Trail Blazers v Suns: Round 1, Game 4 Preview
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/24/2010 12:34 AM

    Do or die, now or never, win or go home, or whatever other cliche is out there, it doesn't matter, because they are all applicable to tomorrow's Game 4 matinee. There is simply no way the Trail Blazers, without Roy, will be able to dig themselves out of a 3-1 hole on the road, meaning they need to prepare for Game 4 as if it were an elimination game. It's not shocking Phoenix has stormed back to take two in a row, but what is surprising is the level of ease the Suns are doing it at as well as the point differentials. Combined, the prior two matchups have seen the Suns win by an astounding 50 points, crushing the spirits of Blazer fans all over Rip City. The big question looms over the Trail Blazers reaction tomorrow after being humbled and humiliated over the course of these past two games. Will they thrive with their backs against the wall, aided by the best fans in the NBA or will they sulk in their sorrows and fold, setting up an inevitable 5 game series win for Phoenix?

    At this point in the series after being drubbed twice in a row, wins and losses are not what I'm going to measure this team by, because of the key injuries making Phoenix the superior team; the Trail Blazers were expected to lose this series. All I want to see out of the boys are a sense of urgency without second guessing every movement. The Suns have came out of the gates the past two games and set the tone and we simply haven't responded. Either Portland needs to be the ones being proactive instead of reactive out of the shoot or they need to learn how to respond after taking the first blow. I just want to see bodies on the floor, diving for each and every loose ball, multiple tips to keep offensive possessions alive, and charges taken. Being the injury riddled team that we are, we'll have to win this one smashmouth style and gut out an important win to ensure the fans at the Rose Garden there will be a Game 6.

    Three players I really think could give the Trail Blazers a boost tomorrow are Bayless, Cunningham, and Pendergraph. Jerryd has been the one constant all series and I hope Coach Nate gives him the green light, much like he did before Christmas in San Antonio with Roy sidelined. Our only players able to get into the paint are Miller and Bayless. Right now they are taking away Dre with the longer Grant Hill smothering him. Giving JB the go ahead to score at will forces either Dragic or Nash to defend him, daring Phoenix to pick their poison, Miller or Bayless? Howard has been a surprise and inspiration all season long, but I think its time to unleash Dante's fountain of youth and jump shot on Phoenix. His mid-range jumper will make the Suns think twice about sending doubles to Aldridge or from packing the paint. Finally, Amare is a very vulnerable target right now and is not the most mentally stable person in the NBA when it comes to controlling his temper. It wouldn't be the worst idea in the world to send JP in there, one on one, and just get under his skin. I don't care if he commits fouls, but jab STAT here and there with an elbow, bump up on him, get physical, and be an all around pest towards him. Maybe it pushes Stoudemire over the edge and he either loses his cool or gets taken out of the game mentally? Its time to pull out all the stops!

    Defensively, the Trail Blazers need to take a page out of the Suns playbook and pick them up for a full 94 feet every time down the court even if it means picking up a few extra fouls in the process. To keep Phoenix from crashing the offensive glass, the Trail Blazers need to emulate the Suns and push the tempo once the rebound is secured, making them fear our fast break and rethink their strategy about sending everyone inside to fight for the second chance points. Also, Portland needs to find a way to fluster the crafty Nash. Like many teams do to Roy, they immediately run two defenders at him with a quick trap, begging someone else to beat them. I realize Richardson is the hottest player on the planet right now, but the reason he is getting all of those open looks is due to Nash. Its time for our coaching staff to be the ones throwing wrench in their well oil offensive machine and put them on their heels for once. If it works, Portland probably wins. If it doesn't, then at least they tried something.

    I fully expect the effort to be there Saturday as I can only imagine how embarrassed the players were after that performance Thursday night. Hearing one of the most loyal fan bases in all of sports rain down scattered boos most likely opened their eyes. The play on the floor has to be extraordinarily terrible for the fans of Rip City to bust out the boo birds. Unfortunately, this is the playoffs and you can't win on effort alone. The Suns are one of the most deadly teams out West and if that wasn't going to be hard enough for the Blazers to stop, now Phoenix is loose and relaxed. I'm just not sure we have an answer for them in regards to putting Hill onto Miller without Roy to exploit Nash. They'll keep it close, but in the end, Phoenix just has too many weapons, someone is bound and determined to catch fire and carry them to victory, but that's fine with me. I just want to see our boys leave it all the floor if this is truly the last time we'll see this 2009-2010 Trail Blazer team play live in the Rose Garden.

    Round 1, Game 4 Prediction: Trail Blazers 95 Suns 105
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  1. mario250775
    Posts: 197

    Posted 04/24/2010 11:57 AM

    first - very good defence, second good play in ofence for LA and  AM and third good luck. Suns are really good, Portland without ROY is looking for key for winning the game, We can make it happen. RIP City !!!  

    Go Blazers !!! 

    I am a fan of Portland Trail Blazers, RIP CITY !!!
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