Phoenix Quiets Crowd, Humbles Blazers In 108-89 Win: My Thoughts
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  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/23/2010 1:15 PM

     In the bat of an eye, the game was over. Aldridge picked up two more quick fouls in four short minutes to start Game 3 and when he returned, the lead was 18, an insurmountable deficit without the services of Roy. Phoenix, riding the momentum wave, pushed the lead up to 29 at halftime, bringing back horrific memories to Blazer fans who had to sit through the same embarrassing display against Houston in the first home playoff game last year. After being humbled in a big way on Tuesday night in Game 2, a lot of people would have expected more of a sense of urgency, instead we were subjected to second-guessing in all movements and a lack of heart, which is really sad to say considering how much fight they showed all year long. In the first half, Phoenix was outworking us for every loose ball, no Blazer put a body when they drove to the paint, and we failed to show any signs of aggression. Portland did end up winning the 2nd half by 10, giving the fans a little hope going into Saturday's game, but it was too little too late and had fans everywhere scratching their heads and asking, "Where was that earlier?"

    "The second half tonight, we won that," McMillan said. "We played basketball. We started to fight and we won both of the last two quarters. Somehow we have to get that scrappiness at the start of the game."

    Portland needs to man up and get off to better starts, because as soon as Phoenix gets up 12-15 points, they shoot loose, which means money in the bank for their shooters. The Suns have just too many shooters for them all to be cool, calm, and collected as they are bombing away from downtown. It also starts and ends with Steve Nash. The amount of easy shots he gets his guys is surreal. No one benefited more from it than Jason Richardson, who picked up right where he left off in Game 2, going off for a playoff career-high 42 points on a sizzling 13-19 from the floor and a heartbreaking 8-12 from distance. As soon as one of Portland's long jumpers missed, Nash received the outlet and pushed it down court, getting J-Rich off early with easy buckets, building his already sky high confidence which was a catalyst in getting him off tonight. With how hot Richardson was shooting, I was amazed how open he was being left open. One play in particular which stood out to me happened in the 3rd. Webster was within arms distance of J-Rich then suddenly decided to drift towards the hoop. Phoenix saw Webster was caught in no mans land and hit Richardson for a wide open three. Portland was not mentally prepared to play basketball last night.

    "I was very surprised," Richardson said after scoring a career playoff-high 42 points in the Phoenix Suns' 108-89 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday night at the Rose Garden. "Seemed like I was open every time. I was surprised they kept leaving me."

    I know Aldridge is more comfortable playing second or third fiddle to Roy and Miller, but to be honest, his performance this series so far has been sub-par. 17 points, on 5-14 shooting, and 7 rebounds, done most in the 2nd half when the game was already decided, just isn't going to cut it without Oden and Roy. For the second straight game, he took himself out of the game with two early fouls. As a four year vet and team leader, Aldridge needs to play smarter and not take himself out of action. With Roy out, Phoenix is already eying in on LMA and Miller, but when Aldridge goes out early with foul trouble, the whole team swarms to Andre, suffocating him and stalling our offense. Aldridge finally showed a little bit of fire in the 3rd when he got a double technical, getting into an altercation with Amare as well as fighting for good, deep post position. There is absolutely no reason Frye and Collins should be pushing him out to the perimeter to catch the ball with his back to the basket. Am I being too harsh on LMA? Probably, but this is the playoffs, either you win or you go home and his teammates, the city, and fan-base is counting on him to step up and take over like we all know he is capable of doing.

    "They're trying to take me out any way they can," Aldridge said. "I just have to figure out ways to get going."

    This loss isn't on Rudy, Aldridge, Nate, or any one player; it was a team loss. Is Phoenix more talented? Most definitely. But wouldn't it make more sense for the injury-depleted Trail Blazers to be the ones showing more intensity on defense, determination in diving for loose balls, and aggression on offense? I love this team and they fall very high on my priority list in life behind religion, family, etc and I supported them through thick and thin, good times and bad times, Drexler era and Jail Blazers era, but that first half effort was simply unacceptable. I brushed off Game 1 against Houston last year as first time jitters, but four of the last nine playoff games for this era of Trail Blazers have been blown out by 16 or more points, twice at home. The fans brought their A+ game last night, chanting to no end, even with the game in doubt. I don't ever think I've seen a crowd so lively with a 17 point deficit in the 4th quarter, but now its time for the players to bring it and ensure the city of Portland gets at least one more playoff game hosted. As ticked off as I am with the team, I'll still be in my seat for Game 4 and if you have tickets to, I hope you're their as well.

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  1. BR7_Fan
    BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 04/23/2010 2:02 PM

    Posted By DHawes22 on 04/23/2010 1:15 PM
     
    This loss isn't on Rudy, Aldridge, Nate, or any one player; it was a team loss. 

    My thoughts exactly. Team play got us here, not fair to start blaming individual play now.
    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
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