Blazers/76ers Pre-Game Thoughts
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/28/2009 11:13 AM

    The Portland Trail Blazers (20-12) look to continue their 4 game winning streak tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers (7-22). Portland was swept last year against Philly, but the main contributor to those losses for Portland is now wearing the red and black, Andre Miller. A lot of people knew the Sixers would struggle a bit this year, but 2nd worst in the East is a bigger fall than most expected. Obviously they are feeling the loss of Miller and Elton Brand, since the day he has arrived in the City of Brotherly Love, has fit like a square peg in a round hole. His averages over the past two seasons of 13 points and 8 rebounds are a far cry away from the days of consistent 20-10 nights.

    Both teams have some of the lower scoring offenses in the league at about 92 a game, the difference is on the defensive end of the floor. Philadelphia is 10th worst in the NBA by giving up nearly 102 a night and while even without their 3 best defenders, Portland is still 3rd best in the L by stymieing opponents to a mere 92 a game. Maybe the Sixers just aren't clicking like the Blazers weren't earlier on this year, because they have a decent team on paper? Guys like Louis Williams, Thad Young, Willie Green, Elton Brand, Mareese Speights, Iguodala, and Jason Kapono are all offensively minded players, yet they can only muster 92? Coach Nate will let them know about their talent to ensure the Blazers do not overlook this team. Brandon Roy will have his hands full with the athletic Iguodala defending him, but with an injury to his ribs, causing them to bruise, it could slow down AI enough to let Roy operate.

    Outside of Iguodala, the one player who has the physical ability to wreak havoc on both ends of the floor is big Samuel Dalembert. His shot blocking abilities could keep the paint on lock from Jerryd and Brandon and he has the size and length to keep possessions alive on the offensive glass. I would be a bit more worried if Philly actually had a true point guard able of getting him the ball down low, but Louis Williams is shoot first, ask questions later type of guards, who in 34 minutes of action can't even hand out 5 helpers a game. Portland can't afford to have the paint entirely closed so they might get a few shots sent back, but as long as a few of these drives end in a foul called on Dalembert, it will be worth it. We can not afford to be a strictly jump shooting team. You live by the 3, you die by the 3.

    With Denver's most recent loss to Dallas last night and Billups' availability in question, the schedule could not have lined up any more perfectly for the Trail Blazers, as eight of the next nine games will be played in the Rose Garden. Shocking to everyone, including myself, the Blazers are only a half game out of 3rd place in the West and first place in the Northwest Division. Given all of the injuries, I doubt they take any opponent for granted and realize the time to make a playoff push is now. Roy is playing his best basketball, Bayless is arriving, Blake is getting his accuracy back, Juwan is a rebounding machine, and the team is giving the extra fight it takes to win games. I believe Philly will stay close through 3 quarters, but then the magic of Brandon will take over down the stretch and extend the winning streak to five games.

    Game 33 Prediction: Trail Blazers 97 76ers 93

    I am a fan of
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 12/28/2009 4:41 PM

    Good analysis, but i think this will be over after the 1st quarter. Portland is on a mission right now and Roy is leading the way. I think Roy further cements his case to be a lock for the All-Star game with Miller and Bayless following closely behind. LMA will continue to be a beast on the glass, but for whatever reason will double him and not Brandon. Whatever. Philly can pick their poison, Roy or LaMarcus, either one will burn them.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 12/28/2009 4:43 PM

    Miller knows some of their plays, Blake is scoring in bunches, and Roy and LA are holdin' the fort down. But tell you what, this Blazer team is fun to watch.
    Ya'll ever seen the movie "Rounders"? John Malkovich plays the part of a mean russian poker player (KGB), and in the movie he freaks out after he loses a big game, exclaiming "All night long! Check! Check! Check! He tricked me!!" That's what this Blazer team seems to be doing, keeping the game close then POW! Their worn out opponents got nothin' left at the end. Go Blazers! Be like Matt Damon!?!
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 12/28/2009 4:54 PM

    The Philly loss last year was a back-breaker in terms of playoff position and they always seem to have our number, so I hope we can put them away early tonight so we can rest of Brandon.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
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