Blazers/Bucks Pre-Game
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/13/2010 12:49 PM

    After a couple days off, Portland (23-16) embarks on the fourth game of their five-game home-stand tonight to take on the up and coming Milwaukee Bucks (15-20). Other than obviously trying to stay in the race for the NorthWest divisional crown, the Trail Blazers should have revenge on their minds tonight, after dropping a double overtime thriller, 108-101, to the Bucks in Milwaukee this past December. Milwaukee recently learned that their most recognizable player from the last decade, Michael Redd, has torn his ACL & MCL, and will miss the rest of the regular season and his career in basketball could be in jeopardy.

    It looks like the Trail Blazers are catching the Bucks just at the right time, unlike last December's meeting where the Bucks were flirting with a .500 record and Brandon Jennings was the toast of the NBA. Now, the Bucks have dropped 5 games below .500, are 4-6 in their last 10 games, and an abysmal 4-13 overall on the road. Even better news for Portland is the fact it looks like Jennings has the the proverbial "Rookie Wall". In his last 10 games, Jennings' scoring is at 12.8 a game, down from his seasonal average of 18.2, with assists and rebounds down by less than 1 per night. The biggest drop off has been the shooting percentages. Over the past 10, he is shooting 32.9% from the field and a horrendous 25.4% over his last 5 outings. Once a stunning 49.3% three-point shooter in November, Jennings has came back down to earth by shooting 33.3% during his last 10 and 28% in the midst of his worst 5 game shooting slump of his young career. If you remember correctly, Jennings did not attempt one single shot in the first half of the last meeting, but ended up with 18 points, 11 assists, and 4 rebounds, including the game tying mid-range jump shot to send the game into double overtime. Hopefully for Portland Jennings continues his shooting slump and shoots his team out of the game.

    One person Portland needs to watch out for though is Andrew Bogut. Even with Joel Przybilla defending him last December, he devoured our defense to the tune of 27 points (12-19), 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks. LaMarcus and Juwan, try as they might, just are not centers and will have their hands full tonight with Bogut who is a full inch taller than LaMarcus and well over 20 lbs heavier. Not quite the disparity we saw Sunday night when they matched up with Shaq, but Bogut is much more agile and has more stamina which will help him play over 30 minutes tonight. Although the Bucks are a middle of the pack NBA team when it comes to shooting the three, 35.6% and 13th best, with Jennings being in such a monumental slump and Michael Redd out for the year, only Luke Ridnour (.410) and Ersan Ilyasova (.354) shoot over 35% from three with over 100 attempts. If I am Coach Nate, I take my chances with the other Bucks shooting threes and throw multiple variations of double teams at Bogut to fluster and frustrate him so he doesn't single handily lead them to a W tonight.

    Just as Portland has no answer for Bogut, the Bucks have absolutely no idea how to handle LaMarcus. In the last matchup, Aldridge had a field day, going for 31 points (13-22) and grabbed 11 rebounds. He made the most noise by running the break and being rewarded with pinpoint passes from our guards. The Trail Blazers need to play lock-down defense, force turnovers, defensive rebound, and do whatever it takes to get out and RUN, RUN, RUN! I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is not a better big man at running the floor. A lot of people scoff at his numbers this season (16 and 8), but if we made a more conscious effort to play to his strengths (pushing tempo), he could easily be above 20 a night. During the game, I will be looking at LaMarcus and seeing if he gets it rolling, how does he react. Does he demand for the ball, does he get a swagger to his game, or will he just go on even keel? Personally, I want to see some fire in him and yell at a teammate if he doesn't get the ball.

    During the gauntlet of games, Portland swung and miss when they lost against Memphis, one of their best chances of winning a game this month and they can't make the same mistake by letting this one slip through their hands. The key to the game is all about intensity. They brought it for the Lakers but didn't have that level against Cleveland for the first half, which showed in the score. With the West being as tight as it is, Portland needs every single win against single sub-.500 foes, which Milwaukee is. I think Roy will be Roy, nothing more, nothing less, but LMA will be the star of the game tonight. I feel the double teams will come at Bogut and throw his game off and Jennings will continue to struggle. For the first time in what seems like forever, I think the Trail Blazers will have a blowout on their hands tonight.
    Game 40 Prediction: Trail Blazers 103 Bucks 88
    I am a fan of
  1. BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 01/13/2010 1:09 PM

    I'm hoping Portland goes to Aldridge early and offen, and perhaps a good scoring game for D.C. Maybe the sight of Rudy on the floor will get the crowd juiced tonight and the Garden will be rockin'. Some Buffalo Wild Wings then im off to the Garden!
    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/13/2010 2:37 PM

    Any score predictions from you?
    I do think that any lack of energy from the crowd, if there is some, will be pushed to the side once Rudy checks in for the first time.
    PDX sure does love them some Rudy!
    I am a fan of
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 01/13/2010 2:44 PM

    I think it'll be a closer game, but Portland should win 97-91. Bogut is too much in the middle, but I really think Andre Miller will be the key to victory tonight as he will school the Young Buck Brandon Jennings and teach him a few things.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 01/13/2010 2:50 PM

    I'll say 103-97, I want a win and Chalupas. :-P
    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
  1. Posted 01/13/2010 6:46 PM

    yeh i do agreee with what you said
    I am a fan of Wesley Matthews
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