazer fan, just a fan of bball...been watching Dirk play for years against all other teams.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/21/2011 10:12 AM
  44. What a minute dud, You are a Dalles fan, Do you rember this, What you type, you said. " I get such a kick out of your small town left wing libs... Just like your politics, you think you're ENTITLED! last time I checked, you were the 6th seed playing a tied for 2nd seed... and you EXPECT a win?!?!? Get real, there is a reason the regular season is played and the only 2 games your sorry team beat the Mavs during the regular season was when in addition to the Mavs losing Butler for the season, one of the games Dirk was still nursing a knee sprain and Tyson didn't play and the other Haywood was out. Now please buy a clue and/or develop a logic molecule and be realistic about your teams chances... NO playoff series wins since 2000?!?!? HELLO!!!
    by "A VOICE OF REASON" on 4/18/2011 8:39 AM . So you are a Dalles fan, What Made you change your mine? O, you saw how bad they are playing and still had a chance to win!

    by Blazers and us on 4/21/2011 10:43 AM
  45. I tend to agree with Eowyn that the biggest problem we face is that the combination of injuries and a two-for-one trade have left us without enough depth. I suspect that if that wasn't true, Brandon would be getting even fewer minutes than he is now. We need every player we've got, so the Roy comeback attempt has been extended into the play-offs, even though that's the last time you want to have an experiment in progress. He has been given the chance to show that he's all the way back, and has demonstrated beyond doubt that he is not. I'm sorry I seem like I'm pounding on the guy, but with so many voices calling for Roy to start, of all things, someone has to point out the difference between hope and expectation. When times get tough, we all hope that a savior will step forward, and who better than Brandon? But there's just no post-surgical evidence that he can be a solid substitute, much less a quality starter. People love to talk about how a warrior's heart can overcome physical limitations, but bad knees are bad knees. There are a lot of brave people with big hearts out there battling cancer, but you know what, a lot of them will die in spite of their determination. I know how you guys feel, I was a kid who held on to belief in Santa way longer than my peers, but right now Brandon's gift bag is full of bricks and turnovers. Of course he's frustrated with not getting a bigger opportunity, but saying "We love you, Brandon! Play as much as you like!" isn't going to fix his knees and give him back his explosion and timing. If the coaching staff gives in and plays him extra minutes, they'll be flipping off Gerald and LaMarcus, telling them that leadership on this team is based purely on past accomplishments and salary, not hard work, night after night, that produces major league results.

    by Islander on 4/21/2011 11:39 AM
  46. i think we made a mistake by feeding dallas' troll the other day; so much so, that it came back for more.

    look, avor, your statements are erroneously grandiose. you say Dirk will score 50 when his season high was just 42 against a paltry pistons team, and he did it five months ago? obviously, that's not going to happen. LaMarcus can absolutely take Dirk one-on-one when dallas has the ball. he can do this for just one simple reason: unlike Dirk, LaMarcus can actually play some defense. i would say nice try, but it was rather lame.

    of course, i would be remiss if i failed to point out that after all the things i said to you in the last blog, you try to chide me on just one of my comments here while ignoring the rest. all that tells me is that you might be the one person in texas who is more soft than Dirk. that's right, i said it.

    now go back home, troll.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/21/2011 12:19 PM
  47. Why does JJ Barea get rewarded with a foul call for being small whenever the portland guards are posting him up? There were 2 calls last game that were plain ridiculous. If you're smaller, you shouldn't get rewarded if the other guy is bigger and pounding you on the block.

    by gvartan3 on 4/21/2011 12:23 PM
  48. I know you will be watching the game today. I almost gave up as well, But I just can not do that. Today is at home and should be a win. I know when to losses happend, There is yelling and fight with your wife and I need to not take it out on people I love and eather stop watching or just try to con-troll my self as well.

    by Blazers and us on 4/21/2011 12:54 PM
  49. Good points Kassaandra......Well Iam about ready to head out. I got tickets to the game!! :) section 227 row h The rg should be rocking like crazy :) GO BLAZERS!!!

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/21/2011 1:14 PM
  50. LMAO! You have been with out a true super star in Portland for so long you don't recognize one when you see one. First off, Dirk is one of 4 players in NBA history to average 25 points / 10 rebounds in the playoffs and this is his 12 straight season to make the playoffs. Do any of you in Portland understand what kind of player (certainly not "soft") you have to be to average 25 ppg and 10 rpg over 11 years of NBA playoff basketball??? And to your point Kassandra, yes, Dirk is not averaging as many points this year because Dallas has a much more balanced attack. Ask the Phoenix Suns if Dirk can score 50 in a playoff game (hint; he did in the Western Conference finals against them) LMA is a very good player, I know, my son played against him in high school, but he lacks the years of proven track record to be considered a "super star" yet. Dirk "takes games over" and carries the Mavs on his back in the 4th quarter on a regular basis, just as he's done in the first 2 games of this series. Whereas LMA has pretty much disappeared in the 4th period. And Kassandra, I guess you didn't watch the last 2 games or you have the BBIQ of a gnat if you think Dirk is soft. Ask LMA if he thinks Dirk is soft... 25/10 all but 4 players in NBA history only dream of playoff stats like that.

    by A Voice of Reason on 4/21/2011 1:23 PM
  51. Seriously people, please stop feeding the TROLL! This is the ONLY place I can come to just talk about the Blazers without hearing almost total BS. Sometimes, our regular posters are bad enough, why do you guys keep responding to someone who is clearly just baiting everyone? I'm beggin you...please, ignore him :)

    by SisillaRiann on 4/21/2011 2:37 PM
  52. Seconded, EowynAmarie -- the only way to stop a troll is to not feed it.

    Re: Dirk -- why don't we do to him what other teams have successfully done to LaMarcus, play to deny him the ball and force someone else to beat them? Even with all the whining about Stoyakovich and Kidd shooting way over their season averages, we lost both those games when Dirk got going in the fourth quarter. Let's see if Kidd, et al, can keep it up for 48 minutes.

    Speaking of 48 minutes, Kassandra is right that we can win this series if we play our best for 48 minutes. I think we can beat anyone in the league if we do that! But, how often has that happened with the current Blazer team and coaching staff?

    As a general rule, we lose more games than our opponents win...

    by dgpdx on 4/21/2011 5:32 PM
  53. we won finally

    by jyp on 4/21/2011 10:50 PM
  54. Not really... Actually, the Mavs lost this one with terrible play and poor free throw shooting. Had the Mavs made even close to their season average % of free throws, they would have won the game. The Mavs will not miss 10 free throws again, and I doubt Ty Chandler will foul out while getting 2 ticky tack moving screen fouls and 1 fantom foul... Enjoy this victory, it was a gift.

    by A Voice of Reason on 4/22/2011 8:20 AM
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