Trail Blazers Lose Game, Maybe Batum In 119-90 Rout At Hands Of The Suns: My Thoughts
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/21/2010 11:33 AM

     Post-Game Thoughts

    Phoenix did what many expected (not I) and took Game 2 as they simply played with more urgency and desperation. Portland knew they had to weather the first onslaught and did so admirably, finding themselves only down 32-26 after the 1st quarter after being down 10 the majority of the period. But it was only the first of many storms and the Trail Blazers just weren't equipped to take it all on. Grant Hill took the ball out of Miller's hand, forcing Rudy to step up, which he failed to do so. Aldridge picked up three first half fouls, putting the offense in a world of hurt. For the first time in five meetings this season, the Suns caught fire by shooting 52.3% from the field, combined with the fact Portland was simply struggling for any buckets, it continued to rain down upon the Trail Blazers. A six point deficit after 1 turned into a 14 point hole at half and any hope of making a comeback with a fresh Aldridge was negated by a 31-19 quarter in the favor of the Suns, pushing the lead into laughter territory. Not only was Portland getting manhandled 94-68 after 3 periods, but Batum re-injured his right shoulder after colliding with Nash at the buzzer. When it rains, it pours.

    "We were the aggressors...and we did a good job on Andre Miller," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "We ran and got easy shots. We didn't give them a chance to get their defense established. I think they're as good as any team in the league if you let them get set in a halfcourt defense."

    McMillan lamented, "We needed to match their sense of urgency. We never did. They imposed their will from the start."

    It wasn't the Phoenix bench, nor STAT which was the storyline of the night, rather the scorching shooting of Jason Richardson and Grant Hill. Held in check to 6-21 shooting and only 18 points on Sunday, they were able to get off to the tune of 21-27 from the floor, tallying 49 points. There just wasn't enough resistance on the Nash pick and rolls, leaving Richardson just enough space to get off his shot. Batum was hampered by two early foul troubles, freeing Hill up to work the middle of the floor for multiple foul line jumpers. Even though the Suns were taking and making nearly every tough shot, they had a lot of open looks which got their confidence flowing, making those tough, contested shots easier to make. Overall, the entire defensive intensity of the Trail Blazers just wasn't at the necessary level needed to win on the road in the playoffs. While Phoenix was pestering us the entire 94 feet, Nash and Co. had open lanes to the paint continuously throughout the night, enabling them to rack up an unstoppable 58 points in the paint.

    Personally, I'm not worried about the Suns dropping 119 or J-Rich and Hill shooting 21-27 or even getting nearly 60 in the paint. Let's not kid ourselves here, Phoenix is a really good team, borderline great, and it was only a matter of time before they exploded offensively. What Portland needs to do is tighten up the defensive intensity and make life rough again, much as they did in the other four matches with the Suns. But, the main adjustment Coach Nate must make is how to get Dre Miller off. Hill took him away and Andre was relegated to being trapped 30 feet from the home most of the night. I'd like to see Bayless get a lot of time in there with Miller to get another ball handler in there to help him out, because Rudy flat out isn't cutting it. Possibly run Andre off a couple of screens to free him loose, then make a quick move to the hoop before Hill can keep up or run a better pick and roll with the screener actually putting forth a solid pick, allowing Dre to carve up the Suns defense.

    Wednesday, June 3rd, 1992 and Saturday, May 20th, 2000. What do these dates have in common with the Trail Blazers and last night's performance? Portland experienced a huge embarrassment at the hands of a favored opponent in the playoffs. Chicago blasted Portland, 122-89, in Game 1 of the '92 NBA Finals and the Lakers dominated the Blazers, 109-94, in Game 1 of the '00 WCF. If you're a Trail Blazers fan, and more importantly a player, simply shrug this one off as walking into the perfect storm and remove it from the memory banks. Blowouts happen, and they happen frequently in the playoffs. When you're facing a team 4-7 times within a two week period, teams make adjustments and sometimes they catch the opposition off guard. The best thing about those aforementioned games? Portland came out more focused the next night out, thrived upon the underdog role the media placed upon them after getting throttled, and came back to win the very next night out. The next two games are going to be in the frenetic Rose Garden, giving the Blazers a huge confidence boost and they'll be able to play off the energy buzzing throughout the arena.

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  1. Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 04/21/2010 12:58 PM

    Any word on Nic ????  I may be impatient, but was expecting something by now :(
    I am a fan of scrapping !
  1. GuitarJ111
    Posts: 167

    Posted 04/21/2010 1:18 PM

    Just got an update saying "MRI confirms Portland F Nic Batum has a right shoulder strain. Batum is questionable (game-time decision) for Game 3 VS Phoenix on Thursday"

    Not much of an
    I am a fan of the Blazers once again, rising above all odds and injuries!
  1. Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 04/21/2010 2:05 PM

    Agreed Jenny,
    How is questionable an answer ?  I can understand the Blazers playing possum with Roy,Nic, maybe even Oden, not wanting Phoenix to have a game plan. 
    But the words "questionable", and "game time decision" are about on my last nerve this season as a fan.
     On the bright side, it didn't say season ending. :)
    Imo, the Blazers have no answer to replace what Nic brings on both ends.  I haven't seen enough consistantly  from Martell or Rudy this season to believe differently. They both need to step it up.

    Go Blazers !!
    I am a fan of scrapping !
  1. GuitarJ111
    Posts: 167

    Posted 04/21/2010 2:25 PM

    I know, it’s definitely not an answer.  At least it wasn’t a tear or something worse than a strain though.  Maybe Nic should rest till Saturday instead of going out there tomorrow and possibly making it worse?  I don’t know (which is why I’m not a coach ;) )  I have no clue how we are going to cover his "duties", both on defense and offense.  Its gonna be tough but maybe, just maybe we can somehow get Rudy and Martel going (along with the rest of the guys of course!)????  Kind of sounds like a long shot, I know... but I have hope!!!! We have risen to the occasion plenty of times this season when the odds were stacked against us, maybe they have a couple more of those types of games in them!! 

    Go Blazers!
    I am a fan of the Blazers once again, rising above all odds and injuries!
  1. GuitarJ111
    Posts: 167

    Posted 04/21/2010 2:28 PM

    not sure what is with that font!  I didnt change it...
    I am a fan of the Blazers once again, rising above all odds and injuries!
  1. machwonder
    Posts: 92

    Posted 04/21/2010 2:32 PM

    This loss was a case of we got the split. There was no fire in the Blazers last night, unlike the first game. It became obvious early that the outcome was certain. OK, they got the split, but they should still play their asses off reguardless. As for Rudy, whats he doing out there? He looks completly lost. He can't beat anyone off the dribble, he can't create. Wheres that flying Rudy that scored on lob passes earlier in the year?? He can't even hit a shot, when he takes one. PU Rudy!! Have a seat on the pines and bring in Webster. Rudy can watch the game from the bench, just like he's doing on the court.
  1. Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 04/21/2010 3:20 PM

    Agreed, when Miller signed, I was really looking forward to seeing him and Rudy in the back court together. So far I havent seen what I was looking forward to .
    I am a fan of scrapping !
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