Who Do We Want In The First Round Of The Playoffs?
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  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/07/2011 2:45 PM

    Which Team Do You Want The Blazers To Play In The 1st Round?
    San Antonio Spurs (14)
     11%
    Los Angeles Lakers (10)
     8%
    Dallas Mavericks (100)
     79%
    Oklahoma City Thunder (3)
     2%


    With only six days and four games remaining in the 2010-2011 regular season, the Trail Blazers have found themselves in familiar territory: they are playoff bound. But merely clinching a playoff spot does nothing to determine who the team will play in the First Round, yet. Scenarios run wild and our Trail Blazers could conceivably rise as high as 5th with a strong finish and some help from Denver's opponents or they could fall all the way down to 8th. And it likely won't be settled until the final night of the regular season as only one game in the loss column separates 6th from 8th in the Wild, Wild West. While 5th may be out of the realm of possibility, that doesn't mean any opponent in the Top 4 is any less likely to matchup with Portland. Although the Spurs are locked into the #1 seed and L.A. is a virtually guaranteed of claiming #2, the Thunder are charging hard on the Mavericks and the #3 seed, making it a free for all down the stretch. With that all said, who do you want to see the Trail Blazers face in the First Round? I'll break down the pros and cons of facing each of the Top 4 teams out West.




    San Antonio Spurs-
    Overall Record: 60-19
    Record Against Portland In 2011- 1-3
    Home Record- 35-5

    Pro-
    The Trail Blazers actually matchup very well with the top-seeded Spurs. Portland's length on the perimeter gives San Antonio fits and our ability to put the lanky, Nicolas Batum on Tony Parker for extended periods of time really can disrupt the Spurs offense. While the Spurs have experience matched only by the Celtics and Lakers, they are no spring chicken as Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili both just came back from injuries. Not only has Portland taken two of the last three games played at the AT&T Center, but the Trail Blazers have won the last SIX meetings in the Rose Garden.

    Con-
    In the Tim Duncan era, the Spurs have made the playoffs 13 times and only been eliminated twice in the first round and if I remember correctly, both defeats were due to injuries. They may be old, but Coach Pop has found a way to push the tempo, focusing the offense on Parker and Manu instead of Duncan and it's working. Although they lost six games in a row recently, they have bounced back to take the next two and have got Tim and Manu back healthy as well. Finally, winning against the Spurs in the regular season is one thing, but in the playoffs it's another.



    Los Angeles Lakers-
    Overall Record: 55-23
    Record Against Portland In 2011- 3-0 (1 to play in Portland)
    Home Record- 29-10

    Pro-
    The Trail Blazers and their fans can not stand the Lakers with a passion. And frankly, that's putting it mildly. This is the rivalry of Oregon, not Oregon-Oregon State. Sometime you'll get a lot of fans pulling for either school because they have family who went there or want to see a state school succeed, but not here, no way! There are no Blazers fans who want L.A. to do well in any shape or form. And when you have that type of dislike for another team, it can elevate your game to another level. Although Portland has lost their last two against L.A. in the Rose City, Portland had won the previous nine. The crowd steps it up to another level and the players feed off of that.

    Con-
    The downside is you must win a game on the road. Unfortunately, the Blazers would only have three home games in a playoff series with the Lakers. Also, the Lakers are a different beast come playoff time. They are finally starting to warm up to this rivalry and are taking us seriously, but Kobe and co. just know how to flip the switch and turn it up in April. With that all said, we haven't even mentioned how deep and talented this year's Lakers are. Not only can they go 8-9 deep, can stake claim to arguably the game'es best player (Kobe) and premier 6th Man (Odom), but they have the size down low to bother the shorthanded Blazers. If Camby's only able to go 20 minutes a night in the playoffs, who guards Gasol when LA moves over on Bynum? Finally, the Trail Blazers just haven't had the luck against the Lakers in the postseason, winning only two playoff series in 11 attempts, the last one being in 1992.




    Dallas Mavericks-
    Overall Record: 53-25
    Record Against Portland In 2011- 2-2
    Home Record- 26-12

    Pro-
    Portland has posted a 5-3 record against Dallas over the course of the last two seasons, including two, rare wins in American Airlines Arena. Dirk is arguably the most potent scorer in the League, but outside of Nowitzki, there really isn't much to fear with Caron Butler out. While Dallas has success normally with their small guards (Jason Terry, Roddy Beaubois, Jason Kidd, J.J. Barrea), Portland is much larger in the backcourt and has shown the ability to take advantage of that matchup down low. Finally, Portland has a plethora of defenders to throw at Dirk, including Aldridge, Batum, Wallace, and Camby, which could wear him out over the course of a seven-game series.  Did I mention the Mavs are prone to choking in the playoffs as well?

    Con-
    Just like the a potential matchup with the Lakers, Portland would still have to win a game in Dallas. I know they did it twice last season, but historically, American Airlines Arena has been a House of Horrors for the men in red and black. In their last 20 contests in Dallas, Portland has managed to come away victorious only four times. Even though the Blazers do have a lot of defenders to use on Dirk, he still has the ability to get home and carry a team, regardless of who's guarding him. Tyson Chandler has provided Dallas with some much needed toughness inside which they have lacked for years and have the luxury of bringing in Brendan Haywood for depth, so they have the size advantage. And while Jason Terry is having a down year by his standards, he's still averaging 15.9 points on 44.9% shooting and he's their money man in the 4th quarter. Regardless of how he's shooting, he'll tee up that 3 late in the game for the win without thinking twice.



    Oklahoma City Thunder-
    Overall Record: 52-26
    Record Against Portland In 2011- 3-1
    Home Record- 29-10

    Pro-
    Outside of Kendrick Perkins, the Trail Blazers have generally more playoff experience than the Thunder. Durant and Westbrook only got a taste last year but this will be Aldridge, Batum and Roy's third go-round, Camby has been to the Finals and Andre is no stranger to postseason play. A lot has been expected of OKC this year and they are definitely answering the challenge, but will they buckle under the playoff pressure of having home court? Being an 8th seed, like they were last year, is one thing. They played without a care in the world and impressed a lot of people with their performance against LA. But can they do it with the target on their back? Also, Gerald Wallace has figured out how to defend Durant, holding him to a 5-18 shooting performance on March 27th and shut him down in the second half on April 1st.

    Con-
    While Durant can possibly be slowed down, we haven't had an answer for Westbrook at all this year outside of the game played on April 1st. Over the four game season series, Russell has averaged 27 points, 8.5 rebounds,  and 6.3 assists in 39.2 minutes of game action. He's too fast for Dre and Wesley and too strong for Batum. The key is to force him to shoot jump shots, but if he starts hitting 3's, there's nothing you can do. Outside of Westbrook, OKC's new addition makes them a tough team to handle down low. Kendrick Perkins isn't going to "wow" anyone with his post moves but he plays great man defense and doesn't let many rebounds out of his sight. And finally they have Serge Ibaka, the young power forward who can come out of nowhere to swat shots and can't be left alone on the perimeter as he has extended his range well past 15 feet.

    I am a fan of
  1. BDawg
    BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 04/07/2011 3:15 PM

    Rest the tired, the battered, and the broken...San Antonio, with an energized Aldridge.  San Antonio is the only other team in the playoff picture out west with as thin a front court as Portland.  Dallas has two starting centers on their roster, and then there is Dirk.  The Mavs have waves to send at LA and MC up front.  Foul trouble at either the 4 or the 5 for Portland is skull and crossbones.  The February LA would dominate Splitter and the aging Duncan.  Think of the run the inconsistent bench would get in these last four games as well if you were to begin resting your keys.  If even ONE of them was able to hit a stride, think of the immediate benefits.  This is a no brainer for me.

    The only other likely alternative is to limp and crawl into Staples for one of four games with a tired, battered, and broken jumpshooting team.

    Unless CP3 goes down (and out) for the remainder of the season, the 6th seed is no longer realistic.  We made our bed with Golden State.  Now, they will be at home watching while we lay in it.
    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/08/2011 12:18 AM

    While the Golden State loss was tough to swallow, the loss to New Orleans is the one we could be kicking ourselves about.
    I am a fan of
  1. Posted 04/08/2011 1:49 AM

    Can someone explain the mutual hatred with the Lakers-as noted in earlier comment and publicly by Magic Johnson recently.A new Trail Blazers fan so looking for the background.
  1. Brandon Weinant
    Brandon Weinant
    Posts: 109

    Posted 04/08/2011 5:43 AM

    i dont hate the lakers. i hate specific players on the lakers team.

    kobe is a great basketball player. i've been known to cheer for him(unless hes playing against the blazers)
    odom is great as well. although i dont like him at all.
    i absolutely hate fisher for being so smug. although hes a family man. loves his family... cant hate him too much.

    but most blazers fans dont feel the sameway i do.
    I am a fan of defence.
  1. BrainLL1
    BrainLL1
    Posts: 44

    Posted 04/08/2011 9:47 AM

    One reason that I am not a fan of the Lakers is the fact that over the years their players, Kobe included, have gotten away with murder when it comes to the rest of the league.  They are just too damn good at everything they do on the court, and what's more, they know it.  Not once this season have the Blazers gotten a win over the Lakers, and that is the main reason why we don't want to face them if at all possible in the first or second round of the Playoffs.  We can't beat this Lakers team.
    I am a fan of the team with the brightest future, and wins more games than they lose.
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/08/2011 10:53 AM

    Ever since 5 year old me came home from a splendid screening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secret of the Ooze and found out the Lakers had knocked off my beloved Blazers in Game 1 of the 1991 WCF, I have disliked L.A. with a passion. With that said, I still don't want them in the First Round. Conference Finals? Yes! First Round? Heck No
    I am a fan of
  1. Herr
    Herr
    Posts: 643

    Posted 04/08/2011 2:01 PM

    Go for 6th.  NOH has a much harder schedule in these last 4 games.  Sure they'll beat Phoenix, but I guarantee that we'll be 6th if we win our remaining games.  I'd best take our chances against the Mavs than be instantly out by SAS and LAL.
    I am a fan of
  1. TayC
    TayC
    Posts: 1804

    Posted 04/08/2011 6:16 PM

    Posted By Brandon Weinant on 04/08/2011 5:43 AM
    i dont hate the lakers. i hate specific players on the lakers team.



    i think that if you "hate" a player on a different team, you are over investing way too much emotion into watching basketball.
    Hate is a strong word, and it shows that you have alot of emotional thought put into something.


    people hate the lakers because they are a good team, its not rocket surgery yo.
    People dislike the Yankess because not only are they one of the best teams, but the wealthiest in baseball.
    But what i think people misunderstand is that those teams have a reputation of being good, of winning.
    So of course if some hot shot player thinks he is the best, is most likley going to want to play with the best.

    The blazers could make a big statement by playing the Lakers in the first round, especially if they could knock them out. Boy would that change the deck up, and shut up the fan base of the lakers, ohh wee. But this season the blazers have been the lakers ; by definition, female dog. They have handed these 3 games over to them and i dont think they really do have any chance of standing strong in the first round against the lake show.

    Dallas has big time playoff trouble, they choke big time...all the time.
    OKC- may not have alot of playoff experience, but that really didnt matter last year when they almost broke the lakers, the team has only gotten better this year, players have been stepping it up big big big big time. i don think that is the poison you want to pick either.

    To be honest, and i never would of thought this, SA, it looks like portland just might have their card this season. The first place team, all season, to take them out in the first round, oh man, portland will have so much media , ya'll be beggin em to leave....
    Play em, and play them like it was one of the regular season games, dont invest to much thought into the game.
    i have a feeling its going to come down to, Aldridge and knowing when to shoot and pass the ball,and wesley mathews and the pressure of the playoffs. those are going to be big factors to offensive success.
    Defensive factors, all players are going to need to step it up. Make players work for their shots, extra hustle up and down the floor, and if one player starts to get hot, i say let them get hot on that san antonio team, i dont think they have a superstar who can single handedly win them a series, oh and if Manu heats up, just hit that fool in the GiNOSEble.ha
     

    I am a fan of The Blazers ♂, the £-Train, and of course, The ¤ King. ™
  1. CouchCoach
    CouchCoach
    Posts: 4

    Posted 04/08/2011 11:12 PM

    I think the Blazers can beat any of the top four teams if they come to play.

    San Antonio: No problem. Possible sweep, 5 games at he most.
    Dallas: Tougher, but should take the series in 5 or 6 games.
    OKC: Probable 7 game series but still should come out on top.
    Lakers: If the Blazers stay focused, and they believe in themselves, win in 7. One win in LA is so achievable.

    PS Never give up! Remember we swept the Lakers in 76-77 before going down two games and coming back to win an NBA title against the 76ers.
    I am a fan of the New Dynasty
  1. machwonder
    machwonder
    Posts: 92

    Posted 04/11/2011 5:02 PM

    Posted By CouchCoach on 04/08/2011 11:12 PM
    I think the Blazers can beat any of the top four teams if they come to play.

    San Antonio: No problem. Possible sweep, 5 games at he most.
    Dallas: Tougher, but should take the series in 5 or 6 games.
    OKC: Probable 7 game series but still should come out on top.
    Lakers: If the Blazers stay focused, and they believe in themselves, win in 7. One win in LA is so achievable.

    PS Never give up! Remember we swept the Lakers in 76-77 before going down two games and coming back to win an NBA title against the 76ers.

    So, lets just scrap this team and bring back the Giant Killers, cause that's what it will take to advance. This Blazer team is nowhere near the team of 76-77. I don't see the Blazer's getting pat the first round no matter who they play. Just being a Realist here.
  1. mdmgrand
    mdmgrand
    Posts: 18

    Posted 04/12/2011 6:44 AM

    I only want to see the Blazers play Dallas... Possibly San Antonio, but thats a long shot to make that work out, I don't even think it can anymore.... But realistically, Dallas is the only team I see them beating
    I am a fan of
  1. RemoteFan
    RemoteFan
    Posts: 4

    Posted 04/12/2011 8:26 AM

    1991 -- Lakers beat the Blazers team that would most certainly have won the championship
    2001 -- Lakers beat the Blazers in that oh so infamous Game 7 meltdown
    2011 -- Please, oh please. Payback.

    The dream is a championship all else are moral victories. Is it better to claim a moral victory by advancing to the second round, or by wishing for a dream victory. If, and its a BIG IF, we beat the Lakers, it blows the race wide open. Beating the Lakers is a HUGE confidence boost. This team could believe that it could win the whole thing; and even if they fall short, the confidence would certainly carry into next year.

    My dream is we beat the Lakers in the first round!
    I am a fan of
  1. Napoleon7
    Napoleon7
    Posts: 118

    Posted 04/12/2011 10:07 AM

    Dallas - we match up very well at the guard position against Dallas.  These matchups are the most lopsided in our favor than any other position matchups.  We can post up there smaller guards.  Roy, IMO, will be more of a weapon against Dallas than any other team.
    Outside of the Dallas matchup I truly think we have a chance against any of the other top 4 teams.  For with the acquisition of Wallace we can go big, but going big has the unique advantage of speed for us.  I think we actually get better, faster in the open court with the bigger lineup.  I don't see the likes of Duncan, Perkins or Bynum keeping up with our big lineup.
    I am a fan of
  1. Napoleon7
    Napoleon7
    Posts: 118

    Posted 04/12/2011 10:07 AM

    Dallas - we match up very well at the guard position against Dallas.  These matchups are the most lopsided in our favor than any other position matchups.  We can post up there smaller guards.  Roy, IMO, will be more of a weapon against Dallas than any other team.
    Outside of the Dallas matchup I truly think we have a chance against any of the other top 4 teams.  For with the acquisition of Wallace we can go big, but going big has the unique advantage of speed for us.  I think we actually get better, faster in the open court with the bigger lineup.  I don't see the likes of Duncan, Perkins or Bynum keeping up with our big lineup.
    I am a fan of
  1. barnettfan
    barnettfan
    Posts: 392

    Posted 04/12/2011 1:14 PM

    I dont hate the Lakers it is like TayC said they have the money to buy their championship teams let them do it. I cannot stand Kobe I think he is a whiny little ankle (3 feet lower than the "c" word) Nor do I like Gasol or Fill Jaxson. I would like to meet the Lakers in the first round for reasons I stated on another post. I think we can take them and when we do it will be downhill from there.
    I am a fan of
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