Blazers/Suns Pre-Game Thoughts
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  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/17/2009 3:30 PM

    In a game that marks nearly the 1-year anniversary of Brandon Roy's 52 point heroic performance, the same two teams battle it out as the 17-8 Suns clash against the 15-11 Trail Blazers. Although the jerseys may read Suns and Blazers, the teams are not mirror images of where either was one year ago. Phoenix, then coached by Terry Porter, was a slower paced team than they are now, tried to incorporate Shaq into their offense and struggled mightily, whereas the Blazers were only nursing 1 injury, Martell Webster, and were on the short list of up and coming teams in the league. Instead of this game being a fight for home court advantage, it now looms as another hurdle the Trail Blazers must clear if they intend on making the playoffs for the 2nd consecutive year.

    As we all know, the Suns axed Blazer legend Terry Porter in favor of Alvin Gentry who has returned Phoenix to their former run and gun selves. To no one's surprise, they are tops in the NBA at points per game at 108.72, 3 point field goal percentage at 43.3%, and 2nd in overall field goal percentage by shooting a blistering 49.3%. Along with the rebirth of the run and gun style has been Steve Nash's re-emergence as an elite point guard. His numbers are up across the board since last year as he raised his scoring output by 2.6 a night (18.3 from 15.7), assists by 1.5 (11.2 from 9.7), and shooting nearly 3% better from the floor (.530 from .503).

    As a Blazer fan, it was a huge deal beating the Suns last year, because their style of play has hexed us in the past and it was rare to get a win over the Suns this decade since they signed Nash back in 2004. It took 52 from Roy to get a win last season, against what could be considered one of the weaker Suns teams. On the plus side for Portland, there is no Shaq, who always seemed to get up to play us, but replacing him is former Blazer Channing Frye, who is seeing a resurgence of his own in Phoenix. Frye's 12 points and 6 rebounds a night are more than double the output he produced in Portland and his 62 3 pointers made are only 2nd in the NBA to Danilo Gallinari's 64. It will be very interesting to see how Coach Nate tries to defend Channing. Does he put Joel on him, which would leave open the paint for the Suns as Channing likes to parade around the arc or does he put Joel on Amare and hope Stoudemire doesn't get him into early foul trouble?

    For reasons unknown and unexplainable, I really like the Trail Blazers in this game tonight. On paper, it looks like a mismatch, but the Suns are only a pedestrian 8-8 on the road and I think LaMarcus and Brandon have got a little pep in their step now. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Jerryd Bayless has another productive night and attacks the soft interior defense of Phoenix. The key to the game tonight will be Joel Przybilla and his ability to stay on the court for prolonged periods of time tonight. Without him, I think the Suns are too good an offensive team to not take advantage of his absence in the interior.

    Game 27 Prediction: Trail Blazers 104 Suns 101
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  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 12/17/2009 6:16 PM

    Love the optimism, but we are not a team built to defend the 8 seconds or less offense. I have visions of Nash dribbling around defense in my head and think this may be a tough night.
    Suns 110 Blazers 98
    Really hope I'm wrong, but with no Greg, Joel can only do so much to guard the paint. If Channing gets hot from downtown, it could get even uglier.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. Dan Harbison
    Dan Harbison
    Posts: 219

    Posted 12/18/2009 11:28 AM

    Channing got hot... yes. However, you can tell that he's not their crunch time guy. If they need points, cue Steve Nash and MAYBE Amare. I'm glad to see Bayless filling the role that Travis played last year. The second scorer in the 4th Quarter. We've been missing that 4th Quarter production and Jerryd is one of the guys on our roster that can create his own shot. Glad to see him be able to knock down those outside jumpers as well. That has been a big time improvement from last year. Great win last night.
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