Trail Blazers (43-32) vs. Thunder (50-24) Game Thread
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/31/2011 11:34 AM

    What do the Blazers need to do to avoid the sweep?
    Contain Westbrook (15)
    Defensive Rebound (Limit OKC to under 7 offensive rebounds) (1)
    Shut Down Durant Once Again (Under 20 Points on 15 or more FGAs) (0)
    Sharing Is Caring (25+ assists) (3)
    Keep OKC off the line (Under 17 FTA's) (3)

    The sign says it all. We must protect homecourt if we are to obtain the best possible playoff seed out West. The Trail Blazers already do a great job of holding down the fort, posting a 26-10 home record, good enough for 6th best in the NBA, but four of the remaining five games in Rip City are against current playoff opponents, starting Friday night with their nemesis, the Oklahoma City Thunder. OKC has defeated Portland all three times this year by a combined 11 points, so I feel it's time to give them a taste of their own medicine.

    But for that to happen, the Trail Blazers must find some combination of players or defensive schemes to contain Russell Westbrook, who has hurt Portland more than anyone else so far this year. In the three matchups, Westbrook has posted averages of 30.7 points, 8.3 rebounds & 6.3 assists. Not only is he scoring, but he's getting to the line (29 attempts) and making them (93.1%) and drilling three-point shot as well (5-11). If he's able to shoot the 3, it's lights out, just like we saw last Sunday. Aside for Russell, Portland must find Ibaka every time down. He's really exploded since being inserted into the starting lineup and his energy is seemingly endless, which was proven by his 5 offensive rebounds and 7-for-9 shooting from the floor. He is their X-Factor. If we can limit him to a quiet night, all will be well. Finally, look for Batum and Wallace to continue their yeoman's work on KD.
    I am a fan of
  1. Herr
    Posts: 643

    Posted 03/31/2011 2:01 PM

    Westbrooke has killed us in every single matchup.  Contain him.  Wallace killed Durant last game, but no one showed up.  Also, holding them from FTA is inevitable.  The way they play they shouldn't get nearly as many as they get.  Refs love them, so you got to beat the Portland style.
    I am a fan of
  1. BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 03/31/2011 5:00 PM

    Hawes, you could have made this poll a landslide and included an 'establish LA in the post' option.  That is the most important key, not only for this game, but for every game the rest of the way...including the playoffs.  With the Thunder, I would argue that containing (or rather, attempting to) Westbrook is a close second.  If LaMarcus is really done working in the paint, then so is this team this year.    

    When building (or re-building) a team with the intent to be a legitimate contender in the future, it is my opinion that you must start with the 1 and 5 positions.  That said, this should be an eventful summer and offseason, with all of the uncertainty the team has at those two spots.

    I'll be on hand for this one, counting how many times LA finishes in the paint.  If Aldridge fails to pull doubles down on the block, the rest of the team will continue their ongoing struggles from the perimeter, and game over.
    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
  1. kenny c.
    kenny c.
    Posts: 418

    Posted 04/01/2011 6:21 AM

    score more points
    I am a fan of Winning
  1. Mark
    Posts: 77

    Posted 04/01/2011 7:57 PM

    It boggles my mind that we keep losing to this team. They aren't really that good in my opinion. They have a good home crowd, Durant and Westbrook. That's it. Ibaka is just big, Harden has a beard, Collison just takes up space, Maynor is nothing special. Their only veteran is Perkins. It's all a mental thing for Portland when we face this team. I wouldn't be one bit surprised if Denver beats this team in the first round. It's just as simple as OKC overachieves and Portland underachieves. If we played to our potential, we'd beat OKC by 10 every time we played them.
    I am a fan of having a completely healthy team for once.
  1. Mark
    Posts: 77

    Posted 04/01/2011 8:02 PM

    Oh, not to mention I've never seen a team get favored more by the referees in my life. Not trying to throw out excuses but let's be honest, any other team get as many foul calls that benefit them more than OKC?
    I am a fan of having a completely healthy team for once.
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/01/2011 10:46 PM

    Great win...needed win! How do you offset getting outrebounded by 10+ boards? You take care of the ball, only 5 turnovers and we shared the ball, 24 assists. 1 down, 6 to go, let's go Blazers!
    I am a fan of
  1. shynz0r
    Posts: 101

    Posted 04/01/2011 11:14 PM

    Great win.  One thing scares me though.  Once OKC gets some more offensive production in the paint they are going to be a frightening team.  If anybody questioned the value of Perkins on your roster before tonight... Just look at the Celts record versus OKC's since the trade.  It's amazing how much difference a big guy clogging the lane makes.  Especially when that big guy USES his weight.  The second he got benched with foul trouble Portland saw red and took the game.  I really liked watching our guys work but one thing I was made fully aware of over the course of tonight: Kendrick Perkins was an absolute steal for the Thunder.  If things play out like they are so far there's one other series I will be glued to: OKC and the Nuggets. 
    I am a fan of Rudy and Patty's off-court bromance.
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