Trail Blazers/Kings Pre-Game
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  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/09/2010 11:45 AM


    Tonight marks the first game of a five-game stretch where Portland (37-28) needs to make up ground on the teams above them in the standings. Up first is jump-start Sacramento (21-42) and Rookie of the Year front-runner Tyreke Evans. The two teams will get acclimated with one another quickly and frequently over the next 25 days as three meetings are schedule to occur, including two matchups this week. In the only prior meeting earlier this year on December 15th, Portland outlasted a strong effort from Evans behind 25 points a piece from Roy and Aldridge to pull away 95-88. Although the Kings have 21 wins, 15 of those have came at Arco Arena, giving them only six road wins, the 4th worst in the entire league.

    One of the more underrated moves made at the deadline that got swept under the rug was Sacramento's move to essentially swap out Kevin Martin for Carl Landry. Since the move the Kings haven't noticed the results on the win/loss column, but they have been playing very competitively lately, even pulling off upsets over the Jazz and Rockets. By moving Martin, it allows Evans to slide over to the 2-guard, his more comfortable and natural position and brings in Blazer-killer Landry. In his four games against Portland this year as a Rocket, Landry put up 17.3 points, on 46.9% field goal shooting, and 5.5 boards. Luckily for the Trail Blazers, it appears Marcus Camby should return from his one-game absence with another sprained ankle. No matter who is in the game, they are in for a war. Landry was shot in his leg on March 17th and returned to action less than a month later on April 7th. The same player who took an elbow from Dirk Nowitzki, disengaging multiple teeth hard enough causing them to embed into Dirk's elbow. Most players would have been out at least a week, yet he returned to the court after a one-game hiatus. LaMarcus, Dante, Juwan, and Marcus better get their war paint on tonight, because he plays with a reckless abandon and will do anything to get the loose ball.

    The marquee matchup tonight will feature Roy vs. Evans. Both shooting guards with point guard handles and play at their own pace. Each seemingly can get to the rim at will without extraordinary athleticism. A surprisingly good rookie class, even without Blake Griffin hooping this year, Evans is head and shoulders above the rest. If he can up his assists marginally, he will be only the 4th rookie in NBA history to average 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, joining Jordan, LeBron, and Oscar Robertson. For Portland to have any chance in this game tonight, Brandon needs to mentally zone in to the task at hand. I mentioned it in the Denver post-game thoughts, but he didn't even look 80% out there and his body language wasn't uplifting either. No one but Brandon knows how badly his hamstring is bothering him, but if he can't go harder than he did on Sunday, I recommend he sit, because Evans is a load to try and keep out of the paint. If Roy is back to normal, then he must assert himself early and teach the young Evans a few things, because even though Tyreke has the potential to become better than Brandon, Roy is the superior player now.

    With their 106 points against Denver, Portland eclipsed the century mark for the 7th straight time, an impressive feat for the 21st scoring team in the league. I believe if the Trail Blazers do not score over 100 tonight, something terrible could go wrong. The Kings allow the 5th most points in the NBA at a little over 105 a night and with no real shot blockers inside, Portland should look to abandon their jump shooting philosophy and attack the hoop at will. Along with watching the Roy/Evans battle closely, my other main interest is seeing if guard Jerryd Bayless can build off of one of his better performances as a Trail Blazer. If NBA teams were smart, they would take the tape from the Denver game and watch how they took Roy and Aldridge out of the game and made others try to beat them. It will be up to the likes of Bayless, Batum, Cunningham, Webster, Miller, and Rudy to make the Kings pay for putting all their attention on the big two. It should be noted that Aldridge needs to swing the back in a much quicker and timely manner than he has been lately. Without a quick pass out of the double team, it doesn't even give the other players a chance to take the shot, because by the time the ball has arrive the defender has made up the ground and is now in their grill.

    I don't think we'll be seeing any blowouts tonight like we saw against the Pacers, due to the Kings mentality. Coach Paul Westphal has them believing in leaving it all on the court, not tanking, and playing the part of spoiler. Roy will definitely make it a priority tonight to make amends for his porous outing on Sunday and the bench will bring it in full force tonight in front of the RG crowd. Look for a tight game throughout the half, but once the subs are made later on in the 3rd quarter, the Bayless/Rudy back-court tandem will go to work and put the game out of reach.
    Game 66 Prediction: Trail Blazers 105 Kings 96
    I am a fan of
  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 03/09/2010 2:11 PM

    I disagree. I think we are going to run them out of the gym. Roy and Miller are going to go to the rim all day and Aldridge is going to shoot over the smaller Landry and Thompson. Rudy and Marty will be bombing away from 3 and Bayless will continue his hot streak. Oh, we can't forget another block from behind from Nico!
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. mario250775
    mario250775
    Posts: 197

    Posted 03/09/2010 3:12 PM

    We have to win ! Playoffs are getting closer ! Bayless and Rudy go and shoot the Kings out , Go Blazers !
    I am a fan of Portland Trail Blazers, RIP CITY !!!
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/09/2010 5:28 PM

    I agree this game is a must win. We can't expect to move up let alone make the playoffs if we are dropping home games to the likes of Sacramento.
    I am a fan of
  1. daddylogan
    daddylogan
    Posts: 188

    Posted 03/09/2010 6:46 PM

    Well, bottom line is we need to win all the games we are "suppose" to win and we should make the playoffs. Hopefully some of those wins will carry some momentum into the playoffs. If we play good "D" and keep attacking we should do fine. We suffer when everyone just stands around watching B-Roy, Dre and LA do all the work. Webster and Rudy need to move more without the ball and Bayless needs to see the court better so when he does drive to the hoop he can make plays instead of getting blocked or making turn-overs. Oh....AND MAKE THEM FREE THROWS!!! Look how close the last game (vs Denver) would have been if we had not missed so many!!!

    peace out,
    daddy
    I am a fan of THE LITTLE GIANT...DAMIAN LILLARD!!!
  1. Kim~
    Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 03/10/2010 7:41 AM

    I hope keeping Camby a Blazer is priority #1 for the brian trust this summer.
    Blazer guard defense still needs to step it up and stop the ball to advance in the playoffs.
    Again last night, 2 guards in the top 3 scorers........
    I am a fan of scrapping !
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