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

    Posted 02/10/2010 12:51 PM

    Portland (30-24) heads off to the valley of the sun to take on Phoenix (31-21) in the last game before the All-Star break. If it seems like the Blazers haven't played in Arizona in a long, long time, well, it is because they haven't. Oddly enough, both of the Blazer trips to Phoenix last season occurred in November of 08, essentially making it 14 months since playing in Arizona. The less trips to the desert the better for Portland as US Airways Center does not treat the our team kindly with losses in nine straight meetings and only two wins in 17 tries since the beginning of the 2000-01 season. Add to the fact the Suns are a solid 18-6 at home, current owners of a five-game winning streaks, and their uptempo pace doesn't match up too well with our personnel.

    The up and down, frantic pace the Suns play at on a nightly basis is difficult enough to handle on a regular night, but the Blazers are playing on the second night of a back to back, while the Suns have been off since Friday night. Also, if you factor in an NBA-high 54 games played prior to tonight, the Blazers have got to be mentally exhausted as well as physically banged up and the thought of an All-Star break to re-charge the batteries is looking better and better by the minute, which means the team could be looking ahead to their time away from hoop instead of focusing on the task at hand tonight. Portland added veterans Andre Miller and Juwan Howard specifically to handle situations such as this and to always have the team with their eyes on the prize, but the team can't hang their hat on recent good play or having their superstar to bail them out. The team has lost three straight and only are 3-6 in their last 9.

    For Portland to have any chance at getting a W tonight, they must guard the three point line. Phoenix is tops in the league in bombing away from downtown, shooting an astounding 40.8% as a team. The Suns possess three of the top 20 3-point shooters in terms of made field goals, with Channing Frye 3rd making 119, Steve Nash 13th by nailing 91, and Jason Richardson rounding out the top 20 with his 83 treys. Throw in Jared Dudley who's 74 bombs are no slouch considering he shoots 47.1% from downtown, good enough for 3rd in the league, Phoenix is loaded with gunslingers with quick trigger fingers when it comes to letting them loose from downtown. The Blazers must play with a purpose tonight on defense and close out on the Sun shooters, along with putting up a hand in their face. If they [Portland] come out with their tail between their legs and heads hung low, it will be a field day for the Suns on offense.

    The Trail Blazers are a jump shooting team first, but there is no way they can or should try to win a shooting contest with the Suns. One of the main reasons Portland was able to rally for the 105-102 victory back on December 17th was attacking the rim, which lead to 35 free throw attempts. A lot of the damage was done by Jerryd Bayless who had a then career-high of 29 points (9-15) by getting to the rim and forcing the officials to blow their whistles to the tune of 12 trips to the foul line for JB. Jerryd has been in a little bit of a rut lately with his jump shot, but he is one player who's confidence will never waver, even through the peaks and valleys of an NBA season.

    Personally, I think this will be a game where only the die-hard fans will tune in and watch till the bitter end. The Blazers are in a downward spiral right now, tired, not playing well, and looking ahead to the rest of five days off which will end up in a Suns blowout victory. As mentioned, they are the polar opposites of Portland right now, winners of five straight, playing at home, and have had a staggering four days rest between games. This one will feel much like the first game in Utah, over before the tip. Look for Phoenix to jump out on us early and often, as they will smell the blood in the water.
    Game 55 Prediction: Trail Blazers 87 Suns 110
    I am a fan of
  1. BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 02/10/2010 2:24 PM

    I'll be supporting the team tonight, even though the odds are against us. Its been a weird season so anything is possible the Suns might be looking forward to a break too and not be as sharp and we can catch them off guard and get  a win, who knows. Maybe Nate will do more line-up changes and see if something can work for him. Give me something positive to take into the break guys!
    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 02/10/2010 4:25 PM

    A wet n' soggy Portland team might be able to mess up the warm, dry weather down there. Go Blazers!!
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
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