Blazers Hot Start Not Enough As Phoenix Reserves Power Suns Past Portland, 108-87: My Thoughts
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/27/2010 11:24 AM

     Post-Game Thoughts

    Apparently getting off to a hot start wasn't as important as many thought it would be during Game 5. The Trail Blazers came out blistering, taking a 9-0 lead and eventually seeing it grow as large as 14 at 23-9 mid-way through the 1st quarter. Then the wheels fell off completely. Marcus Camby picked up his 2nd foul, Brandon Roy had three fouls in a heartbeat and Phoenix went to their bench and boy did they ever produce. Behind their 55 bench points, Phoenix was able to wipe away the 14 point deficit and trail only by 1 after the 1st and take a commanding 57-47 lead at the half. Portland found themselves down only 7 late in the 3rd, but a lack of defensive rebounding killed any hopes of a Blazer rally as Phoenix rode the wave of momentum to a 84-66 3rd quarter lead. The Trail Blazers once again fell into the Suns trap of a high-tempo game and got burnt by allowing 17 fast-break points, getting out-rebounded 41-29,and got to the foul line 8 less times (32-24). With all of that happening a result of 108-87 isn't surprising.

    "We fell into their tempo," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said.

    On a positive note, Jerryd Bayless continues to make a case for more playing time in the 2011 season as he had another excellent outing. He tallied 17 points (6-14 FG, 3-5 3PT), handed out 4 dimes, grabbed 4 rebounds, and committed only 1 turnover in 37 minutes of action. One play in particular which showed the maturation of Bayless into a true point guard occurred in the 1st half when he took his man off the dribble and proceeded into the lane. Normally, he would try to force contact and get to the line, but he saw a big come over to deny his access to the basket and dumped it off to Howard for an easy two. These are the types of plays that will only gain Bayless more court time which he has so desperately desired since arriving in the Rose City. We all know he can score and get to the paint but being able to create for others, not just himself, out of the penetration will take his game to a whole other level.

    People will point out the refs were biased during this match as PHX had shot 20+ more free throws than Portland at one point during the course of the game, but even if some of the calls were questionable, they were the aggressors. I've said this time and time again, the officials reward teams who are more assertive and give them the benefit of the doubt more times than not. The Suns simply wanted this game more. I don't know how many times I saw multiple black jerseys underneath the hoop waiting for the rebound to fall into their laps only to see one, lone white jersey come out of nowhere and take it from them and lay it up and in. We punched them in the mouth from the get-go and its as if we didn't expect them to fight back and once they did, we folded.

    If the Blazers do indeed wind up losing this series, they can go back to Games 3 and 5 and kick themselves. Its not often a road team obtains the home court advantage and we gave it up without much of a fight in Game 3, once again failing to secure rebounds and give up cheap buckets in the paint. Also, when you have the momentum heading into a road game after the emotional Game 4 win and come out with both guns blazing, you simply can't let your opponent back into the game so quickly. We all knew the 14 point lead wouldn't last the entire night, but to see it evaporate within minutes was a red flag in my book. We had the Suns by the throat but the lack of killer instinct haunts us once again. Portland now finds themselves behind the 8-ball, needing to win twice against a Suns team which hasn't lost consecutive games in nearly 3 months. Phoenix wants this series over as soon as possible, so the Blazers can't expect to win Game 6 just because its at the rowdy Rose Garden.

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  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 04/27/2010 2:01 PM

    I thought we were going to win when they were fumbling fast break chances, missing dunks while Dre was nailing 3's and Camby was flying out of nowhere for dunks. Most likely we lose the series, and you're right we can only look back on those games and shake our heads. The reason SA and UTAH are in control is because they stole home court and didn't let it go. Maybe next year we can actually protect home court?

    Its not over yet, I'm just amazed and baffled at how quickly they blew us out, even with Roy.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
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