mikebarrett

Apr 14

It's Dallas in Round One

By mikebarrett
It's the matchup just about every Blazer fan was asking for, and now they've got it.  To be honest, it was the matchup every team in the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff race wanted. 

Don't think Dallas hasn't been hearing every bit of that.

We had to wait a while on Wednesday night, and in fact were already off the air by the time the Lakers had finally dispatched the Sacramento Kings in overtime.  Things were very much up in the air until that game ended.  When the Kings took a three-point lead in the final seconds, we were mentally starting to check into our hotel in Los Angeles, preparing for a series with the Lakers.  Then, Kobe changed everything.

Then we made our usual trip to the Portland locker room to check the reaction to the knowledge that we'd be flying to Dallas on Friday and not L.A.  Taking a page out of Nate McMillan's book, the players showed no real reaction either way.  This team has gotten very good at simply taking things as they come.  Going into the final night of the regular season, the Blazers knew they had done all they could to get the best seed possible.  That was all Nate had talked about.

But now, finally, we can start planning, looking ahead, and sizing up the matchup.

I sit about five rows behind the Blazer coaching staff on our team plane.  No one ever sleeps, and they rarely take time to even enjoy a meal.  The minute we get on the plane the laptops open up, and the game DVDs start rolling.  Before the door had even closed on the plane in Oakland, McMillan was carefully watching video of the Mavericks.  It would roll for a minute, then he'd pause it, rewind, watch a few more times, jot a few notes, and then move on to the next play.  Again, this isn't unusual.  I'm sure wherever Rick Carlisle was last night he was doing the same exact thing.

Let the chess match begin. 

The Trail Blazers know they are the underdogs in the series.  The Mavericks, meanwhile, are insisting that they are the team that's got the chip on their shoulder.  They know Portland wanted them, and they know that because of the Blazers' length, strength, and ability to be physical, they've got to be ready for a war.

"The feeling is, we've got something to prove," Jason Terry told the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday night.  "We're a team that everyone wants to play, for some reason or another.  I guess it's good in a way.  They're going to get their shot, one by one."

Carlisle doesn't have to be reminded that many people consider the Mavericks to be a little soft, and perhaps not up to the challenge of standing toe-to-toe with the Trail Blazers.

"We're going to go into this thing with guns blazing," he told the Dallas Morning News.  "There are a lot of doubters.  That's OK.  We never said we could talk our way to a winning run in the playoffs.  We know we have something to prove in every game and every series."

Teams look for inspiration and motivation wherever they think they can find it.  Clearly, the Mavericks are trying to talk themselves into the idea that Portland should be the favorite.  It's an attempt to generate a kind of our-backs-are-against-the-wall kind of feeling.

The Blazers won twice in Dallas last season, and both games in Dallas this year came down to the wire.  Of course, the Blazers didn't have Gerald Wallace in those contests.  With him, Portland beat Dallas twice at the Rose Garden, blowing them out on April 3rd.

Wallace will be a huge factor, of course, but isn't the main key to Portland winning the series.  What Dallas does to slow down LaMarcus Aldridge is going to be what decides this.  Tyson Chandler, among other Mavs, will get the assignment.

I don't have to tell you how good Aldridge has been against Dallas this season.  In fact, it was in Dallas, on December 15th, when Aldridge seemed to flip a switch and took his game to the next level.  He was nearly unstoppable in the second half, and put 35 points on Chandler and the Mavericks.  Of course, Dallas won that game.  But, Aldridge will have to have a very good series for Portland to stand a chance to pull the upset.

It'll be extra special for Aldridge as well.  He wanted Dallas in the playoffs for a different reason.  That's his hometown.  That's where his mother is battling cancer, and has been too ill to travel much this season.  She won't have to now, and won't have to settle for watching her son on TV.

We've seen some memorable moments inside American Airlines Center in the past couple of years.  That's where Joel Przybilla's career changed, when he blew out his knee last season.  In that same game Brandon Roy injured his shoulder, and the Blazers still won.  It was where Andre Miller put up 52 points last season, another game the Blazers won.  And, as stated above, it was on that court where Aldridge turned into a prime-time player.

What's next?  We'll find out soon.

Game 1 is Saturday.

Buckle up.

 

50 Comments

  1. What a change in perception among the league over the past few years. 2 years ago, when we went up against Houston in the 1st round, nobody would've referred to the Blazers as having "length, strength, and ability to be physical." The team has evolved over the past few years and the addition of Gerald Wallace and Wesley Matthews on defense is a huge part of that.

    And I am so happy for LaMarcus that his mom will be able to watch this series. LaMarcus always plays well in Dallas, and now he has even more motivation to do so.

    Bring on the Mavs!

    by krizzikinz on 4/14/2011 9:47 AM
  2. Can't wait for the games to start! I'm super excited! I'll be at least one if not two of the first home games.

    Looks like Dallas is really going to use the fact everyone was hoping to play them. We got what we wanted, I just hope this isn't one of those cases of watch out what you wish for because you just might get it and it not turn out like you hoped.

    GO BLAZERS!!

    by mgb on 4/14/2011 10:01 AM
  3. So, I like telling stories. Here's mine.

    With all due respect, with what was happening around the league, I wasn't watching the Blazer game. I like our guys and all but, I had no real interest. I watched the Mavs play. Jumpshot after jumpshot after jumpshot. They blew out NOH, but it was quite easy to see that NOH could have flipped their normal game switch on and win the game. I kind of wish that happened, to prevent the near heart attack I almost got watching the Lakers blow an 18 point lead. (with the Thunder losing, if the Mavs lost we'd still have been going against them). Seeing NOH start to pull away in the first half, I felt like a wolf watching a dying deer in front of me, but I was chained up and had the deer walk up to me. Now that dying deer is right in front of us, ready to become a meal. Folks, it's deer season for these Blazer wolves.

    After the quick celebration, I watched the first five minutes of the Blazer game before Sactown vs Lakers happened. blah blah blah, the game went to the 4th quarter, Lakers up 18... okay cool. Since it's trash day in my neighborhood, I got that prepared, appears the Kings did too. I came back to the game, saw it cut to 10 and was a bit nervous. Got a phone call, so I turned off the game and box scored watch. Saw it cut to 4 with plenty of time left... panic button hit. Saw it tied, was freaking out on Twitter, and saw the Lakers down by 3. There was a laundry list of things popping into my head. The first being holy crap, we're playing the Lakers. Second being, "okay, we can beat them right? They've been struggling". Third being, "lucky Hornets..." Fourth being, after some time has passed... "KOBE!!!!!!!!!!"

    The entire time I was shaking. I turned on the radio since I know the Blazers were watching it, and heard Wheeler give an awesome play-by-play like he does for the Blazers, trying to prevent himself from getting into it. When Odom was fouled and scored, his resistance was futile and the emotions came out. I felt the same way. My goodness.

    After that, I became nervous. We got exactly what I wanted. All signs are pointing towards a Blazer victory and first round upset. We have the opportunity.

    After watching NOH give the game away, you saw that their morale is down. They finally get to the post season, but are likely not going to win a game. Their game @Memphis and vsUtah were missed opportunities. Dallas needed to win last nights game to get what THEY wanted, but they could have easily lost it the way they were playing compared to the way NOH played. If Portland leaves in the first round, we'll know it was a HUGE missed opportunity. And although Dallas has the better record, and has home court, their history, and their own fans mocking them is making them the underdog. Even though the idiots on NBA.com like Sekou Smith are saying "Portland has this and this and this and this (All good stuff), but Mavs in 6" without any explanations, I still would think the Mavs are the underdogs. Portland needs to come out and play 100% every game. I feel they played really sluggish in the first 2 games, and could have won. If they play playoff basketball, Blazers in 5. I wouldn't mind in 6 though, to win in the RG, but there really is no excuse coming this far after everything that happened and lose to the Mavs after working so hard to get this opportunity. Blazers in 6 at the most. No excuses losing to a jumpshot team that feeds on the below .500 teams to get 50 wins.

    by Herr on 4/14/2011 10:04 AM
  4. Mike: I just knew you would get up and blog. What time did you arrive in Portland?

    I watched the Up and Adam show with MH. and it was announced that all the first round games will be on KGW. I get to watch you and Rice instead of the ESPN and TNT announcers. Now don't get to big of a head; it wouldn't take much to beat them out LOL.

    Everybody in the sports world knew that Kobe would get the ball and shoot the 3pter in their game last night. Why didn't Sac foul him before he was in the act of shooting?

    Question that was asked on the Up and Adam show, will LMA get to go home or will he be forced to stay with the team. Home cooking would be a nice reward for playing so well.

    I have to partially disagree with you about LMA scoring as the key. Our whole team has got to play smart and good to keep the Mavs from packing it in the key by creating turn-overs, getting defensive rebounds and forcing an up-tempo game. I got all that from my favorite announcer, some guy by the name of Mike Barrett. Anyway, I think one of the keys is to take it to the rim and get chandler frustrated with fouls and aspiration. Portland is good at that anyway--oh where is Joel?

    You have to admit, we are a completely different team with G Man on our team and regardless of all the keys, he holds the big one as a team player with is relentless energy.

    I hope we don't try to out shoot them from behind the three. I for one just don't have confidence in our perimeter shooting.

    BRoy will be a bigger factor this year then he was last year and that will help. Mike Holton thinks he has been flying under the radar on purpose to stop the Mavs from making big plans against him. I think he has too. We will soon find out.

    One more item, If the Lakers keeps playing like they have been we will have to play the Hornets in the second round. How do you think Monty and Nate will feel about that? would that not be a crazy scenario?

    Ancientone: you are going to get fat.

    by Hg on 4/14/2011 10:23 AM
  5. so it's dallas. i hope our wishes don't come back to haunt us. we know we can play with the mavericks; it's time to prepare, show up and take it to them. it's certainly going to be an interesting series. Nate says take care of our own tasks and let the chips fall where they may. i agree with that. we would have our hands full with anyone. if it would have been the lakers, then we would have to prepare for that. however, the one true reason to play dallas is, as you stated, MB, the fact that LaMarcus' mother will be able to see her son play in two, three or even four games (should the series last that long). not to sound morbid or negative, but this could be the last time she sees her son play in the playoffs. i certainly hope that's not the case, but it remains a possibility.

    the game against golden state was entertaining, even though five of our regular rotation players did not play. it was wonderful to see Patty lead the charge and in the fourth, is seemed like Chris and Earl were grabbing every rebound in sight. at least, that's what i saw! my dorm mate, Julie has a bit of a crush on Luke and screamed each time he drained a three! it was a fun experience!

    MB: i think i misjudged my timing. we got to oracle arena about five minutes before tip off and i thought it would be best to catch you guys after the game. we were sitting in the upper level, up from the ft line across from the scorers table. we tried making our way around to the other side, and ended up on the concourse. by the time we got to the other side of the arena, the ushers weren't letting anyone back into the arena itself. i explained the situation to a couple of them, but they didn't see it as valid. we ended up leaving about 35-40 minutes after the game ended. i appreciate the offer and i wish it had worked out differently. despite that, we still enjoyed the game very much.

    on to the mavericks; let's win this thing!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/14/2011 10:26 AM
  6. Great Post Kassandra:

    Sorry, you didn't get down to Mike and Mike, I had a chance once and my timid behavior fouled me again. OBTW, when you and Julie went to Multnomah Falls, since I took my vows there, I was going to contact you and see if it would be OK for Vicki and I to meet you there. That would have been great for me to say hi to you in person. Again, I thought I would be interfering and chickened out.

    by Hg on 4/14/2011 10:40 AM
  7. there woudn't have been anything wrong with meeting us there. we actually went two times because, after seeing it once, she wanted to see it again. if you'd have met me the first time, you'd have also met Julie and all three of my younger sisters! if ever the opportunity comes up again, please don't hesitate!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/14/2011 10:53 AM
  8. Thank you Kassandra: I will remember that.

    by Hg on 4/14/2011 11:17 AM
  9. Hey MB, should we go small against the Mavs with Nic starting in place of Camby. It seems GW or Nic would be a better defensive matchup against Dirk. Also Dirk is not a threat on the boards so I don't think lose much on the defensive end. I don't want LA in foul trouble against Dirk. Will Nate use Roy as the primary backup pg?

    by Roland on 4/14/2011 11:19 AM
  10. Roland: Nate says when we go small we have to put GMan on Dirk and he is giving up 5 inches in length. Dirk is the reason we went big, so IMO, we will start out big. Also on the Blazers home page they have the big line-up slated as starting. If they put Chandler against LMA, we could put Camby against Dirk.

    by Hg on 4/14/2011 11:53 AM
  11. that was a great season go blazers

    by Miller on 4/14/2011 11:53 AM
  12. I had a play to see last night, so I taped the game. Why tape what you know is a meaningless game played mostly by back-ups? It just felt like a necessary ritual, to be there with the team to the end, even if I had to catch that end on replay. So I got to see a lot of summer-league play, but a couple of things with relevance to the team's future. I got to see enough of the raw ability that might justify asking Chris back. I got to see the mixture of game and hustle and awkwardness that explains why Luke might do something someday but is sitting on the bench right now. And I got to see a convincing demonstration of why the battle for back-up point guard went to the right guy. Poor Armin just makes way too many bad decisions with the ball, while Patty looked like the poised veteran left in there to bolster the scrubs. I did get whipsawed by the news that the Lakers were down 3 with nine seconds to go. Then I ended my news embargo, came online and discovered that Kobe hit the big shot, and the Lakers won in O.T. and we're off to Dallas after all.
    I'll be interested to see which Blazers team comes out for game one. We've had a tendency to be tight early in some games and have a history of coming out especially flat for the beginning of play-off series. If we play with poise and confidence in the first five minutes Saturday night my own confidence will rise. I believe this team can beat anybody if it doesn't beat itself. Unfortunately, we have figured out way too many ways to beat ourselves. My own hope centers on the thing Mike and Mike seemed to be lobbying for during the game: giving Patty some playing time to use his shooting touch. If Nate comes out with the Brandon-plus-Rudy back-court in the first half, I'll be disappointed, and worry about that as one of the ways for us to beat ourselves. I haven't seen enough from Brando since his return to want to count on him in a big series. Sad to say, he's still very hit or miss, whereas with Patty we pretty much know what to expect. Who would have imagined a year ago we could be saying something like that? But Brandon hurt us against Phoenix last year when he came back too soon and was ineffective, and I'd really hate to see us lose again because we're still hoping against hope to see him come back to be the Brandon of old. But I guess we'll know soon whether Nate can be ruthless enough with the season on the line.

    by Islander on 4/14/2011 1:43 PM
  13. I can't get on board with Mills as our back up just because we know what we're getting with him. I know what I get when I eat chilli fries and a cup of milk of magnesia too. We had Jerryd Bayless who was a much better scorer than Patty, but both players had the same memory lapses when it comes to remembering how tall they are. How many times did Patty take the ball to the hole only to be served a facial? Way too many my friends. As for Babitt and Armon Johnson, they excite me about as much as Victor Claver and Peter Kopponen. Just more of the same caliber of players that either never actually play for the team or the Blazers develop and then trade off for someone else to benefit from all their hard work. Arm and Hammer? How about just the finger and a mallet?

    by Phi Slamma on 4/14/2011 2:06 PM
  14. I don't care how the playoffs work out as long as Nate is above .500 as a coach when it all ends.
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 4/14/2011 2:30 PM
  15. Islander: I realized at one point in the fourth quarter that our lineup consisted of Patty, Armon, Luke, Chris and Earl, and couldn't help thinking that Patty was the elder-statesman blazer on the floor. i got some weird looks last night in the arena when i yelled out "Patty Cakes" when he nailed a three! we know what we get with him in the game and i think if we need that at any particular moment, i think Nate should make the substitution. he's a change of pace guard, he's quick and we might just need that.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/14/2011 2:34 PM
  16. I can't wait to figure out which Coach makes the first move. Game 1 should play out like a regular season game, but as we saw last year, Phoenix moved Hill onto Andre and that was the first major chess move. Will it be putting someone else on Dirk, Kidd? Will Dallas throw a point guard on Batum and make him beat them in the post?

    by DHawes22 on 4/14/2011 2:47 PM
  17. I am all for Mills getting some playing time. but I don't get the knocking on BRoy to justify it. Sure he is not the player of old, and sure he hurt us last year by coming back to soon, but as I recall Rudy quit on us and we never really had anybody else since Batum's shoulder was hurt again. He is in a completely different role this year, and accepting his role in helping out anyway possible. It is true he is inconsistent, but it is also true that Patty is inconsistent. This isn't a competition between BRoy and Mills, BRoy would win hands down because of all the things he can bring. I see it as we need both of them, especially if Rudy loses his 3 again.

    by Hg on 4/14/2011 3:26 PM
  18. I wrote this earlier at NBA.com:

    Blazers in 6. Why?

    Lamarcus + GW + Dre + BRoy/Nico/We$ > Dirk + JET + Kidd + (Insert Dallas players here)


    Several comments noted that they though Dallas would win because of HCA. I disagree. All it takes is for the Blazers to steal a single game. I for one believe they can do it.

    If JJ comes in and runs circles around Roy and Roy's shot is MIA, I would be willing to bet that Coach Nate will try Patty. The man wants to win. The team wants to win. We all want to win. Pretending Coach Nate is some misty-eyed romantic who pines for the days of 3-Time All-Star BRoy is just mind-boggling. I think Nate has shown impeccable judgement in how he has utilized Brandon since his return and I would guess he was the first one on the team to move past the idea Brandon was ever going to be the BRoy of old. At the end of the day, Brandon is playing point because he is plainly BETTER at it than Patty the MAJORITY of the time, and he still draws a double. SMH....

    by SisillaRiann on 4/14/2011 8:29 PM
  19. In almost every statistical category the Blazers come up short against the Mavericks. It would be like trying to measure myself against John Holmes. Sometimes you just need to back out gracefully. For Dallas to play the underdog card is the first play in a mental tug of war. Yes this game is mental! The Blazers must be willing to headline their own spin on this upcoming contest in a way that endears their own fans to adversity and triumph, at the same time dismissing false bravado from their opponent in an intelligent and face-saving way.

    by Phi Slamma on 4/14/2011 9:51 PM
  20. First congrat to Nate for coach of the month!

    I agree we will be able to win a game at Dallas, but we most likely will lose a home game which means we'll have to beat Dallas twice at Dallas. That's what is so nice about OCA is that you only usually have to beat the other team on their court once. So what is important is to not lose at home while winning one on the road.

    Blazers in 6!

    by mgb on 4/15/2011 2:34 AM
  21. Mike: There is something I disagree with you in the last Blazer game. You said Pendergraph's injury is what opened the door for Patty Mills. Actually it was trading Jerryd Bayless for a draft pick that opened the roster spot for Mills because Pendergraph's injury opened the door for Oberto, who retired after 5 games and then Marks signed with the team.

    So basically if Pendergraph hadn't torn his ACL, there would have been a spot for Mills after the Bayless trade.

    by Shem on 4/15/2011 12:59 AM
  22. WAAAAAAY pysched about this matchup.Wit the extra toughness that Crash gives us,Nic playing well,Rudy MAYBE bustin out of his slump,I like our chances.If Camby can stay healthy,I think we can make some noise with anybody.
    MGB,My brotha,SO glad you are going to the games.I know you have missed quite a few this year.Enjoy,.
    Check out Blazer super fans in commercial,Too Funny.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUy6MDxR36c
    Good day, all.

    by DowntownVinnie on 4/15/2011 6:30 AM
  23. Great to hear from you, Vinnie!

    Blazers in 6! I would love to be at the game when the Blazers win a series!

    GO BLAZERS!!

    by mgb on 4/15/2011 6:40 AM
  24. I really think that one of the keys to this series could be if we can force them to spread the floor so that LA can function inside. How many more games could we have one if Rudy could shoot a reasonable percentage from the three line?

    by Ancientone on 4/15/2011 7:01 AM
  25. Vinnie: you have the words of a musician! we match up well against dallas; we've seen that in every game so far against them this season. Crash definitely brings us something extra to the team we didn't have before and Nicolas has been playing steady for quite a while now. Rudy can bring it. with Marcus on the boards, Andre playing like the cool veteran he is, Wesley hustling like he does and the L-Train in there, i like our chances!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/15/2011 7:09 AM
  26. I agree we really need to get it into LA a lot. That is just going to open it up for other players and make it easier for them to score. They start double teaming LA and a pass or two and we should have a uncontested shot hopefully right at the basket.

    I'm starting to get excited!!

    GO BLAZERS!!

    by mgb on 4/15/2011 7:41 AM
  27. Ancientone - Several :)

    But it would be a mistake to hinge hopes on Rudy's shooting. We need Nico and Wesley to hit those shots, and BRoy. All 3 of them have had more success from distance this season.

    by SisillaRiann on 4/15/2011 7:42 AM
  28. I think the Mavericks are right to think they are the underdogs, but not because of their playoff history. But because we are a better team. I am glad that after neglecting my work for the past few days to look at the all the match ups we could get from them, that I actually think we have the better individual players and team.
    I would think our two biggest concerns with this series is their bench, and Dirk. We have three guys that can be on the court at the same time that can all switch on Dirk.(LA,GW, Nico) His advantage has been his hight on jumpers, but we can contend with that with length.
    And our bench has should really speak for itself. Rudy, Nic, and Brandon can all go for 20 at anytime, and do often. We can outscore them, and still bring competitive D.
    Not to be overconfident, but the Trail Blazers are the better team. And the Mavericks are the underdogs. Season records only get you to the playoffs, they don't win them.

    by coreymjr on 4/15/2011 9:50 AM
  29. here's my question; instead of defending Dirk one-on-one, wouldn't we be well off to run a zone where Nicolas or Gerald guards him on the outside and LaMarcus or Marcus picks him up if he wanders inside?

    i think that could be a valid tool in slowing him down and i remember seeing us do that a lot during the season; i just don't specifically remember if we tried it on dallas nor whether if it was successful.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/15/2011 10:51 AM
  30. My concerns with a zone against the Mav's is that the weak point of a zone is the elbow, where Dirk excels at. His height gives him such an advantage so if we have to rotate he can just shoot over us. Also with a quick guard like Barea, he might be able to do a lot of drive and dish on a zone. But I think you are right Kassandra that it did work pretty well for us during the season and if we kept it tight it would definitely be a good possibility with the versatility of Batum and Wallace.

    by coreymjr on 4/15/2011 11:19 AM
  31. Hey Kassandra: Tell Julie about Ancientone having to go to get a snack all the time because of our long post. I joked with her about it on the Up and Adam show while you were at the store.

    Ancientone: I thought maybe Kassandra joined you in getting snacks while I was posting my stories.

    by Hg on 4/15/2011 11:25 AM
  32. Corey: thanks for the input. i think it's worth taking a look at. i suppose we'll see what happens if Nate goes with the zone, maybe that 1-2-2 which i think we ran against dallas in the last game (could be wrong, but i think that was it).

    Hg: she asked me about that, but it was so out of context that i didn't quite get it. coincidentally i was actually at the store getting snacks for our girls night in (girls night out was tuesday for her birthday) when the show started. i have since informed her of Ancientone's meeting.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/15/2011 12:37 PM
  33. Hollinger answered one of my questions during his chat yesterday regarding Roy's impact on this series? Here's what he had to say.

    George Vartanian (Irvine)

    How big of a factor will Roy be? No back-to-backs should help, right?

    John Hollinger (2:52 PM)

    I was pondering this the other day. The lack of back-to-backs should help, sure, but realistically he Blazers have been doing everything they can to limit his minutes and the strain, and he's still been mediocre-to-awful. Will be very interesting if he's relegated to 5-minute outings in the playoffs.

    I agree. Roy has looked bad except for a couple of games. Hope he gives them something in this series and (if we win) moving forward.

    by gvartan3 on 4/15/2011 12:37 PM
  34. When was the last time the Blazers won a play-off series? I seem to remember a few years back, Dallas lost to GSW on purpose in the final game of the regular season, just to get to play them in the first round. Dallas had won 67 games that year, GSW were the 8th seed and Dallas punished them during the regular season. Guess what, GSW won the first round series, be careful what you wish for...

    by A Voice of Reason on 4/15/2011 2:05 PM
  35. I bought my tickets for saturdays game. go blazers!!!!

    by Miller on 4/15/2011 1:22 PM
  36. It will be tough Kassandra, the blazers aren't the best at defending the three and Jason Kidd and Jason Terry are both great three shooters. But I won't be surprised if you're right, you definitely seem to know what your talking about.

    by coreymjr on 4/15/2011 2:10 PM
  37. Voice of Reason
    the last time blazers won a playoff series was back in 2000 when it went to round 3 lakers and blazers blazers lost in game 7 in LA. since then 2001 they lost to lakers in the first round 2002 lost to lakers in first round 2003 lost in dallas in game 7 . 2004-2008 no playoffs. 2009 lost in houston first round. 2010 lost against the suns. so 2000 was the last time blazers move past the 1st round. I think it will come down to game 7 again at Dallas Blazers will win..............

    by jyp on 4/15/2011 3:09 PM
  38. Hey Mike B how are you. Are you in dallas now or in Portland. My sports page had a article about the blazers season and that their not being the underdog against the mavs . It also said the blazers practice at home on Thursday and fly to dallas on saturday. I always beleive your posts not my sports page so good luck to the blazers rip city uprise

    by jyp on 4/15/2011 3:13 PM
  39. jbp; the Blazers had practice this morning and took off to Dallas after the practice.

    We are the 6th seed and the Mavs are the third seed, so until after we win four games in this series we will be the underdogs. That is what Terry Porter and Adam said on the Up and Adam show.

    by Hg on 4/15/2011 3:25 PM
  40. I went to every home game of that 03 series against the Mavs. The 6 game of that series was electric! The crowd was so loud even during warm ups! We put the pedal to the medal and didn't let up the whole game! It's the most memorable game and funnest game I've ever been to.

    That I think was the first year I started going to Blazers game with a package of games or at least half season. I've been a full season ticket holder for a few years now and have the same seats since that year.

    I'm super bummed right now though. I think I broke my hip which means I may not be able to make any of the games. :( My only hope is that they at least make it to the next round which I think they will. When they send out STH's playoff tickets they send out all the tickets right through to the finals and boy would I love to be able to use them this year!!

    by mgb on 4/15/2011 3:32 PM
  41. mgb: Sorry to hear about the hip!!! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    As for who or what opened the door for Patty Mills, it was clearly Paul Allen! He digs small, quick point guards (a broken dream perhaps?) and it was his choice to keep Patty around long enough to catch a break and make it onto the active roster and then into the rotation.

    by dgpdx on 4/15/2011 7:57 PM
  42. Damn,MGB, brotha ,you cannot GET a break.So sorry,Cuz.Get better soon.

    Thanx,Lebrona the Pirahna:)

    by DowntownVinnie on 4/16/2011 6:59 AM
  43. coreymjr, if it's going to come down to defending 3-pointers the Blazers may be in trouble... Yes, Terry can hit 3's and Kidd is in top 5 all time 3 point shooters and Dirk won the All-Star 3 point contest 3 or 4 years ago. However, 2 the leading 3 point shooters in the NBA since Jan 1 are DeShawn Stephenson and JJ Beraea and don't forget the Mavs picked up one of the great all time 3 point shooters in Peja Stoyacovich 8 or 9 weeks ago. So, if it's gong to come down to how the Blazers defend the 3, they may as well just give it to Dallas now...

    by A Voice of Reason on 4/16/2011 7:49 AM
  44. Found this to be interesting; The Dallas Mavericks boast the league’s 8th rated offense and defense when adjusted for pace. They allow opponents an average of 96 points per game while scoring just over 100 themselves (good for a +4.2 differential, if you care about that sort of thing). Dallas also rated right in the middle of the pack (18th) in terms of pace (basically possessions per game). Dallas finished with a record of 57-25 while playing the 8th most difficult schedule in the league. They were also tied with Miami for best road record, while Portland finished below .500 on the road.

    Portland comes into the playoffs with a top ten offensive rating and the 14th best defensive rating. The Blazers score just over 96 points a night while giving up just under 95 (+1.5 differential). They are dead last in terms of pace, playing about 88 possessions a game, compared to Dallas’ 91. The Blazers managed a record of 48-34 while playing the 12th hardest schedule.

    by A Voice of Reason on 4/16/2011 8:07 AM
  45. If you’re betting on Portland in 7, go ahead, it's your money. It's more than a possibility that you are right, too, IF you are putting that money on the underdog; that's HORSE RACING! But ... you will be ignoring two factoids:

    Portland will have to suddenly mature into a great road team. During the regular season the Blazers were 18-23. As a matter of comparison, know that Dallas was 28-13.

    So, Portland in seven, eh? That means the (maybe forgetful) picker sees the Blazers coming back to Dallas for a G7, on the road, against one of basketball's most experienced teams, and pulls an upset while being a 5-point 'dog.

    That's a bet. But it doesn't seem like a very smart one, just saying…

    by A Voice of Reason on 4/16/2011 8:19 AM
  46. No way Portland will win a game 7 on the road. Just doesn't happen. Portland did though improve during the latter part of the season on the road. They've played excellent since acquiring Crash. While after losing a player to injury the Mavs quality of play has dropped.

    Portland in 6.

    by mgb on 4/16/2011 8:37 AM
  47. There are great live broadcasts all day on trailblazers.tv. I'll be on, live from our hotel here in Dallas, at 11 am Portland time. We'll talk about tonight's game 1, and answer your questions.

    Thanks,

    MB

    by mikebarrett on 4/16/2011 8:38 AM
  48. If Nate is trying to prove he wasn’t out-coached last year…..try this year on for size. Let’s see…. First quarter Nate benches Matthews, one of our most physical defenders, because he committed a 2nd foul. Oh, that’s brilliant coach! How many fouls did Matthews end up with. Not sure, but probably 2. Next, he called a timeout and the team responded with a great run. Aldridge, Camby, and Miller responded and brought us into the game. Opps…Then…inexplicitly, Nate benched the core of our guys in favor of a Roy and Rudy back court…sat Aldridge down for Batum. Next sub for Camby…did you notice Camby didn‘t even have a sweat going nor was he breathing hard. Why would you sit him down? Everything stopped as of that moment. We scored 37 points in the first half. If you look at the stat line, whenever our core 5 were fragmented, we got our asses kicked.
    Look, this is not genius, Nate. This is playoff ball. You play your best 5 for 40+ min per game. You use your best 3 off the bench to spell the starters. This has been the formula for decades. Every championship team has done this. Boston, LA, Spurs…. Geez Nate… get a clue. Why was Camby on the bench for most of the 2nd and 4th quarter? Duh… He only had 18 boards…affected countless shots….made great passes off the high post. Yep…let’s sit him. AND WHY THE HELL IS ROY ON THE FLOOR? Look, the guy is crippled. Did you see the pass from Wallace on the break. Roy couldn’t accelerate and the ball went out of bounds. Did you see Wallace in Roy’s face after that play? Roy’s look after that confrontation was priceless. If Roy want’s to help this team he will remove himself from the line up. Why Nate is favoring Roy is very, very strange.
    So, if Nate can not adjust, this series is over in…. 5. I will say this tho…. If Nate would revert to time tested strategy, the Blazers could win this series easily……and the next…..

    by bates8963 on 4/16/2011 10:02 PM
  49. Yeah, bates8963, I gotta agree with you on that. I too was wondering what Nate was thinking leaving BRoy in during most of the 4th quarter with a rested Mathews sitting. Was Wes not feeling well?

    Coach Rice even mentioned that the lineup of Aldridge, Wallace, Batum, Rudy/Andre, and Matthews was the most efficient in the league over the last couple of months. Rudy was 2 for 3 shooting, had a couple boards and no turnovers, yet played only 16 minutes. Terrible personnel decisions for my money.

    by dgpdx on 4/16/2011 10:25 PM
  50. Camby was having a spectacular game and then he sits and doesn't come back. Meanwhile every phantom foul seemed to go against the blazers if they even so much as breathed heavy on Dirk. What were the blazers from three point land, 2 for 16 or something? Pathetic! Combine that with letting a dinosaur like Kidd go off with uncontested three pointers, and you've got a recipe for disaster. To hold a team to 11 minutes without a field goal, and to outscore them 23 to zero at some point in points in the paint and still find a way to lose has to take some wind out of your sails. It's not as big of a collapse as I witnessed from Indiana against Chicago, but nonetheless, a disheartening way to start the series.

    by Phi Slamma on 4/17/2011 12:28 AM
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