Apr 26

Mavs Recover in Game 5

By mikebarrett
There was so much talk, and so many questions and concern about how the Dallas Mavericks would rebound from their heartbreaking loss in Game 4 in Portland on Saturday.  The team was beaten to a pulp by the Dallas media, and you could tell early in the game that the fans definitely had a wait-and-see attitude, as far as how involved they would get early in Game 5.

Even though the crowd was slow to come around, they finally came alive in the third quarter, about the time that the Mavericks did, and rolled the Blazers 93-82.  They're now one win from advancing.  The Blazers are one loss from vacation.

We talked all day about the importance of a good start for the Trail Blazers.  Everyone figured that the lingering doubt in the back of the minds of the Mavs could turn into a landslide of unbelief if Portland could fly out of the gates and take control of the game.  The Blazers certainly had their opportunities to do just that.

With the arena quiet, and the Mavericks spinning their wheels early, the Blazers were simply unable to get while the getting was good.  Portland did manage to claim an eight-point lead in that first half, but it could have been so much more.  That's what sticks out to me following yet another loss in Dallas.

Perhaps even a 15-point lead wouldn't have held in this one.  The third quarter, which was so incredibly unkind to the Blazers in game 4, wasn't a day at the beach this time either.  Dallas was fortunate to have a one-point lead at halftime, but exploded in the third.  They outscored the Blazers 31-20 in the third, and took command of the game, and the series.

Trailing by 12 to start the fourth, the Mavs were obviously mindful of Portland's ability to mount a charge.  When Brandon Roy hit the first shot of the fourth, in rhythm, I saw heads start to shake around the arena, as in "here we go again."

But, there would be no magical comeback this time.  

If you watched the game, you know there were two catagories that absolutely killed Portland's chances to pull the upset in this game-  free throw attemps, and offensive rebounds.  

Most teams are more aggressive on their home courts.  The one place this totally jumps off the stat page is in that catagory of free-throw attempts.  In Game 4, the Mavericks were 10 for 10 at the line.  In Game 5, they were 26 for 35.  Yes, they get more calls to go their way at home.  That's just the way it is in this league.  But, they are also simply different at home. 

Tyson Chandler was the reason they were so much better on this night.  He played great defense on LaMarcus Aldridge, was the emotional leader of his team, and was all over the offensive glass.  His energy at times seemed too much for Portland to handle.  Dirk had 25 points, but the MVP, without question was Chandler.  He scored 14 points, and grabbed 20 rebounds.  Of his 20 rebounds, 13 were at the offensive end.

Offensive rebounds are funny at times.  I've always felt that they do more damage emotionally, than damage that is actually tangible on the scoreboard.  Dallas did lead in second-chance points 17 to 8, but it could have been so much worse.  What the offensive rebounds did was wear Portland down.  You play good defense for 20 seconds or so, force a bad shot, and then Chandler would grab the offensive board, the shot clock would reset, and you'd have to attempt to lock down on defense once again.  It absolutely saps your energy.  

Speaking of locking down, it's still amazing to me how much success Dallas has had defensively against Portland in this series.  We knew this wasn't the same run-and-gun Mavs team that we've seen in years past.  They know that doesn't lead to playoff success.  To their credit, they've become a defensive team.  They've held Portland to 81, 89, 97, 84, and 82 points in this series.  Portland certainly isn't known for having a high-powered offense, but I didn't think their numbers would be this low in this series.

When you can't score it puts so much pressure on your defense.  Being Dallas still has the ability to light up the scoreboard, especially at home, your margin for error is paper thin.  When your opponent is getting to the foul line 35 times, you're dead meat.

The Blazers are 4-23 in Dallas the last 10 years.  Dallas only has 18 wins in their history in the city of Portland.  So, should we be surprised that this thing is still on serve through five games?  We knew road wins would be incredibly hard to come by for both teams in this series.  

So, we're down to this now.  If you're Portland, win another home game, and get one more shot to win in Dallas.  Even though the Mavericks significantly rebuilt the faith they have in themselves with Monday night's win, they don't want to see a Game 7.  As you've heard a million times, anything can happen in a game 7.

The two-day break between games 5 and 6 will benefit Portland, without a doubt.  Even though these teams have played 9 times now this season, there is still time for a key adjustment here and there.  There are x-factors that come into play.  

Win your home game and live to fight another day.  

The doubt that was lingering in the minds of the Dallas players has been tossed back to Portland's side.  How will they handle it?  We'll find out Thursday night.

To listen to Nate McMillan's post-game comments, following game 5, click here.



  1. While I wrote about rebounds exclusively today, I'm wondering if we may be over-emphasizing the need for improved off. and def. rebounds as the expense of attacking the paint or continuing to improve perimeter shot selections?

    Will rebounding be fixed for Game 6? Let's hope so and we all know Coach Nate's going to be preaching that right up to Thursday.

    My question is do we overlook the stew's broth and vegetables for the meat alone? (i.e. focus everything on FTs and rebounds and miss the cohesion of the team and a lack of urgency that was displayed on Monday night).

    Great story as always Mike. Thank you for it.

    by Patch on 4/26/2011 9:29 AM
  2. We've seen the Blazer's with uninspired performances before. That's why I said hang on to your hats.

    Rebounding IS an effort thing (see Moses Malone), we didn't have it. Maybe Nate should have come back with CJ like he did in the 1st half when small ball wasn't working.

    by Ancientone on 4/26/2011 9:31 AM
  3. Nate Thought that B Roy would carry the load again and was unable to do so.
    Played him to long. Rebounding was soft. You said that home team gets the call because thats the way it is in this league. My do the owners and the league put up with this. Why can't we have a game called the same for both teams.

    by Otto on 4/26/2011 9:58 AM
  4. Well first off I must say I love my Blazers and nothing will change that. But boy do we not not how to take advantage of good things when they happen to us. We dont know how to grapple good fortune. Before this game I agreed with Rice, in terms of Dallas wanting to come out and prove something over the loss, and hoping Portland isnt relaxed because of riding that huge win.

    Well in the 1st half we did quite good. We didnt play our best, and Chandler was killing us in rebounds, but we had several leads and we answered the Mavs right back. Folks.......We had a chance to win this game and come back to Portland 3-2!...Well we know the "rest" of the story. What did we see as fans watching this game? Well we saw Dallas rebounding the ball more, getting 2nd chance pts. They got to the line alot more, they were more aggressive and flat out outplayed us. They appeared to want to win this game more.

    ofcourse what does Roy say after the game..samething..the Mavs wanted it more. Now im telling you, that is not a good thing to hear. In the playoffs you gotta dig deep and take advantage of anything you can, each basket-rebound-possesion is a gift and can make a difference in the game.

    Ok...I do believe we can win @home. But the Blazers need to not depend on thier home crowd so much..yes its nice in away...but ummm game 7 is in Dallas...we gotta win that game to move on. UNTIL we become "that" team that can go in for the kill..stay consistent..were not going to win a playoff series. This series would have been over if Roy didnt have the crazy comeback in game 4. We cant just wait for miracles to save this team,we cant look around and let Dallas defense throw us off. Yes Dallas is honestly doing something there really not known for..Playing very good-tough defense. But as a playoff talented basketball team, you need to tighten your game up and fight back. punch em in the teeth alittle bit, drive to rim..get to the line..no more jump shooting our way out of trouble, cant stand that.

    Nates gonna have to make some adjustments too with some plays, thier figuring out how to D up LA pretty good,keeping him going right, and we dont go to him much when he is deep in the paint. Dallas has totaly figured out our offense. We need to make some small adjustments anyways to throw em off, and we need players to execute...if we can actrualy makes shots around the parameter then that opens things up for LA, and im all for giving Johnson some more playing time.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/26/2011 10:06 AM
  5. Hey Mike -

    1. Thanks for the shout-out/mention on the show with Z yesterday - it's always nice to see that - though BlazerDancer Crisit beat you to it! :-)

    2. Didn't watch the game of course, but just from what you've shared and I've heard from other sources, indeed Chandler killed us on the boards and yesk the FT's.

    3. As for Game 6, just hope we lay it all out there and with Dallas trying to close out, we can't leave any glimmer of hope in the 4th, say, in teh last 3 min. I know it will be tight in the end anyways, but just hope we execute. It's our home floor, but since it's an elimination game, we have to be on our toes even more so.

    4. Really wish I could be back in Portland for these games, but I've been able to feel connection via Twitter in terms of instant contact and of course, through the shows on TB.tv as well. This will be my last NBA season away from home/the US, so can't wait for next season in that respect.

    Hope to wake up to some good news on Friday morning here.

    by Anees on 4/26/2011 10:30 AM
  6. In the first half we were being badly outrebounded, and Nate made the brave call and brought in Chris. The move worked, and we turned it around. In the second half they were again pounding us mercilessly on the boards. Nate stuck with his small line-up, and we lost. I understand why he didn't want the rookie in there; the kid doesn't know our offense, and we were also having all kinds of trouble getting good shots. The only potential solution for our offensive stagnation involves another young player Nate has decided he will not use. But if you can't run your offense, and you can't get boards, and you can't stop their big guys inside without fouling, you really don't have a chance. This is one where I could imagine Dante and Joel watching on TV and thinking about how different things would be if they hadn't been traded away. We'd actually have two big guys in there at all times, guys who block out, and who know our offense and set good picks. Yes, rebounding is partly about effort, partly about technique, but it's also very much about size. We now play a small line-up, with only one true big-man in the game, for more than half the game. If we can't reap the benefits by using our speed in match-ups and in beating the opponents down court, we're going to get pounded on the boards and schooled by their bigs inside. Since the trade, we're critically short on depth at the power positions, and a weakness like that can only be covered up for so long. Rich rolled the dice a couple of months ago, and this is one of those nights where it looks like he rolled snake-eyes.

    by Islander on 4/26/2011 11:21 AM
  7. Not watching anymore. Not commenting anymore, until this round is over. Good luck to the team. Have fun guys :)

    by SisillaRiann on 4/26/2011 11:53 AM
  8. You know if our guys really wanted to rebound the ball, we could. Its a matter of blocking out and wanting that rebound more so your team has a better chance to win. We have Marcus 6'11, LMA 6'11 and Wallace 6'8......think about...Look @ Charles Barkley @ 6'5 he was avg. 10-12 rpg in his heyday. Dennis Rodman 6'8 15+ rebounds..true Barkley was pretty stout, but Rodman wasnt huge, his nickname was the worm, cause he could "worm" hsi way in for the board. Heck look at Miller...hes what 6'2 and he goes after rebounds hard.

    Dont get me wrong, ID love to be like the Lakers with 2 7 footers in the lineup, but we gotta play with what we have..and honestly I cant see why our guys if they "TRY" hard enough cant win the rebound game.

    Theres no excuses...we got guys *capable* of good parameter shooting-Rudy,Batum,Mathews,Roy,Mills...we got good inside-outside guys like Wallace and LA. We got solid pg in Miller...and so on...we have the pieces to the puzzle, could the puzzle be better, say with a healthy Roy and Oden, you betcha....but we got what we got..and if the WANT is there..then we can win....but if we cant execute our offense...we dont crash the boards..and we dont play harder than the other team, then its gonna be a vacation for the Blazers here real soon.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/26/2011 12:24 PM
  9. Whitefeather...you nailed it on the rebounding. Time and time again Portland did not get their bodies up against someone when shots were going up. They would just turn to face the bucket and when they did that the Mavs (Chandler) would stroll right past them or tap the ball back out. It was the worst display of rebounding I have seen from the Blazers in a very long time. I did however think they did a good job defending the 3 and overall the defence in the first 2 quarters was remarkable.

    Now, what I can't figure out is how this team can so so cold with the shooting? We have seen this so many times this season. We had so many chances in the first half to build a cushion and blew it because we could not make shots...and they were not tough shots neither. Alot of easy buckets just simply missed. We could have really set a grim tone for Dallas but failed to do so...we allowed them life and they took full advantage.

    As for everyone out there wondering why BRoy didn't do it again...it's simple. The man had moment of greatness the other night in a desperate situation and it all worked out in our favor, but to expect that from BRoy every game now is unrealistic and Nate had to run the offence the way we have all year....the same way that got us here to the playoffs. THAT is the reality. Last Saturday was storybook. Plus Dallas adjusted slightly. When Broy hit that first shot in the fourth, even myself had visions of him "doing it again" but believe me that Dallas was ready to make him give up the ball.

    The good news is that we KNOW we can beat this team and all we have to do is win 2 in a row which we have done already. With two days off and alot of time to study the mistakes I have no doubt we are going to a game 7.

    On to Thursday!!!!

    peace out,

    by daddylogan on 4/26/2011 12:46 PM
  10. The Mavericks played that game like it was an elimination game for them. We simply didn't match their intensity or energy. They weren't shooting the ball well either (41% from the field, 3-17 from 3), but they rebounded the heck out of the ball and got to the line. They found ways to manufacture points when shots weren't dropping.

    by DHawes22 on 4/26/2011 1:20 PM
  11. Mike: I can't critique or make assessments, since I don't know when we stink offensively and when the Mavs are playing lock down D. It is hard to run without getting rebounds, it is hard to get rebounds when you are pushed out of bounds by their bigs without getting foul calls. I still have faith in our teams ability to win at home. Therefore, lets win the one on Thursday then worry about game 7.

    I really expected Dallas to respond like they did last night. On their home court, an embarrassing loss the game before. Portland would have responded the same way. What I think is that Portland let them off the hook a little with the lack of urgency or killer instinct. We did have them on the ropes, but if you want to survive your superior play you have to go for the kill while you have them down. We didn't do that because it was to hard.

    Anyway on to game 6 and lets keep our home record going

    by Hg on 4/26/2011 1:32 PM
  12. The only way the Blazers are going to win this series is if Aldridge is allowed to play his normal position and Brandon Roy is more of a factor in the next two games.

    Because of Camby's foul trouble, Aldridge was moved to the center position. When Aldridge has to put so much effort into trying to defend the rim and box out the Mav's bigs, he has a lot less energy to give on the offensive side of the floor. If I were McMillan, I would take my chances with Chris Johnson when Camby is out of the game to avoid playing Aldridge at the 5 spot. He is our leading scorer and go-to guy for most of the game. He needs every ounce of energy he has to battle the physical Dallas defense.

    Roy cannot take only 7 shots in a game (a couple of which are desperation heaves at the end of the shot clock) and have an influence on the game. Roy needs to take 15+ shots. We know his game, we know what he needs to be effective. He needs the ball at the top of the floor running pick and rolls with Aldridge and 3-point shooters ready on the wings. The Blazers have been very successful with this over the last few years. When Roy takes a good number of shots, he is going to either make baskets, or get to the free throw line. He will get his points. Roy played nearly 30 minutes in game 5, but was on the bench when the game was ultimately decided, and he didn't run the offense like he was allowed to in game 4. He IS our most gifted offensive player and he needs to be used as such. Nate needs to trust Roy like he once did and let Roy be Roy. In honor of the great Mike Rice, here's the keys to game 6 and 7.

    1. Start Roy
    2. Put the ball in Roy's hands
    3. See you in the second round

    by Veristhestone on 4/26/2011 2:07 PM
  13. I think what bothered me most about game 5 was that it was basically a rout. The score no way indicates how badly beaten we were.

    I wish I could get into Nate's head when he is this kind of situation. Mid way through the third period, it was clear the game was slipping away and our offense was completely stagnant. Why not try something else, like let Patty have a go at running the ball and pressuring the Dallas defense? Is there a plan B in Nate's mind, or does he just stick with what he wishes were working?
    Last night it seemed like the latter...

    by dgpdx on 4/26/2011 2:26 PM
  14. Equation: 1. Put Chris Johnson(This guy is 7 ft) on dirk.+ LA down low block out the ball and grab the rebound. + Use B-Roy like Kobe on the offensive, LA like gasol, Chris johnson pound inside like bynum and rip all the offensive rebound. Use patty for point guard cuz he can drive and shoot 3 that will give roy a lot of room. = Easy win, we even have a chance go to final this year because Spur is done, Lakers is in trouble with Honest and if we win Dallas is gone so that is top 3 in the West is GONE!!!.

    by ijamesza on 4/26/2011 2:28 PM
  15. LMA, Marcus, Chris johnson, they all 6'11-7 ft plus Wallace is 6'8 ... we have a biggest team in playoff lane up. Funny how we got out rebound and only use 7-8 man rotation in the playoff when you have 12 guys in the roster. Nate will NEVER lead the team pass first round the playoff neither know how do what it take to win. Look at phill jackson few night ago he called him team a punks after lakers lost and he won 12 rings. This just showing that Phill take it seriously and that's why he won 12 championships.

    by ijamesza on 4/26/2011 2:37 PM
  16. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Well some did. To win in the playoffs is never easy. Especially without HOME COURT ADVANTAGE. It is so important in the post-season. Dallas is a quality team. Not unbeatable but good.
    This is so fun. A great win Saturday. A beat down Monday. More basketball to come. Sports at its purest form. I like our team. When they win and when they lose. Our boys leave it out there.
    Every team in the playoffs will lose there last game except for one.

    by Divotking on 4/26/2011 2:36 PM
  17. Wondering why Camby makes some of the fouls he does. We need to play him in the 4th and fouling to avoid a bucket when the player goes to the line and makes his free throws..I just don't get.

    Our guys looked so tired last half. They weren't even near the hoop when the rebounding was happening. It was like they were headed to the other end. And I agree with the above...how can our shooting go so south on us? Seems everyone loses confidence and then they just pass the ball around till the shot clock becomes an issue. i say take the shot and someone go for the second chance shot. Canby, we need you. Give CJ a chance here too.

    And last, when we are down by 11 and the clock is ticking down, we never seem to play with any sense of urgency.

    Love me some Blazers. Want them to win.

    by allie-oop on 4/26/2011 2:41 PM
  18. My Thoughts: Andre Miller or whoever our point guard is has to be effective in both halfs. Andre's 2 assists in the second half in game 5 just won't cut it. Game 4 he had 1 assist all game. Really? Yes he contributes with scoring but we have enough scorers on the floor. Create shots for them. Also its obvious that we don't have a leader on the floor. Is it LaMarcus? Brandon? Camby? We can't win a series if we don't have a court leader. Also I consistantly see our rebounders running back after shot attempts leaving the paint full of Mavs rebounders. Are we tired and cheating to get back on D? Adjustments Blazers. No one said it would be easy.

    by Beer Me on 4/26/2011 2:45 PM
  19. Divotking: I like your posts and your positive input. I thought we played OK last night, not great but I gave the Mavs credit for that.

    Their is no guarentees in like, if you are a fan just enjoy what you have. I know I get to see my Blazers play one more time on Thursday. If they win I will at least see them one more time, If we win game seven, I know I will see them 4 more times, then go from there.

    by Hg on 4/26/2011 3:24 PM
  20. Ive said it before, Im all for Chris Johnson coming in for Camby. Its a perfect trade off. You have Camby in there for rebounds-defense-blocks,scoring IF you can,but Dallas has done a decent job on him and he has not been able to feed LA like he used to. So insert CJ when Camby gets in foul trouble, cause regardless if he doesnt know the offense too well, he knows how to block and rebound...heck Ill take it!! Fundamental basketball!!!

    Beer Me.....Andre Miller would have had more assists if his team shot the ball better lol...You can pass the ball all you want, but untill that ball goes into the basket, no assists can be made of them. Hes done a very good job imo.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/26/2011 3:29 PM
  21. Thanks Hg. Dallas will not lay down. Portland wont either. This is a fight. It's about heart. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

    by Divotking on 4/26/2011 4:14 PM
  22. We wasted our game 4 gift with a game 5 loss. If we can't win on the road with momentum what makes us think we can do it without an advantage? We've squandered too many golden chances. I said it before Game 5 was the key and the Mavs took it.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 4/26/2011 6:01 PM
  23. Game 5 is almost always the key in a 2-2 series. Something like 83% of game 5 winners take the series.

    So far we've won two games in "must win" situations. Now we have to do it twice more. If that isn't enough to get our guys to play with urgency and total dedication to winning from the opening tip until the final horn, then nothing ever will.

    by dgpdx on 4/26/2011 6:22 PM
  24. Momentum does not carry over from game to game. In basketball momentum lasts for portions of individual games. Winning 2 games at home, getting a "gift" in game 4, only put pressure on Dallas to hold serve. Now the exact same pressure is on the blazers. If they respond as they should we go to game 7. Equal pressure on both teams. One game. One night. Loser go home. Beautiful. Who wants it more. GO BLAZERS!

    by Divotking on 4/26/2011 7:14 PM
  25. It's a pretty common notion in Blazer Nation, so let me reiterate it.


    1. Start Roy.
    2. Start Chris Johnson in place of Camby.
    3. Off the bench: Rudy, Wesley, Nic, Marcus
    3. Can you imagine how sick both our first and second units will be?


    by Kap on 4/26/2011 7:21 PM
  26. kap: Interesting thought. Maybe game 5. Game 6 no. Dance with who brought you. Wesley and Camby have earned their spot. We are in game 6 of a playoff series because of their contributions. Chris Johnson is a good kid but this is too big of a stage for someone with his experience. 5 minute stretches to give Cam a breather is great. Camby has been blocking shots for how many years? As for game 7, starting Roy might be a good play just to throw a curve ball at Dallas. Why would we want to shake up a team the has gotten us to game 6 of a playoff series. Remember we are a 6 seed playing a 3 seed. I've watched every minute of 87 blazer games this year. I want to see the boys play who got us here.

    by Divotking on 4/26/2011 7:59 PM
  27. Divotking: Good points, but I just want to point out that I'd be the last person who'd disregard the contributions of Wes and Marcus. You put it perfect: CURVE BALL. We need to throw one out there -- and now. Yes, Game 5 was a perfect time to have done that, and I don't think Game 6 would be too late for it though.

    We have been sorely beaten by the bench, and that's why we need Marcus' ability to change and block shots. Wes and Camby have been instrumental in getting us where we need to be, just as Roy has. We will see all the boys who have gotten us here -- it's just a matter of shaking things up to better adapt to the situation.

    by Kap on 4/26/2011 8:49 PM
  28. Until we get more offensive action around the paint and draw more fouls, we'll continue to exit in the first round. It has to start with LaMarcus; he has to be more aggressive, even against the pseudo double teams the Mavs are throwing at him. He is starting to look like the old passive LaMarcus.

    by C. Larry on 4/26/2011 9:33 PM
  29. I didn't like the way the officiating was so one sided. How is a jumpshooting team getting to the FT line that many times? Give Dallas their FTs, fine, but the refs were awful this game and not calling it both ways. They even tried to balance their mistakes by giving the Blazers cheap, useless FTs at the end of the game, where they finally called it correctly. This series cannot be won 5v8. It's that simple. We're toast unless game 6 and game 7 are all in our favor.

    For the past 2 years we've been eliminated on this upcoming game. I hate to say it, but I see it happening again. The Blazers are looking tired, and looking like they don't care. LaMarcus especially. For how good he's been, there really is no excuse for how terrible he's been the past 3 games, except his energy level. The dude needs a break. He needs a Greg Oden. I don't see the Blazers advancing, and I don't see them winning game 6. Which sucks, because I'll have to root for the Lakers (get real, they're beating NOH). I hate the Mavs more than any team, especially the Lakers, and losing to them pains me more than if we got swept by the Lakers.

    The Blazers the past 2 years have just looked exhausted in the post season, and look like they want a vacation. I don't think LaMarcus can stand another 6 games minimum.

    Let's regroup, get some rest, and prepare for next season. We've got a bright one, assuming injuries stop. Roy is finding himself. LaMarcus can have another off-season to improve. Andre doesn't look any older. Greg and JP should be back. And hopefully we'll fire Nate. Speaking of which, he's the sole reason we're losing this series. In talent, the Blazers are better in every category, INCLUDING point guard and powerforward, mind you. However, this series just proves how much a coach can effect a game. In every game he's had the media and fans coach the game for him. In game 1, he tried his own way, and lost by officials. In game 2, he listened to the ranting fans and pulled Brandon Roy. In game 3, he listened to the media that called him a meany for not playing Roy, and played him. In game 4, he tried to put that all into one, and the Blazers got blown out until Roy said "OH HELL NO!" and whooped some butt. In game 5, he tried doing the same, and got blown out. Who knows what will happen in game 6, but I'd be surprised to see the Blazers force a Game 7. They look exactly like they did last season, which is tired and craving a vacation.

    I'm a Blazer fan, and you all know that, but it's time to be real. Go Heat. Juwan deserves a ring.

    by Herr on 4/26/2011 10:18 PM
  30. The problem with everyone holding serve is we exit early. And LaMarcus does seem to be content to take what the Mavs give him. They want to take away his inside game so they make it tough there. He says okay I'll shoot it cause I can do that. The Mavs are then happy and Aldridge is only half of what he is. We will go nowhere without Aldridge playing like a beast. I'm still pissed we put things off for game 7, if there is a game 7.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 4/26/2011 10:21 PM
  31. There are relatively short players who are big-time rebounders--Barkley, Unseld, Blair--but they are all wide, muscular types who can create space around them. There are a few non-stocky guys who can play the boards bigger than they look, because they utterly devote themselves to rebounding: Moses Malone, Rodman, the Bird Man. I had Dante on my list of "bigs" even though he's only 6'7" because he combined the elements of a player who rebounds above his height: good muscle, great dedication and technique. But you can't just tell a small forward who has never built his game around rebounding against bigger players, has not been down there in the trenches night after night, to get in there now and turn on the effort and expect him to keep seven-footers off the glass. What happens when players who are physically overmatched try to compensate with sheer effort? Well, for one thing, a lot of fouls. Effort is utterly essential for high-level success, but it's the great American myth that it solves every problem.

    by Islander on 4/26/2011 10:37 PM
  32. @Herr
    I usually agree with your post, but of late you seem to go AC-DC on us. If we win you are optimistic about our teams success, If we lose You are pessimistic about our teams success.

    We are still in this series until one of the teams lose 4 games, or as Divotking says, one team wins four games.

    by Hg on 4/27/2011 3:58 AM
  33. Islander: A bigger player with the same effort will win out, but 5 players trotting back on defense on every shot get very few offensive rebounds.

    Nate will make adjustments but players have to perform. Nate isn't allowed on the court.

    by Ancientone on 4/27/2011 7:39 AM
  34. Listen....we have the guys who can rebound!!....Camby has been one of the best rebounders in the nba. We have Wallace whos a 9 rpg player his whole career. You also have LA, who is around 8 rpg, but is capable of 10+ any given game. So we have the rebounders. Were undersized vs Chandler and Haywood, thats true..nothing to get around that. But there is NO reason to be losing the rebound game like we are..NO reason. And while effort wont save the world, it sure makes a HUGE difference in basketball.

    Did you play organized basketball islander at all?? Cause I did grade school-jr high-high school varisty and also church league ball. Guess what im only 6'1...I played the 2 and 3 positions, and we learned how to block out and rebound vs bigger players..and effort? you better darn well bring it!!......Now these are PRO athletes, thier experience is insane, from college to nba,or Global league play...they been to how many training camps?? tons..trust me every member on our Blazers team can rebound the dam ball.

    With that being said, yeah were still undersized, and I dont expect out team to out muscle the Mavs...but we do have some athletic guys on our team, and some good rebounders, So I know we can do ALOT better than game 5!!!

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/27/2011 10:08 AM
  35. whitefeather21380:

    I haven't played organized BB in too many years to count. Therefore I am not an authority on what we can do and what we can't do. There is one thing that hasn't been mentioned too much and that is they are an open court, fast break team and get more then their share rebounds, so part of the problem of getting rebounds is we are getting back on transition D to stop fast breaks.

    We can do this thing, everybody work together and get the job done. If we get the rebounds they have to try to stop our transition. and the way that it is working If we got most of the rebounds they can't get so many opportunities to fast-break

    by Hg on 4/27/2011 11:11 AM
  36. C.Larry hit it on the head. LA has got to be the difference maker. LA is the one that really put us on his back and got us here. LA is the AllStar who wasn't. LA HAD been playing with a nice fat chip on his shoulder, and now is not going hard to the basket, or posting up down low and getting those little 5 footers we have become accustomed to this year. And Good Lord, when was the last time we saw a freakin alley-oop? End of Game 3? I can't point to one time that happened in Game 5, and we easily scored 10+ points in the first few games by getting into our sets before they got back on D and quick cuts to the basket.

    I feel like Andre Miller has been single-handedly keeping us in games at times these last few. He needs some help. When Rudy made that first 3 the other night, I got really excited, but to no avail. In some ways it seemed to be the refs. In some ways it seemed to be the Mavs just being more aggresive. And then I also felt that there were just too many shots that we just COULD NOT GET TO FALL. Close shots. Missed layups. Crap that you learn in 2nd grade. The focus didn't seem to be there for Portland this last game. And that's pretty sad when we have had chances in each of the games in Dallas to be able to pull through and steal one. Now all of the pressure is back on Portland, and the Mavs will be playing looser tomorrow. The RG better be rockin out, all night, regardless of what is going on on the floor. Voices must be lost x 20,000.

    This is no time for "I'm tired." Plenty of rest if you get bounced again in the first round. I know that we can do it, I want to believe. Lackluster performances like Game 5 are not supportive of us making the deep run in the playoffs that everyone thought we were due for this year.


    by TheDonSD on 4/27/2011 11:23 AM
  37. @hg, amazing how much a series can turn, like MB said. Playoffs are much different than the regular season. 48 wins got you in, but you need 16 more to get to where we want to go. It's all about being the best. The best teams, coaches, and players are here in the playoffs. If you're not the best, you get eliminated. It's that simple.

    We got some work to do. Let's admit it. Aldridge is still taking outside jumpers. Batum, Wesley, and Gerald are doing the same. The only players that should be taking outside jumpers are Brandon and Wesley. We are not a 3 point shooting team, yet fall in love with it. We are not a jumpshooting team, but we fall in love with it.

    I said at the start of this series that there is no excuse for losing to the Mavs except for getting into a jumpshooting contest with them, and that's EXACTLY what we're doing. Add that and the amount of times we're sending Dork and his teammates to the line and it's a recipe for disaster. The Mavs are the best jump shooting team, and when we're trying to compete against them like that, well, we're done. I don't see the Blazers, with Nate as the coach, changing their attitude, fatigue, and game plan in order to go 2-0 against the Mavs. Any life that is shown at the Rose Garden isn't there down in Texas. And I'm not talking about the crowd, I'm talking about the energy. The Blazers look dead. I don't see it happening, and I fear that the Mavs are due for a road win. I was optimistic when Roy came back and the Blazers played a near solid game in Game 3. But, I don't see that happening again. This team has too many problems and gaps to fill before they advance. If they do, you know I'll be there cheering for them and posting on this blog in round 2. But, I'll of course need to see them beat the Mavs for that to happen.

    by Herr on 4/27/2011 12:17 PM
  38. Very true Hg.....thats WHY we gotta haul my offensive boards, then we can slow the pace of the game to more of our liking. It all starts with good defense, making them take shots they are not comfortable with, then blocking out and getting the rebound, then executing OUR offense.

    Were all saying the samething, just in different ways. Its alot easier said than done, and the Mavs have really came into this series with alot of energy and defense. Our team does look tired, Im honestly taking this one game at a time, well just see what happens, but I think we can all agree that if we continue to play like we have, then we will not make it to the 2nd round.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/27/2011 12:25 PM
  39. Anybody wanna know why we got back in game 4? Well save for Roy, the team just went out there and played basketball.. the way they know how. It was energy, flow and momentum. What the blazers did in that 4th was "forget about it.. lets abandon what we usually do and do this" and that was give the ball to roy when he was hot.. Even Nate himself admitted it! If it ain't broke don't fix it! + You have to win the mental game and right now Dallas is winning that with Nowitzki.. the way portland wins that is if they have a few guys with outstanding performances and who are consistent. Right now Por got none of that in this series, except for Roy in the last 2 home games.. Besides Dirk, Dallas has kidd in the first 2 games.. and Chandler when he isn't in foul trouble.. plus J. Terry is still waiting to erupt, and i now he will soon. Right now i see them beating us because the only game we really beat them in was game 3. Unless we go out there and really make a statement, punch them in the mouth etc.. for game 6 which is in our home court.. we'll be lucky if we pull out a win in game 7. whitefeather (if i ain't mistaken) is right. They got us.. they pretty much know what we're going to do now. I think what Portland should do is pull an eminem and go 8 mile on them! Stop thinking, gameplanning, wonder about match-ups and just go with your gut. That's to you first and foremost NATE! Because you anchor this team!! That's where the brain is.. but the brain has got to stop thinking!! And just go out there and let it all play out.. let the boys play!! Hoping for the best.. Go get em team!!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 4/27/2011 1:28 PM
  40. True that LA is having problems dealing with the Chandler's inside defense but the big reason he isn't scoring well the past couple of games is that his outside shot has deserted him. He can't go to the rim every time he gets the ball, he has to keep the defense honest by making outside shots as well.

    LA's outside game has always been a big part of his success and he's usually very accurate from 20 feet on in. If he can regain his 45% touch from there, we can still pull this out.

    One thing I would love to see him do is make quicker moves once in a while when he gets the ball on the block. His usual MO is to wait a couple seconds to see what develops and then either try to back his man down or pass back out to a guard. I'd like to see him make a quick spin move as soon as he touches the ball. If nothing else, this would get him to line more often and also take away the double team which the Mavs are bringing once he starts to dribble..

    by dgpdx on 4/27/2011 2:57 PM
  41. Portland is a good team playing a quality opponent. This season Dallas won more games than Portland and had a better road record. They earned their 3 seed. Portland earned their 6 seed. So far Dallas has done a lot of things right. They have slowed LA. Squeezed the alley-oop play. Rebounding well. Still Portland is not out yet. We have game 6 at home. If there is a game 7, oh what fun it will be. That's the beauty of it. Nobody knows what will happen until the game is played.

    by Divotking on 4/27/2011 3:13 PM
  42. GO BLAZERS. We continue to believe, and we continue to be proud to be Blazers fans. That's about it. Now rip Dallas a new one!

    by Kap on 4/27/2011 7:15 PM
  43. whitefeather: When it's pro versus pro, and everyone is working hard, everyone on the floor knows how to play the game, the fact that you're trying to rebound against a guy 2 inches taller and 25 pounds heavier makes a difference. Sure, there are plenty of times at lower levels when those of us who are shorter but are quick and jump well can snag more rebounds than the slow, tall guys around us. It happens occasionally in the pros too, even with guys who don't jump: just look at Andre's numbers. But it's a mistake to say that because it happens sometimes, there's no drawback to sending out guys who are shorter and lighter than their counterparts. There's a reason we only have two or three guys under six feet tall in the league at any one time, while almost every roster has one or two of those much rarer guys who stand seven feet tall. For all I know you've got Tyson Chandler beat at every height-neutral measure of basketball skill. But Chandler isn't playing church league, and if he was, I guarantee you'd be hard pressed to snag more than an occasional, odd-bounce rebound. Gerald Wallace is a great rebounder-- against other small forwards. Put him in against a center, and he'll come up short. Unless Chris Johnson plays, we've only got one center and one power forward. There's a reason most teams outside San Francisco try to have at least twice as many of those types in the rotation. If big men don't really matter, why is Memphis beating San Antonio? And why did we draft Greg Oden, and then blame our struggles the last two years on his injuries?
    Of course we shouldn't be getting dominated on the boards the way we are, but to suggest that effort and desire solve EVERYTHING is a tad naive. Barea gives GREAT effort, but they're never going to send him out there to take the opening tip.
    Look, I agree with the guys who say we aren't crashing the boards enough, that you won't get any boards if you aren't there to try. My point is simple, and (I thought) really obvious. We don't have Joel any more. We don't have Dante. To pretend that their absence doesn't hurt us inside is silly. Dallas is doing a good job of exploiting that weakness, and if we don't compensate in the areas where the match-ups give us an advantage, the season will be over very soon. Saying that we're not sacrificing anything at ALL by playing Wallace or Batum at the four is like saying, I don't know, that the president wasn't born in Hawaii? Isn't it time to move on to issues where there there's actually something to debate?

    by Islander on 4/28/2011 12:06 AM
  44. Islander: I am usually on the opposite side of debates with you, but I think you are right on the money on rebounding. Along with Joel, Jeff going down, and of course Greg, makes us a short scrapping team, and our rebounding suffers. Of course I believe that boxing out is important even if you are the shorter man, but if the refs are not calling the fouls for pushing the shorter man out of the way or not calling over the back fouls, then you are absolutely correct. Of course we all know that the refs wouldn't be guilty of that, but as long as it is called like that on both sides the shorter man on each team is at the disadvatage.

    Part of the problem because of their height, they are a great outlet passing, fast breaking team so our guards has to get down the floor in a hurry to stop leak outs; of course, LMA recently being pushed out for outside jumpers leaves him at a disadvantage also. When we go small we are sacrificing rebounding for offense, but our offense is sputtering and that makes the rebounding more of a challenge. On the other end, not getting defensive rebounds stops the advantage of going small because they get the second chance points and we get no fast-breaks.

    by Hg on 4/28/2011 5:42 AM
  45. Ltrain needs to get nasty and put that punk chandler on his can. I don't want to hear LA got pushed out of the paint and was limited to jumpers. LA needs to be in chandlers grill the whole game. I want LA to push and lean on chandler and exclude him from the paint. LA needs to own the paint the rest of the series. hey thats where i was going to stand....

    by Miller on 4/28/2011 7:31 AM
  46. In racing we used to say there is no replacement for displacement. Height and size are important. CJ has shown he can have an effect and needs to be used a little more. That said Nate got us here inspite of injuries and I trust him to do what will get us there.

    by Ancientone on 4/28/2011 7:45 AM
  47. Ancientone: I agree.

    by Hg on 4/28/2011 9:11 AM
  48. Ancientone: two of the shortest post I have ever made LOL

    by Hg on 4/28/2011 9:12 AM
  49. Here's and excellent article from Sports Illustrated:

    by I AM the voice of reason on 4/28/2011 2:13 PM
  50. GAME ON !! Take no #$%& tonight. This Portland team has more fight in them. I believe in them. Bring the nasty. Bring the gritty. Bring your heart. The time is now.

    by Divotking on 4/28/2011 3:29 PM
  51. HG: Thanks for the support. The only reason you're on the opposite side of many arguments from me is that you're a much nicer, more positive person, and all of us appreciate that. But, hey, someone has to take on the annoying role of the skeptic who makes unpleasant appraisals we all hope will turn out wrong.

    by Islander on 4/28/2011 3:36 PM
  52. Hey Islander, just curious, are you actually an Islander?

    by SisillaRiann on 4/28/2011 3:43 PM
  53. Islander: That was good. To the point and honest. You are a diehard fan like myself. The losses hurt. You get disgusted. Yet you stay tuned in. What happens tonight nobody knows.

    by Divotking on 4/28/2011 4:25 PM
  54. i hope the blazers have a little time before the game to watch this.. just as a conclusion of how easy they can beat this Mavs team. The Mavs from this video are a pretty horrible team.. and it's not news that Blazers shot horribly in that game 4... but ok... i'll let you watch this and decide for yourself if the Blazers are really the better team.. i know they'll win game 6 tonight tho!


    by Ballinrotation365 on 4/28/2011 4:32 PM
  55. I recount that "horrible" statement.. the blazers in my mind are a better team all around! that's what i meant!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 4/28/2011 4:32 PM
  56. Tough game for the Blazers I sure wish we could have shut down Dirk Nowitzki better.

    by Puggaloverjack2 on 4/28/2011 9:22 PM
  57. I hate to say it, but I told you so. Lakers in 4.

    by Herr on 4/28/2011 9:55 PM
  58. Clearly the better team won the series.

    by dgpdx on 4/28/2011 11:09 PM
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