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

    Posted 01/17/2010 6:52 PM

    After a great four game stretch that saw the Trail Blazers win comfortably against the Lakers, Bucks, Magic and nearly rally from 17 down to beat the Cavaliers, it is time for Portland (25-16) to hit the road for a four-game road trip that kicks off Monday morning in D.C. to face the struggling Wizards (13-26). As of this post (Sunday night), there has been no additional word as to whether Brandon Roy will be able to give it a go or not. My guess is that he'll be another game-time decision. Despite their NBA 4th worst record, the Wizards, even sans Arenas, have enough firepower with Jamison, Butler, Foye, Haywood, and Miller to beat any team on any night as shown by two early season wins over Cleveland and Orlando at the Verizon Center.

    Without Arenas, it will be difficult to measure true team statistics, so we can throw those out the window for tomorrow's game. I'm sure when people were playing schedule maker a week or two ago, this game, especially now without Gilbert, looked like a sure road win and a great way to start off the road trip. What I think a lot of people are sleeping on, is the fact the game will tip off at 10:00 AM PST. Portland has played the past two years on the road during MLK Day, with each tipping off around the same time and usually play the Raptors early Sunday morning, so they do have some experience playing extremely early tip offs. If Roy can't go, combined with the early start, we could have a very groggy Trail Blazers team on our hands.

    Portland will win this game and the all important first game of a road trip if they bring the energy. As mentioned, it is an early start, so it could affect the Wizards a bit as well. With Washington's performance being so lackluster after having so many expectations placed on themselves to start the year, the Verizon Center has been and will be a morgue. Sometimes for teams it is more challenging to create your own energy instead of feeding off of the opposing crowd. For the most part, the Wizard players know there will be no playoffs this year, so they are treating the rest of the season as an audition for other teams, whether it be for the trading deadline or free agency this summer. The earlier Portland can assert themselves as the dominant team, the better, as I feel like the Wizards will crumble and give up if Portland jumps out to an early double digit lead.

    With that all said, my X-Factor for tomorrow's game is point guard Andre Miller. Without Arenas, Randy Foye has been earning the start for Washington, and although he is 6'4", he doesn't possess the width to start Andre from doing work in the post. The younger Trail Blazers need to follow the lead of Miller as well as fellow veteran Juwan Howard as to how to go about their business early on. If Miller can score early on and keep the Blazers in the game as he is prone to do, I love our chances, because the one thing we can not afford to do is to give Washington early life with a slow, sluggish start. Instead of starting out shooting jump shots, attack the rim and watch the ball go through the hoop via the foul line, which is why I love Miller in tomorrow's game, because he has a knack for scoring in the paint.

    As much as the early start scares me, I really think the Blazers will take some of their momentum earned over this past week and use it to propel them to a victory. As unlikely as it sounds, especially considering the plethora of injuries, Portland is only 1.5 games out of 2nd place in the West and don't you think for one minute that the team doesn't know that either. They watch highlights and look at the standings. They are aware of how big every game is now. Outside of Miller, look for Aldridge to have another huge game as Portland pulls out the win. It will be very close through three quarters, but Portland who wants the game more, needs the game more, will surge away from Washington.
    Game 42 Prediction: Trail Blazers 97 Wizards 89
    I am a fan of
  1. BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 01/17/2010 7:43 PM

    If there was a game on this road trip where we could rest Roy, its the Wiz. Andre and LMA needs to play like they did the other night and be team leaders with Howard. Looking for Bayless to get more numbers in the stat sheet, Webster to continue his solid play, the rooks to play hard, and maybe Blake to throw down some mma moves on someone. I will be also be watching some of the Wiz players we may be trading for. GO BLAZERS!
    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
  1. Posted 01/17/2010 7:55 PM

    Yea bro you are probably right about resting Roy for this game. Hopefully his sore hammy has improved. I will be at the game tomorrow vs the Wiz, I hope I can get a chance to see him play, but I dont wanna risk further injury for him. Im sure he'll make the right decision. GO BLAZERS!!!!!!
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 01/17/2010 10:47 PM

    Rudy's gonna waste the Wizards, I'm thinking 5-6 threes, couple ally-oops, and some fancy SportsCenter highlight passes. Go Blazers!!
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/18/2010 2:05 AM

    Durrell, make a lot of noise! I'm sure all the Blazer fans in the house can represent well! I really hope Bayless has a better shooting outing than he had against Orlando. I too would probably rest Roy, as we will need him Tuesday at Philly..we never seem to beat Philly so a healthy, rested Roy could do wonders for us!
    I am a fan of
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