Trail Blazers 107 @ Suns 125 Game Thread
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  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/15/2012 10:18 PM

    Will Luke Babbitt re-set his career-high before the season is over?
    YES (4)
     67%
    NO (2)
     33%


    April 16, 2012
    6:00 PM | US Airways Center | Phoenix, AZ
    Trail Blazers (28-33) vs. Suns (31-29)

    When the Trail Blazers lace 'em up for Game No. 62 of this 2012 season, there could be a lot of players in suits instead of warmups. Comcasts' Chris Haynes was first to report that Ray Felton could have just played his last game as a Trail Blazer. Not only is Ray headed back to South Carolina to deal with the passing of his uncle but the team approached him about wanting to get a better look at Jonny Flynn and Nolan Smith and Ray obliged. There is still no word as to why Jamal Crawford sat out Sunday's game in Sacramento, so its anybody's guess as to whether or not Jamal will suit up or not. And, probably the most important player update, Nicolas Batum is expected to sit out of Monday's game against the Suns as he said he was experiencing more pain in that left quad. With just five games to go and a playoff berth highly unlikely to happen, it may be the wise bet to just sit Batum down. No need to risk his health, especially with Nic wanting to play for France in the Olympics and his upcoming free agency in July.

    Here are the exact quotes from Chris Haynes-
    Nicolas Batum says he was in serious pain today (left quad tendonitis). He says he expects to sit tomorrow versus the Phoenix Suns as well. 
    Raymond Felton's uncle passed away today (heart attack) and he's going to have to fly to South Carolina sometime soon. 
     Chad Buchanan says they want to evaluate Jonny Flynn, Nolan Smith and he says Felton is all for it. Could be Felton's last gm as Blazer.
    What does that all mean for Monday's game in Phoenix? I'd bet that Jonny Flynn will get the nod against Steve Nash and the Suns after a solid 9 point, 5 assist, 4 rebound performance against the Kings, which included a couple of crunch-time buckets. You can pencil in Wes Matthews at the 2-guard, because Wesley doesn't miss games. Period. Luke Babbitt will most likely get the start at small forward, JJ Hickson will continue to man the power forward position in Aldridge's absence, and Joel Pryzbilla should start the rest of the way at center. Don't be surprised to see Thabeet in the starting lineup, especially since this is the second night of a back-to-back and Joel's ankles are giving him hell.

    Honestly, the Trail Blazers better come ready to play. I know with the season winding down, it can be easy to look forward to that beach vacation. And you know the Suns, now just one game behind Houston for 8th, is chomping at the bit to get a win. Phoenix has already torched us once in the Valley of the Suns early in January, let's hope we learned out lesson. This will be just one of the many tests for Coach Canales. I'm already a believer in his motivational tools, but if he can get the Blazers fired up for this one and keep us within striking distance, I'll be more then pleased. On the other hand, with Portland suiting up a bunch of young players who truly cherish their playing time and are finally seeing all of the sweat equity of practice pay off in extended minutes, effort shouldn't really be in doubt. Our boys will bring it. They may be short-handed, but under Coach Kaleb, when have they ever not brought the intensity and energy 100% of the time?

    What To Watch For


    J.J. Hickson - Can J.J. continue his double-double streak? He currently has four in a row, more then any Trail Blazer so far this year, and should be able to pound the glass against a Phoenix team who allows the eight most rebounds per game. But, can J.J. get back into the scoring groove? We know he can rebound and catch alley-oops, but can he score in the post? Can he hit the mid-range jumpers. These facets of his offensive arsenal are what I want to see unleashed in Phoenix.



    Hasheed Thabeet -The official stats only credited Sheem with one block, but if you watched the game live or saw any of the highlights, you knew that number was closer to three. Along with going all Dwight Howard on the lob from Batum, Thabeet was a beast on the defensive end. I hope he gets 24+ minutes in Phoenix and continues to show that defensive ability that helped him earn back-to-back Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors.



    Game Highlights: Trail Blazers At Suns


    I am a fan of
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 04/16/2012 3:15 AM

    Put Rhino in Coach! The Suns don't have anyone that can move that guy.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 04/16/2012 1:49 PM

    Please sit Batum. There is NO NEED to further injure him in a meaningless game. Also, please continue to sit Felton and Crawford as watching them play sets basketball back at least 14 years. Bring on Flynn, Luke, Rhino, and Hasheem. Keeping this bad boy under double-digits is what I'm hoping for tonight!
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 04/16/2012 2:24 PM

    Give Hickson and Babbit 20 shots tonight
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/16/2012 2:57 PM

    I really want to see Luke just catch and shoot. Too many times he does the pump fake and dribble drive into the defense. Sometimes it works out, but he's got such a quick release, go ahead and pull the trigger on the shot.
    I am a fan of
  1. daddylogan
    daddylogan
    Posts: 188

    Posted 04/16/2012 3:32 PM

    Well, I said in chat a few times and I will say it here one last time. I, as a life long fan and a person who has watched every game for the last 4 years, am pretty pissed off about all this sitting players out to see the young guys play. I was especially pissed off about Crawford not playing last night. Why? Because in my opinion and many, many other fans, until your are mathematically eliminated from the playoff chase you play your best and most consistent players and you make a push no matter what because ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. I EXPECT the blazers to play  for the playoffs until that final glimmer of hope has vanished and basically giving that game away to the Kings yesterday just lit my fuse for the first time in a long time.

    I can completely understand the "sitting" concept when we no longer have a chance at ANY playoff birth, but until then my friend, I want to see my blazers do what they get paid for and that is to suck it up and get out there and play the best they can.

    Also all this talk about Thabeet. Now come on folks...this guy is NOT going to blossom into anything worth keeping around. Just another "no offence" center who is awkward with the ball and had other players pulling down rebounds around all over the place yesterday...heck, look how many time the Kings just drove the ball right in at him and layed it in. Sorry, you cannot teach grace and instinct and he does not have these. He reminds me of LaRue Martin back in the day and we all know (those of you who were fans in "72) what happened with that!!! Part of the problem with Blazer fans is they fall in love with the person and not what he is getting paid to do...which brings to me another point...I love Joel as a person and for his effort, BUT he is not worth keeping around any longer under any circumstance! Ever wonder why everyone is doubling LMA or closing on our outside shooting making shots more difficult??? It is because they know that unless Joel get's the ball 1 inch from the rim, he is not an offensive threat...and on defense, he cannot jump...simple...and he is our STARTER!!!!! You want a winning Blazer team, then go get a center like David Lee (which, in my opinion I think we should) and watch what happens.

    Also, what happened to playing the Rhino and where did Kurt Thomas go???? Geez Louise~ I know Kurt is old but these guys hit shots and are much more of a force then Thabeet will ever be.

    Anyhow, sorry for the long rant but I am ticked off after yesterdays game and as a fan I am disappointed that we have not gave it our all to get a playoff berth. I sure hope to see JC in the lineup tonight and at least hope Rhino gets 7-10 minutes. In any case...GO BLAZERS and play your hearts out tonight for the fans.

    peace out,
    daddylogan
    I am a fan of THE LITTLE GIANT...DAMIAN LILLARD!!!
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 04/16/2012 3:41 PM

    Nope, he needs to learn, needs to get comfortable. THROW IT DOWN BIG MAN!!
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 04/16/2012 4:54 PM

    ^^^ Babbitt that is
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 04/16/2012 4:54 PM

    Thabeet is garbage he is good as a third center and can give you a few fouls maybe a block or two and couple rebounds off the bench
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 04/16/2012 4:59 PM

    Posted By cmeese47 on 04/16/2012 4:54 PM

    Thabeet is garbage he is good as a third center and can give you a few fouls maybe a block or two and couple rebounds off the bench





    Have you even watched the last 2 games? Thabeet has been the most exciting player on the court!! Blazers want the younglings to show them something. Well.... Thabeet most definately is.

     Don't go trusting that stat line. He's getting more blocks then the courtside stat nerds are giving him credit for.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 04/16/2012 5:31 PM

    LMAO at 7'3" dude should be blocking everything in sight but a couple blocks and a nice dunk does not make a good player
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. bar24bis
    bar24bis
    Posts: 24

    Posted 04/16/2012 6:42 PM

    yep
    I am a fan of The NBA Championship in Portland ending with DL going Rip City!
  1. stacksfan2005
    stacksfan2005
    Posts: 363

    Posted 04/16/2012 8:16 PM

    i just want to know where is the rhino? joel just rolled his ankle, you can play hickson at center but you can't stick rhino in at the 4 for a bit? the rhino turns nothing into 2 points every chance he gets, why not give him some time? especially when joel rolls his ankle and thabeet looks flat and unmotivated. thabeet could be a beast if he'd cop an attitude, someone like joel needs to slap him. if you put joels heart in half our players we'd be champions. this team pisses me off.
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/16/2012 9:32 PM

    Even though we lost, it was good to see Luke show what he's got. He set a new career-high, and did so in through three quarters, by scoring 18 points and connected on 4-9 from downtown. If he could just be more aggressive, he'll be alright. I really loved seeing him catch the ball in transition, maybe 2-3 steps from beyond the line and just drill a deep 3. It was very Chris Mullin-esque. I think he'll definitely re-set that career-high before it's all said and done this season.
    I am a fan of
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/16/2012 10:21 PM

    Posted By daddylogan on 04/16/2012 3:32 PM
    Well, I said in chat a few times and I will say it here one last time. I, as a life long fan and a person who has watched every game for the last 4 years, am pretty pissed off about all this sitting players out to see the young guys play. I was especially pissed off about Crawford not playing last night. Why? Because in my opinion and many, many other fans, until your are mathematically eliminated from the playoff chase you play your best and most consistent players and you make a push no matter what because ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.
    Honestly, the way Jamal has played this year, I don't think he is helping Portland win games. He is strictly a one-on-one player who thrives on taking tough, contested shots. And, up until this season, he was hitting them. But with those type of player, if they aren't hitting their shot, they aren't bringing a whole lot to the table.
    I am a fan of
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/16/2012 10:22 PM

    My favorite highlight of the night..Thabeet Says NO!-
    I am a fan of
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/16/2012 10:39 PM

    Post-Game Quotes:
    Coach Kaleb Canales on tonight's game-

    “We talked about one of the points of emphasis was them coming our really aggressive in the first quarter and they did. We never want to give up 30 point quarters, we gave up three tonight. Our emotions right now is that tonight we had a tough loss on the road. I guess that goes with being in the moment. We’ve got to find a way to get better and that’s at practice tomorrow and working toward Wednesday’s game. I just don’t think we got consecutive stops tonight. I can’t remember if we ever got three or four consecutive stops and they shot, I think, a season high 60% from the field. We can’t allow that and our defense needs and will continue to get better.”

    Jamal Crawford on officially being eliminated from the playoffs-
    “It’s disappointing, especially playing in the playoffs the last couple of years.  I know the Blazers have been in the playoffs the last couple of years. It’s been a trying season though but if we could take one positive out of it it’s to see these young guys get better and see Kaleb get better each game as well as each of us try to end on a positive note.”
    J.J. Hickson on not being able to get over the hump-

    “We cut it to nine but we couldn’t close the gap. Coach drew up a good defensive plan but we didn’t go out and execute it. When the Coach draws up a defensive plan like he did we have to go out and execute it. We did a horrible job at it. “

    Hickson on his performance-

    “I just wanted to attack. I just decided to be more aggressive at the offensive end but that’s not where the ball game is won. It’s won on the defensive end and we have to do a better job of playing defense.”

    I am a fan of
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 04/17/2012 12:34 AM

    Cha-Lu-Pa! Ch-Lu-Pa!! Oh wait .... it was a road game.

    Hey, at least we're not Timberwolves fans. Those poor chaps have lost 10 in a row ): Bobcats anyone? They've dropped 17 in a row! What's the record for NBA losing streaks again??

    This game was exciting at times. More so for Suns fans, but none the less, I enjoyed watching the Blazers young guys get some extended minutes. These back 2 backs are so tough. They'll be better prepared and show more energy, epecially on defense, in Wednesday's game vs. the Jazz. Lookout Utah!!
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/17/2012 2:25 PM

    Worst part for the Wolves? They have no draft to look forward to. They surrendered their 2012 pick a long time ago and now it has made its rounds to the Hornets.
    I am a fan of
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