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

    Posted 01/20/2010 12:35 PM

    We've discussed house of horrors, but for this core group of players, the Philadelphia 76ers has been a team of horrors lately. With last month's 104-93 loss, which included getting outscored by 17 in the 2nd half, the Trail Blazers (25-17) are 1-5 in their last 6 games against Philadelphia (13-27). The good news for Portland is that guard Brandon Roy will return to action tonight after missing the previous two games with a sore hamstring. The Monday morning loss really put the Trail Blazers behind the 8-ball in terms of having a successful road trip. The Wizards were seen as being the most winnable game, followed by the Pistons game. Many fans were hoping for a 3-1 trip, but now 2-2 would be a Godsend. For whatever reason, even without former Trail Blazer killer, Andre Miller, the Sixers have our numbers.

    Again, with no Gregzilla, I fully expect their front-court of Samuel Dalembert, Elton Brand, and Mareese Speights to give our depleted bigs fits once again. Back on December 38th, those three players combined for 53 points, 19 rebounds, and 5 blocks. In fact, Brand had somewhat of a welcome back party against Portland as his 25 points tied a season-high and his 11 made field goals were the high mark for the year to date. We've seen Aldridge out-rebound Dwight Howard recently as well as grab 15 boards against the likes of Brendan Haywood, but he really needs to get scrap tonight and not only be a force on the glass, but not let Brand gain the critical post position he got in Portland. Whatever the reason, smaller, yet bulkier forwards such as Brand and Z-Bo, bother Aldridge as he can't use his length to disrupt their shot. I'm not sure Aldridge is built to stop Brand from bull-rushing him on the blocks, but what he can do is fight for position or even front him to deny the ball entering in the post at all.

    Just as he did in Washington, Andre Miller will once again be the catalyst and spark anything positive the Trail Blazers do tonight. Even with Roy back, I would like to see a lot of the offense set up through Andre. He'll most likely have the smaller Louis Williams on him and we should post up Dre until Philly decides to do something about it. Hopefully, Philly comes with a double team and the likes of Martell, Rudy, and Brandon are on from downtown.

    The key to the game will be field goal percentage. In the last meeting, Philly shot a scorching 57.7% from the floor, mainly from the paint as the 76ers dominated down low with 60 points. Portland just isn't a good enough offensive team to win by out-scoring opponents and if we play the type of matador defense we played with against Washington, this game could turn ugly. I'm going to go Mike Rice on this prediction and say that if Portland holds the Sixers to under 45% field goal shooting they will win and limit the points in the paint to under 45 as well.

    Unfortunately, with no Joel or Greg, I envision Brand and Dalembert giving Aldridge, Pendergraph, and Howard fits down low throughout the game. We couldn't stop them three weeks ago, even with a home court advantage, so I'm sure sure there is reason to believe we can do it on the road. I really do think we are the more talented squad, but it's one of those things where I need to see us finally beat this team before I can start predicting them to do so. Do I think we can win? Yes, most definitely. Do I think we will win? Unfortunately not.
    Game 43 Prediction: Trail Blazers 92 76ers 99
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  1. BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 01/20/2010 3:03 PM

    The Blazers are going to have to do everything right, and get some lucky bounces and rolls to chalk this one up in the win column. I was at that game in the garden and their front court dominated us, if we can have Brand not kill us would help but I think the three you mentioned will be the focus not to mention Iverson running around the court like a chicken with its head cut off. Will Roy go off being out 2 games? Will someone on the bench step up? Can LMA continue to play soild? We shall see in about an hour.
    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
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