mikebarrett

Apr 28

Mavs Slam the Door in 6

By mikebarrett
They say a playoff series doesn't really start until a team wins on another's home floor.  Well, the first time that happened in this series actually ended the series, as the Dallas Mavericks, the third seed in the west, took out the Trail Blazers in game 6, 103-96.

For Portland, the season is over.  For Dallas, it's on to play the L.A. Lakers in the conference semi-finals.

I suppose every team can sit and starting playing the "what-if" game.  But, I thought it was very ironic that an injury to a key player most likely was the difference for Portland tonight.  How many times have we said that?  Only this time, it was a back injury, and it only sidelined Gerald Wallace for one quarter.  But, he was the guy Portland absolutely had to have on the court to have a chance in this game.

Wallace, who said he hadn't been as big a factor as he felt like he could have been in the series, was the reason the Blazers jumped out to a 12-point lead in this game.  He scored Portland's first nine points of the game, had 13 in the quarter, and had the Rose Garden fans going nuts.  Then, as we've experienced so often, the excitment was replaced by concern, as he went to the locker room with lower-back tightness for the entire second quarter.

While Wallace was away from the court, the Trail Blazers were outscored 33-16.  As it was, Gerald had 32 points and 12 rebounds in his 33 minutes of action.  I would have loved to have seen where Portland could have been in this game, and potentially in a game 7, if he had been able to log his normal 40-45 minutes in this one.

Portland was simply a different team with Wallace on the floor.  Without him, they lacked the punch, the firepower, and the defensive toughness to stay with Dallas.  Again, had he been able to go in that second quarter, we'd likely have been headed back to Texas for a game 7.

Irony can be cruel.  We certainly know a thing about untimely injuries.  This one, on the final night of the season, was yet another hurdle, and another tough break to a team that has seen plenty of tough breaks.

To Portland's credit, they battled back.  After Dallas grabbed a 17-point lead in the second half, the Blazers started their charge.  They cut the lead to 86-85, with 5:24 left.  But, as the Mavericks have done in all their big wins in this series, they had someone step up to hit shots.  Jason Kidd buried a huge three, and Jason Terry followed with a clutch two.  After that, it was Dirk Nowitzki to the foul line, over and over again.  You know the rest of the story.

The Mavs came into this game 1-9 in game 6s in the Dirk era.  They had been 0-5 on the road in game 6s.  This time, they got over the hump, and earned a trip to the second round.

Thinking back on this series now, it's easy to pick out crucial spots where the Trail Blazers had their chances.  For me, it all comes down to game 1 in Dallas.  That was Portland's opportunity.  The one play that stands out was a 3-on-1 fast break the Trail Blazers had halfway through the fourth quarter.  Had they completed that play, they would have been up eight points with just over five minutes to go.  Had they won that game, we could be talking about a different outcome.  It wouldn't have guaranteed anything, but it was a huge opportunity lost.

Give the Mavericks credit.  They've got veterans, who know how to step up in the clutch, and know what it takes to win games.  There's a reason they won 57 games in the regular season, and were tied for the best road record in the league. 

I will also say this, the Mavericks are better than I thought they were.  They are tough, they are physical, and they play great defense.  The Lakers will have their hands full in the next round.  I wouldn't have figured they'd have a chance to defeat the defending champs.  Now, I'm not so sure.

For the Blazers, it was a disappointing end to a strange season.  I wish so badly that injuries didn't once again define a season.  But, they probably did.  There were some early-season losses that came back to haunt this team, like we feared they would.  Sometimes it's a very fine line that determines home-court advantage in the playoffs.  As you know, the home court is so crucial in the post-season.

I'm also sitting here wondering what things would have been like this season, and this series, with a healthy Greg Oden.  Not to open that can of worms, but what a difference-maker he could have been- and could still be.

Again, that's playing the what-ifs, and that doesn't get you anywhere.

Now, we head into the long off-season with so many questions to be answered.  Not only about Oden, but about Andre Miller, Rudy Fernandez, and others.  I can't wait to see what Wallace can do with a full season in black and red.  I'm curious to see how much better LaMarcus Aldridge can get.  I also wonder what the summer will be like for Brandon Roy.

We'll get into all of this later, as I'm not going anywhere, and hopefully you aren't either.  It's an empty, and even surreal feeling when the season comes to such a drastic end.  I had a bag packed for Dallas.  So did everyone else.  Now, you wake up and it's over.

To listen to Nate McMillan's post-game comments, click here.

Thanks for being such a key part of such a great organization.  Blazer fans are different.  That's one thing I know will never change, and there's no question about that going into the off-season.

Time to unpack the bag, and begin the mental part of unpacking the season. 

Talk to you soon.  We've got a lot to discuss.
Previous Story: Mavs Recover in Game 5
Next Story: Now What?

81 Comments

  1. It was awfully hard to come so close there at the end and then watch it slip away. But the game was pretty true to what the Blazers are right now, which is to say, exciting but a bit bipolar. I think the trade deadline is a little late in the season to put together a team that can gel enough for a real play-off run. As it was, we got to see both the excitement of the player we added, and the confusion the team has had in sorting out all the new roles. It hurts too much to break down the details of how this series slipped away. Of course, I'll always wonder what would have happened if we'd actually tried to use our small quick guard against their small quick guards, but never mind all that stuff for now. Now I just want to remember all the good things from the season: the emergence of the dominating LaMarcus, the tight team chemistry and hustle that emerged during Brandon's absence, the episodes when Nic stepped forward and showed what we all think he'll eventually become. I'll remember what Patty did when he finally got the chance, those sly buckets stolen by Andre when a time-out was due, Wesley on fire, hitting three after three, and of course, lob after lob for LA to slam home. There was lots of other good stuff too, from a team that once again fought through enormous setbacks to go farther than their critics thought they would. One of these days we'll surely get the chance to get through a season without crippling injury to key players, and then we'll be in a position for real disappointment over failing to advance in the playoffs. Right now there's just sadness, and the usual void when we realize that it's over, but no reason for bitterness or anger. Yeah, we could have used a few more calls going our way, but we could also have hit some more of our threes, not to mention our free throws. It has been an exciting ride, and it has been a joy to take it in the company of all you faithful contributers to this site.

    by Islander on 4/29/2011 12:00 AM
  2. One more thing; thanks Mike and Mike. The last two years were the first time I've ever been able to watch almost all the games, and I have really appreciated spending so many hours in the company of such a classy team of broadcasters.

    by Islander on 4/29/2011 12:02 AM
  3. Mike; I just got off work, great game even if we lost.

    by Hg on 4/29/2011 12:09 AM
  4. Mike, I can proudly say I saw all 88 (82 regular season -- 6 playoff) Blazer games this season.

    by Shem on 4/29/2011 12:16 AM
  5. I hate to say it folks. I really do, but I told you so. Mike, I may not be feeling the effects of the season ending, because for me personally, windows are opening in my life, FINALLY. I've spent 2 years being a fan of the Trail Blazers. Been keeping my head above the water (even just typing this is about to bring a tear to my eye). They're all that I had, and I thank you, the Blazers, and everyone that made the experience that great. It hurts that I predicted tonight as a loss. It really does. I don't know the team as well as everyone that had packed a bag, but deja vu was just there.

    A year ago, when we got eliminated by the Suns, when I felt the game wasn't going to go our way (in about the 2nd quarter), I went and hanged out with friends. I went to Byrom Elementary, the school I attended, late at night. Sat on a swing, my hands on my head and stood silent. My friends, not being Blazer fans, did the same. For me to be able to do that, just shows how much emotion I have in the Blazers. How much I make my day be about the Blazers. Now, I get to go experience the real word, and jump through those windows.

    That being said, and all emotions aside, this team has a bright future. This was just a taste of what's to come. Let's look at that future. Oden will be back, and I've got a feeling I've never felt before. I got this feeling that the injuries are done. I got a feeling that Roy isn't lying, and that he will be back. He never understood his role on this team. We've only got room to improve. Our best guys are young. Dre doesn't seem to be getting older. And for the love of God PLEASE SIGN CHRIS JOHNSON! The series didn't start until he sent Dirk to the ground looking like that jerkoff got shot! It was about damn time someone had the balls to get a flagrant, and the worst part is that it came from a young D-League player! I'm not saying murder someone, but it was nice to see at least one Blazer step up to that soft fish. It pissed me off how many times the Blazers just let the refs and Mavs walk over them. If that "nobody" could stand up to Dirk and send him to the floor with regrets, anyone can. I loved seeing that. Resign Johnson. Resign Pendergraph. Resign Oden. Resign Andre.

    Now, time for me to play the bad guy. Fire Nate. I love Nate, and it's not really personal. He's been a great coach, but he's not a GREAT coach if you know what I'm saying. He reminds me a lot of Blake. A guy that can push us forward, but he's not climbing to the top of the hill. We can't go further with Nate. We've suffered 3 years with his bad decisions in the playoffs. He's just not the coach a team looking for championships can drag around. He let the media control at least 3 games in this series.

    Also, I think we may have just seen the last of Patty Mills and especially Rudy Fernandez in Blazer jerseys. I know a lot of fans here like them, but they're a waste. Patty's NOT the point guard of the future, and Rudy went from a great rookie to a horrible player. Anything he gives us is a bonus, as long as he can do it in 0 minutes and 0 seconds.

    That being said, we look forward. We have to look forward. There is no looking back. There is only looking forward. It's time for us to get the charm of OKC and have no more injuries. It's time for us to rest up and only get better. There's no turning back. No room for What-ifs and only room for "ITS HAPPENING'

    It was a fun season. A frustrating season. Filled with it's share of up and downs. But it's a two way street, and sometimes the baby steps are the giant leaps. Only thing you should take with you is knowledge, not disappointment. Regardless of how this season ended, there's one in October. Time to prepare. Back to 0-0.


    Oh, and for the record. Lakers in 4. Dallas has no chance. Mavs looked alright, but I still think Portland was/is the better team. We just were too inconsistent. Lakers are flipping the switch. They're winning in 4.

    by Herr on 4/29/2011 12:19 AM
  6. About LA: He has had heart problems in the not-too-distant past and, as one living with heart failure, I can attest to how tired one can get very quickly when the heart is not functioning at 100%. If LA still has residual problems from his earlier treatment, that would definitely explain his tiredness toward the end of the season. This is especially true given the extreme minutes he has been forced to play.

    He was simply not the same player in this series although some of that must be credited to Dallas' defense. Chandler took away LA's move across the paint and they also took away the lob.
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 4/29/2011 12:27 AM
  7. Wow.....what can you say....kinda saw it comming, but you stay positive and hope for the best. I really was hoping we could keep the energy up, and if Wallace would have stayed in, maybe we could have. But see thats the difference between us and a playoff veteran team. They have guys that step up when needed, we just dont have quite that maturity and experience yet..or maybe its some other reasons, but my point is-in terms of being a consistent sucessfull basketball team, night in and night out, we are NOT there yet.

    So moving on, still proud of my Blazers..once again I love Mike&Mike, you just cannot ask for better guys to call games for the Blazers. Without you 2,it would not be the same, so THANK YOU gentlemen.

    I agree that Rudy will not be in a Blazer uniform next year. Mills, I dont know..I like him though, Hes young and needs to polish his game more, and he doesnt have to be our FUTURE pg, just a guy who can score some points off the bench and get some good good looks for others. But will see.

    Roy...oh Roy..whatever happens, happens...but hes done so much for this franchise. I remember in his all star years, I was like...we got our Clyde back!!!..cause until Roy we havnt had that "franchise" player..that huge star, since Drexler. Weve had guys like Pippen in thier last years, Zach Randolph and Raheed Wallace...but cmon..you old Blazer fans know what Im talking about!..so lets just keep the door open, stay positive, and next year will get to see what Roy you can do for this team,ill leave it at that.

    Want to see LMA improve even more, hope he works hard again in the offseason, he really exploded this year. Yeah the Mavs played insane d on him, and he played tired, guy had a long season...cut him some slack...he really has turned into a premier nba power forward, so if he can improve even more, watch out.

    I also agree with what you said MB....about how Nick should watch this tape and see how Wallace just exploded with energy and played aggressive, give him some motivation so he can be more consistent, overall he played great and just want to see him be wiser and better next year.

    Andre can stay Portlands pg as for as Iam concerned, hes solid and has had a very good season....Mathews has done very well..helped this team alot..I would like to see him not be such a streaky shooter, and maybe be a better passer, get his teammates involved more, hes a great scorer, and above average defender, but hes assists and rebounds are little low.

    Lastly...our coach...yeah I know Herr...you want him gone... hmmmmmmm...to be 100% honest I really cant make a strong statement right now. Hes done alot for this team, and hes made something out of nothing many times during these injury years. But sometimes I do feel we might need a different coach that can take this team further. Im not gonna get into that to heavy right now, but it makes for rather interesting conversation to say the least.
    Season is over...time to watch some baseball...try to enjoy some summer...hope for a good offseason, and well thats about all I can say right now. GO BLAZERS :)

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/29/2011 12:46 AM
  8. Have a good summer everybody . Wont be long October will be here. I hope theres no lockout when the CBA expires on June 30th. I had 1 thing about the game is I didnt like Chris Johnson got the flagernt foul and give those extra points to the Mavs. But thank you Mike B and Mike R and all the tv crew and all the blazers dancers and the players and Nate and Mark Mason and Brian Wheeler and Antiono harvey and Michael Holten and Terry porter and Adam and Jerome Kersey for making this season awesome . My wife and I will always be fans have a awesome summer.

    by jyp on 4/29/2011 1:42 AM
  9. It's all ready confirmed that the NBA will have lockout for at least a season. :( But the Trail Blazers could become a high seed in the west when the Lakers and the Spurs lose there good players. The only thing stopping the Trail Blazers are the Thunder.

    by IS0-motion on 4/29/2011 1:59 AM
  10. Thanks for the closing words on the season Mike. Though I didn't see the game, it is still is a shock when things come to an end for another season. As you said, the off-season/summer provides a lot of questions, as it does each year. Indeed, with GO back hopefully and a full season with GW, it should be exciting.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens with other guys, but with this season and with TB.tv, just feels like the Blazer family (fan-to-fan, fan-to-player, fan-to-broadcaster) has become that much more strengthened, more than before, not to mention the Twitter-connection, which brought about so much rapport between us and the players. Then, with Patty helping Rudy though low times and getting him back to being happy to be on the team.

    It's been another great journey, though we fell short of our goals. Lots to look forward to, but as you said, time to unpack in the mental sense.

    by Anees on 4/29/2011 2:51 AM
  11. Roller coaster. Two words that defined this season. Started off the season strong and then we hit that bump in the road where we were just completely TERRIBLE in the 4th quarter and lost like 5 or 6 games in a row. Then finding out Greg was having season ending surgery again, to Roy having two knee surgeries, to Przybilla, Cunningham and Marks being traded and getting an awesome player in Gerald in return.

    Getting Gerald was awesome but does anyone else think the vanilla gorilla's presence and rebounding would have a made a difference in this series? I think we've seen Rudy, Patty and Andre's last game in a Blazers uniform. I think we're one deadly outside shooter and low post banger away from being a championship team. I'm not religious but I'm praying that Greg Oden can come back next season mentally and physically healthy, that is if we decide to match any offers made on him. Anyways, I'll have more to say later on in the summer. Thanks Mike and Mike for making the games enjoyable to watch. Can't wait till next season!

    by Mark on 4/29/2011 3:25 AM
  12. Well the Blazers had a tough series with the Mav's but we could not pull it off :(
    Hopefully we'll get them next year. Thanks for the words Mike.
    Go Blazers!

    by Puggaloverjack2 on 4/29/2011 6:17 AM
  13. A winnable series, an opportunity lost, the future will bring change, that's for sure.

    It pains me to say but LMA disappeared in this series. He's a good player, borderline all star, but not a game-on-the-line kind of player. Those missed free throws really killed the comeback flow. He had a chance to prove he's a difference maker but the moment was too big for him.

    Mike, we still have other players who could have carried on in the 2nd quarter. Like you said, it's not like we were even running plays for Wallace. You are right though. That was a difference maker in this game. The thing is though, IT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN! Nobody stepped up. Brandon was tentative, Nicolas was scared, LMA was taking fade aways, Rudy was unfortunately still being Rudy, Andre was lumbering the ball up the court. In other words we are not an elite team. I want to thank you for being so gracious with your blog and your game calling. Have a great summer.

    I expect big changes this off season. These fans deserve it. They were about the only consistent player in this series. Dallas is a better team, period.

    by sudelander on 4/29/2011 7:12 AM
  14. Mike:

    I am sad the season came to an end, although it wasn't surprising. We were the 6th seed and they were a strong 3rd seed and like us an injury took them from being number 1 or 2 seed.
    I am not unhappy, disappointed, or frustrated with this team. They played hard all season; they overcame many adversities, inter-squad adjustments--leaders and options; they heard all the fire Nate, dump BRoy, get rid of Rudy, Dre is too old, get CP3 at all cost because nobody else counts; They know they are streaky and doesn't have consistent shooting; they know they have to get better, to grow, and need much more time for gelling with the new roll of BRoy, what ever that is; the play of G-Man with the growth of the rest of the team with him.
    I ponder on the what-ifs also, but as BRoy often says, it is what it is. We look forward to a summer of tweaking, improving, getting injured players back (Greg and Williams) to see what they can bring. To see the growth of Babbitt, the Johnson boys, Patty, BRoy's new role, Matthews 3rd year growth and working on his weaknesses, LMA devotion to being even better. The questions on Rudy, getting Batum more aggressive and the over-all affect of G-man.
    I leave this season not in disappointments and sorrow or dwelling on what could have been, but with excitement, hope, and belief that the new year will be even more exciting, more adventurous then this year. I leave with the belief in the team, the front office, the fans, and all the wonderful blogs and post that has helped me grow.

    I am thankful for being a witness to a great year, record breaking events, history making events, and watching a team that was predicted to be a cellar dweller after the loss of Greg for the season, BRoy’s bad knees explosion, and the lack of production from what was left to becoming play-off contenders to even predicting getting out of the first round.
    Last but not least, I thank you Mr. Mike Barrett for bringing the Blazers to my home in a way that it made me feel like I was right there with you and Mr. Mike Rice. And to both of you I give you my thanks.

    Harold Gene Mangum

    by Hg on 4/29/2011 7:41 AM
  15. I simply cannot count how many games we have lost because a player went to the locker room in the 1st or 2nd quarter this season. I will never fault this team or the fans for losing energy when they see a guy in red and black go down. There have just been too many injuries, running the gambit from minor to major to season-ending to franchise-changing, to not be able to understand the emotional response that happens. When I heard GW went out, after leading the charge, I knew it was over. I left the room, went to the other TV, and turned on Friday Night Lights :) I hope this part of our journey is over, for real. I am not sure I can bear it if we get another season that is defined by injuries. It's just too difficult when it's something so far beyond anyone's control. Yes MB, the irony here is so thick, so dense, and to be honest, really really heavy.

    Regardless, even at this point, a few things are clear: 1) We have some really solid players to continue to build around 2) Rudy will never play for us again 3) We absolutely MUST have more depth on the bench, and NOT getting another Big who can bang and be tough is out of the question 4) The RG fans are the very best in the NBA 5) The whistles will rarely go our way, especially if we really need them to, so someone is going to have to teach the Blazers how to play without letting the refs get in their head 6) We need a Mr. 4th quarter, be it Roy, LA, GW, Dre, or someone else; this is essential 7) This team MUST improve defensively 8) Camby does not have the stamina to play the starting 5 spot in a playoff series - and RELYING on Oden to become that guy is a mistake 9) This team is still relatively young and inexperienced in the post season - they lost to a team that has won 50+ games for 11 straight seasons and has been all the way to the final dance.

    There is zero shame in losing to a team full of veterans, who have played through thick and thin for years together. Even if you are perhaps the better team in many ways. In basketball, experience is damn near priceless. There are very few Championship teams that are young. Even the mighty Bulls had been together for several years. It takes time people. And even then, it's no guarantee. Just ask Chuck. Or Stockton and Malone. Shoot, here in a year or two, you can ask Dirk :)

    Islander - thank you very much for mentioning just a few of the memorable moments from this season, the good ones I mean. As I sat on the couch in the other room, knowing we were going to lose, I thought over many of those same moments and several more. This season had some spectacular ones! Batum's game-winner, Brandon's clutch shot to send the Denver game to OT, Brandon's incredible superSEVEN performance in Game 4, the team's reaction to both things, Nate's ability to finally be FLEXIBLE, Lamarcus winning Player of the Month in Februrary, and on and on.

    There is so much to build on here. And I think everyone forgets that there is a lesson to be learned in every outcome. One of the biggest ones here is that we should all be really careful what we ask for. I said it over and over again. We got exactly the match up we wanted...and failed to use it our advantage. Life can be really funny that way. Here's to hoping next season, there is so much confidence, that we could care less who we get :) Also, the value of Homecourt simply cannot be emphasized enough. I will be rooting for this team to be top 4 next season. Not just to make the playoffs, or to advance, but to have homecourt for the post-season. If we finish in the bottom seeds again, I feel confident we will be out again in April.

    Mr. Barrett - I completely agree about Game 1. If the series loss can be nailed down to one thing, it's the failure to get that one. There is no doubt in my mind that if we had, this series would have been over last night, with the opposite result. None whatsoever. But hey, perhaps that is another lesson :)

    Go Blazers!

    by SisillaRiann on 4/29/2011 7:44 AM
  16. Two more things to say, after having finally watched the 2nd and 3rd quarters in their entirety:

    1) Nate erred greatly by leaving Rudy in so much. Defensively, he got burned over and over again and offensively, he just hasn't had it. I don't like to criticize Nate, and I am the last one to call for him to be fired (and replaced by who exactly? Rick is just about the only guy I would care to see here of those that might possibly be available. And it should be noted - the LAKERS wanted Nate if we didn't re-sign him. And BlazerNation can hate all day on the Lakers, but that organization knows how to WIN), but his is one thing that really stuck out in my mind about the game last night that was purely a coaching decision.

    2) I will never give Tyson Chandler credit, even for "taking away" Lamarcus' running hook in the middle of the lane. The guy shoves, shoves, and shoves some more. And he gets away with it way too much. He is soooo physically aggressive, if his name was Dwight Howard, he'd sit on the bench for all but 4 minutes a game. I guess everyone can call it good defense, but I won't be one of them anytime soon :)

    by SisillaRiann on 4/29/2011 8:08 AM
  17. Great Post Miss EowynArarie.

    I know you probably won't, but I wish that you could over-come your anxiety and watch our team preform in crucial team play. Losing is not bad if you take it as growth.
    I have enjoyed you in this season, You are a terrific fan and I can see why you took the title of top homer from me.

    Thank you EA

    by Hg on 4/29/2011 8:17 AM
  18. Ancientone, my friend, you will surely gain a few pounds after reading all these post. Do you have lots of indigestion medication at hand LOL

    by Hg on 4/29/2011 8:19 AM
  19. mike and faithful bloggers,

    thanks for entertaining blazer talk. i loved all of it about as much as the game itself.

    we had a good season and we have a good team but it's missing something. i'll leave that to cho to figure out. we're obviously not an elite team. i'm proud of our guys for working hard and fighting through so much adversity. somewhere we are lacking a killing instinct and roles aren't defined.

    the playoffs are where we see the men and boys separated. we know where we are. i thought we were better but we're not. hopefully the players know this otherwise we're delusional wimps.

    thanks blazers for the ride. wish it was longer. i'm disappointed.

    Go Blazers!



    by thedanman on 4/29/2011 8:32 AM
  20. Thanks, Mike for all your commentary and blogging this season. I love your warmth, your rapport with MRIce and that your writing is so close to how you speak. Even if I have seen the game already, it is great to get your read on it after the fact. Keep up the great work!

    by permaculture james on 4/29/2011 8:52 AM
  21. Hg: I've got a lot of time to work it off.

    Dallas was the better team in aggresiveness and hustle.

    If the coach can't trust Patty to play then we need to find a point guard. BRoy is still an excellent player but he isn't a point guard as he showed in the playoffs.

    We need a reliable spot up shooter.

    We need a real power forward to back up LA. GWallace is a small forward. We have asked too many people to play out of their real position and a first round loss shouldn't be that surprising.

    These are my thoughts for what they are worth. I have enjoyed visiting and exchanging ideas with all of you and especially thank Mike Barrett for providing this forum. I hope to from you Mike in the off season and to share ideas with the rest of you on this blog as developments occur.

    What a fitting end to the season. I got called in and delivered two babies and my wife couldn't figure out how to get the VCR to record Mike & Mike so I had to watch the TNT version.

    by Ancientone on 4/29/2011 10:09 AM
  22. random thoughts:
    LA blossomed!
    Wes was a gem of a pick up!
    Gerald is perfect as a Blazer in terms of hustle/humility ratio (get him out of that hotel room and find the man a home!)
    Kudos for overacheiving given a new line up week to week all season,
    Wes: painful to seem him get flattened on picks (communicate!),
    yes we need a reliable shooter and low presence,
    Thanks for all the chalupas.
    Love seeing the team when it is clicking; didn't see that much v Dallas. So few alleyoops v Dallas too.
    The future is bright (but I said that last season too!)

    by permaculture james on 4/29/2011 10:21 AM
  23. As much as Andre has done for this team, I was looking for him to make some timely baskets (as he usually does) when Gerald got hurt. It will be interesting to see if he'll be our starting point guard next year, seeing he's still never gotten out of the first round in almost 15 years of being a starter. We have plenty of work to do in the offseason on both the offensive and defensive ends.

    by C. Larry on 4/29/2011 11:23 AM
  24. Are you going to grade players performance from one game? Dre has proven all year that he is our starting PG. Nothing has changed.
    True we have lots of work to do, but that is always the case every summer. We need a true consistent shooter, do you know where we can find one that doesn't cost us a arm and a leg? We also need a big, if Greg doesn't materialize.

    by Hg on 4/29/2011 11:33 AM
  25. i'm not going to get into a long, drawn out analysis of the game, the season nor the needs for next year. i'm just not there yet. like the players, i think it's more important to sit back and reflect for a little while.

    what i will say about the game is that we put ourselves in position near the end, but just couldn't get over the top. there's not any one area which could have propelled us to victory. Gerald showed us a lot of the reason Cho went after him so vigorously (and why he is called "Crash"), i thought Wesley played very well on both ends of the court and i was glad to see LaMarcus step it up in the fourth like he did.

    however, in the end, dallas' ability to make contested, off-balance shots sealed the win for them. as far as my personal favorites are concerned to reach the finals, it's not the mavs (yes, they beat us, but i don't think they will have deserved it) nor the lakers (for obvious and previously stated reasons). in truth, i probably won't watch much of the rest of the playoffs, though i will likely keep an eye on the scores.

    i came into the season with optimism, especially after the previous season with all the injuries. well, there were more injuries, but something else emerged. an actual relationship with the team. due to twitter and facebook, we read about these guys bowling together, talking about mouse searching in orlando and even seeing some fund-raising to help those affected by natural disasters. additionally, there have been messages sent from fans back to players and even vice versa. one player even tweeted me with the offer of tickets to a game which i was unable to attend. we may have not gotten past the first round, but we've gotten a bunch of guys who know how to treat their fans, and who fans love supporting.

    late last summer, as training camp was beginning, i was preparing to head off to college away from home. i knew i would miss my family immensely and i also wasn't exactly sure how i would follow the blazers. because of the team, because of the players' accessibility through tehnology and because of the interactive fan outlets, i do believe i've followed this group more closely than during any other year.

    for now, that's the reflection on which i want to focus.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/29/2011 11:31 AM
  26. Great year Blazers. It's kind of how I expected. I was a little surprised by the Wallace trade, giving up 3 centers (so to speak) at such a crucial time. I see now that it was the best possible aquisition. It gave us a chance for this year and added a major piece for next year. Now we can focus on a big, hopefully Greg. Thank God we still have Andre. If you recall Armond was looking like the future before being beat out by Patty. I expect a vast improvement for both and will be able to work them in to ease the load on Dre. I would love to see Pendergraph back and please sign Chris as he will make a great 3rd center and take a load off Camby. Can't win a series in the West without a constant presence in the center. Wesley and Nic will continue to improve. Roy needs to learn how to move without the ball, he is not a point guard and it pains me to see him and Rudy try to make due with Patty on the bench. I think we are lined up for an excellent year. Keep the core intact. Work on shooting the 3. Get Patty and Armond in gear or upgrade and get another big.

    It's a mental game and we just weren't focused. We slid our way through the season playing for 1.5 to 2.5 quarters per game and ended up winning enough to make the playoffs. NOT GOOD ENOUGH! We didn't play a single whole game in this series. Defense, fast breaks and easy buckets are the promised land. I wouldn't mind seeing a new "offensive" coordinator. Let's execute some plays. How many times this year did the other team go on a 6-0 run after we called a time out? Please give us a little love (Stern) on the scheduling. Sure it's picked randomly but that doesn't mean it's not picked randomly 600 times till the big market teams get taken care of. We always get screwed. It would not be difficult to keep track of which teams get screwed and weight it so that other teams get their turn. 3 second game back to backs against the Lakers should not be possible. And refs, call it any way you like but be consistent.

    Looking forward to a great year next year. Have a great vacation, you deserve it, then back to work. Thanks for the ride!

    by davsykes on 4/29/2011 11:52 AM
  27. You know what the turning point in the game was? Batum's 3 that would have pushed the lead from 12 to 15, went in and out. At the time, the score was 31-19. As soon as it missed, I leaned over and told my wife, "remember this point in the game."

    Next time down the court, we foul Peja shooting a 3, he hits all 3 free throws and it's a 9 point game. A 6 point swing in a bat of an eye. Shortly after that, we are whistled for a flagrant on Dirk, they get 4 points out of that possession and at that moment they totally withstood our initial surge. So to me, that was the biggest play of the game.

    by DHawes22 on 4/29/2011 12:23 PM
  28. @ Hg: No, I wasn't judging Andre's play on one game; the questioning of whether he'll be our starter or not was based on his inability to get out of the first round in almost 15 years. That's an amazing stat to me for a point guard with Andre's skill. I understand that no one person is responsible when a team loses, but out of all the problems we had against Phoenix last year, I remember thinking that Andre's inability to knock down long range shots on a consistent basis really hurt our spacing. I'm left thinking the same thing after this year's playoffs, but this is just my humble opinion. I agree that we could use a shooter and big man, preferably a player or two that brings some winning experience.

    by C. Larry on 4/29/2011 1:54 PM
  29. Kassandra: good read: I guess my outright admiration of you is felt by many. It's kind of like when Kassandra speaks everybody listens. I hope you keep up with posting and blogging doing the summer.

    Later

    by Hg on 4/29/2011 2:34 PM
  30. Thanks MB: Its funny I was thinking about the G.O. angle myself. I stop myself because that's a wait and see. Rich Cho I've gained confidence in. Should be interesting.
    It was fun. Good season. Highlights and heart aches. Peace out. Time to put on the golf shoes. Signed Divotking

    by Divotking on 4/29/2011 2:38 PM
  31. What is Portland goal? we wanna win or just want to get to the playoff? if we wanna win then blow the roster. Rudy,Batum,Patty,Camby have to go fine a new home and we should working on our rookies, Chris johnson, Elliot William, and maybe Babbit. if Portland want just to play regular season, keep them all and move on.

    by ijamesza on 4/29/2011 5:52 PM
  32. Mike, thanks for writing the article, putting a nice perspective at the end of this series. There's probably none other who can write an article that is so close to the game watching the team play home and road.

    I'm pretty much OK with how the team played in the regular season, injuries were enough to tell me it's going to be a few down .500 so I prepared myself for the eventuality.

    But the thing was LaMarcus stepped-up to the plate and that made me believe he can do it, he can pull the team and lead it.

    Yeah, I was surprised to the point of amazement seeing the change was so radical. The game against the Bucks somehow made a big impact on me making me believe the Blazers can take it above .500 and I think that was the premise of my faith.

    And so from there on, always placing my faith into that, always believing on it.

    by begonza on 4/29/2011 7:21 PM
  33. RIght now, and for the past couple seasons, the Blazers are a team that looks very good on paper but is so inconsistent on the court that our full potential is rarely actualized over a full game much less a season. We play good defense (great at times) but our lack of consistent offense is more than good defense can make up for. That plus our puzzling lack of intensity over long periods of time dooms us to be a continual also-ran.

    In game 6, two players showed consistent intensity: Wallace and Mathews. Their going to the rim nearly every time they got the ball got us as many free throws as Dallas had. Even BRoy didn't attack the rim like he did in pulling out game 4. If guys can't get all the way up for an elimination game, what will motivate them? These are professional athletes, they shouldn't need any motivation other than their own pride in their performances and the desperation of the situation.

    I keep thinking of Ruben Patterson at times like this. He was always intense from the second he stepped on the court until his butt again hit the bench.
    I used to wonder how good Catfish (Travis Outlaw for newcomers) could have been with Ruben's attitude and desire. I wonder now about Nic Batum and Rudy Fernandez in the same way. These three players have great natural talent, far more than Ruben had, but Ruben got more out of his talent than the others have by simply playing as hard as he could all the time. Defenders hated guarding Ruben because he never disappeared for long stretches as the others often do. His mind never wandered from the job at hand.

    There are players who play the game and then there are players who consider it far more than a game, it's their livelihood and they approach it as if their lives depended on the outcome. The latter will far more often be the winners.

    Thanks to Mike and Mike and all of you here -- see you all next season,
    don

    by dgpdx on 4/29/2011 9:00 PM
  34. Sooooo....anyone else feel we should have played the Spurs? Good job Memphis.

    Cant wait to see what the off-season produces. IF we can stay healthy...IF we can be consistent, then next year might be a pretty darn good year. Id like to see Mathews come off the bench, and be that sixth man. He is such a hot&cold shooter with energy, just think off the bench might suit him best. Keep Dre..sign Jeff Pendergraph...get some more depth....gotta make sure Oden plays for us next year, weve waited this long, we saw alittle of what he could do for us...man...IF the big fella can stay healthy..whew...Hoping LA comes back even stronger...a more confident Batum will also be needed....if all these peices of the puzzle come into play, Think will be alright.

    Just have to wait and see...I think we have the core talent....just need more leadership..more veteran way of thinking..more confidence to take the fight out of a team when you got em down.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/29/2011 11:17 PM
  35. Memphis is my team to root for the rest of the way. They did everything against San Antonio, showed the non-stop energy, the relentless pounding of boards, and the crisp unselfish passing the Blazers couldn't maintain against Dallas. I mean--who could believe it?--even Zach Randolph passes the ball now.

    by Islander on 4/30/2011 1:11 AM
  36. SIDENOTE- I was looking at LMA's player page.

    in the 1st rnd of nba playoffs- He led the league in field goal attemps @115, and field goals made @53

    Free throw attemts however- *league leaders*

    Aldridge 27th
    Dirk 2nd

    Quite interesting....Dirk played a better series, he was clutch, and LA has some more work to do before he gets up to Dirks status, but wow...thats crazy lopsided..26 players got to the line more than LA during the 1st round, all things considered he did pretty good for us in the playoffs.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/30/2011 11:59 AM
  37. Lone star state of confusion,
    hurt my back, think I've got a contusion;
    Where was the last stand?
    blazing a trail of broken dreams;
    like Wheeler's lap band,
    came apart at the seams;
    No miracle finish,
    The Mavs partied as we pooped,
    but it cannot diminish,
    A season's story that was scooped;
    No more blazer believing,
    losing count of the years,
    Thank God from the ceiling,
    fell the t.p. for my tears;
    Dallas pitched up their tent,
    in the lane they all camped;
    Now my money is spent,
    my hand freshly stamped;
    gotta dartboard named Dirk,
    think I'll have me a ruben,
    there's a face with a smirk,
    think it belongs to a Cuban;
    No Barrett blank stares,
    no Holton, no Porter;
    call someone who cares,
    for that here's a quarter;
    Yes I like pina coladas,
    and getting caught in the rain;
    Sunny D, enchiladas;
    gonna ride that L-Train;
    But I'm cold and I shiver,
    on the plains I must roam;
    lower lip starts to quiver,
    gonna blaze that trail home.





    by Phi Slamma on 4/30/2011 1:03 PM
  38. Hg: thanks. as with last year, i will continue to post throughout the summer. the reflection is basically just a short break. i'm actually thinking of a couple blogs to write on the site, so hopefully i'll get those up soon.

    not everyone listens, but i'm fine with that. one of the best things here is to see different perspectives. i look forward to more of that.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 4/30/2011 7:49 PM
  39. Kassandra: I will be looking forward to your blogs. Right now I am reading up on PRP which is a type of cell stemming, that I don't understand at all, but I am getting a general idea of how it works. I do believe that is the treatment that BRoy was talking about that he didn't really talk about. Although it is legal and even ethical, some religious groups still frown on it. I just hope it works and BRoy can become an elite player again.

    I am like you, I probably won't watch much of the play-offs, just keep track of the scores.

    Catch you soon.

    by Hg on 4/30/2011 8:37 PM
  40. I agree about rooting for the Griz! They obviously knew who they wanted in the first round since they threw their final two regular season games to be sure they finished 8th.

    Interesting article in this morning's Oregonian about how their "giveaway" trade of Pao Gasol to the Lakers opened the door to their current team by giving them cap space to sign Zebo and the others. And they didn't let a season-ending injury to their starting small forward, Rudy Gay, stop them.

    Go Griz; Beat OKC!
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 4/30/2011 10:21 PM
  41. Game 6 was a sad day for fans.

    The new guy was the only one that had any flair. I won't blame LA for anything, he has been amazing this year. The team looked flat in a game 6? That's a disgrace.

    I still cannot figure out why we could not stop Jason Kidd or Barea. I will say however that my respect has grown for both players and also for Nowitski. I think Dallas is definitely a title contender with or without Butler. Either they were just giving Dirk calls or he is borderline unstoppable under certain circumstance. We will see what kind of hijinks NBA officials call in the LA/Dallas series. If anyone in the West has a chance to dethrone the Lakers. it may be Dallas. I think it will be interesting to watch.

    There can only be one champion, no matter how dramatic the season, when all is said and done. That is the only thought that pacifies my disappointent in the game 6 performance. It's not about blame. It's that I know Portland stood for not backing down or giving away a playoff game when i watched the team in the 80's and 90's. We were a man or two too thin in the post i thought. Wallace is not a 4, Camby unfortunately did not have a very good series and LA was up to his neck in all that was being asked of him. Metally more so than psychologically, we got tired. It's always worse when when you are mentally broken. Talent wise in a 5 on 5 situation we may have been matched well with Dallas, but you could see the more confident and ready team. I really thought Nate would have his team ready this year. Something has to change. Nate needs some players that respect him and that can play his game if he is to coach here. He won a series in Seattle, why is it different with Portland? Game 6 was the first time that I say Andre Miller not bringing it. Why did he look so tired with 2 days off? HE wasn't the only one. Not to blame. Dallas was the better team, no I gotta just admit it.

    I still love Brandon Roy.Bless his future with as much love as he has given this city in the past 4 seasons. I beleive he can come back to some high level. look at jason Kidd or Amare Stoudemire. I am disgusted with what some fans said about Roy. I understand the frustration and can relate to it, but how could anyone say those things about Roy? It didn't sit well with me. It wasn't Bonzi wells or Ruben patterson, Darius Miles, Randolph or even Rasheed. I still remember that night with 2 feet of snow on the ground in Portland when he dropped 52. Or on the eve of my birthday he tied a franchise record with 10 steals. I remember each and everyone of his game winning shots. Before that folks, let's remember we weren't cheering about much here in Portland. For better or worse for Brandon, that guy deserves the best.

    Greg Oden, if the Blazers offer, should return to Portland next year. I he can play and contribute- only time will reveal- I think it would be loyal to the Blazers and the fans if he accepted a reasonable deal to stay. I know some guys are all about the money and security, but if the Blazers want him back, I think it would only be the right decision for him to make to stay. We have been patient> He has made a lot of money. Show us what you really got Greg.

    LA is a corner stone piece. He just needs help and chemistry. Mathews and Wallace are worthy but only time will tell.

    Lastly, let's stop acting like the fans are untouchable here. Sure we all have been in wait for the team to blossom and win a championship. At the same time, certain comments posted on message boards and what not make us look silly. We don't ride on a highn horse just cause we buy tickets. We are not perfect of untouchable, ot know everything just because we are hungry for a championship. That is up to management to fix this issue. And as fans, I think we should for most part respect the decisions of the GM and owner and coach. Support even in doubt. I don't agree with everything but out of being a fan I adjust. Didn't like seeing Pritchard go but anxious what Cho will bring. Miss Outlaw and Blake. Camby is awesome though. Miss Joel but Wallace is a great talent. Well, it was not a miracle fix, but entertaining and still a worthwhile season.

    Thanks to Mike and Mike. Owner Paul Allen, thank you very much sir for giving Portland a team. Nate McMillan- I hope you find the answers to the questions you ask and get the results you want. LaMarcus Aldridge- Thank you for doing what you did for this franchise. You proved you are an ALL STAR, you were OUR STAR, thanks.

    by Bull Frog on 4/30/2011 11:12 PM
  42. KARMA

    by hdallmon on 5/1/2011 12:48 AM
  43. Bull Frog:

    You left out the adjustment to injury. It takes time to re-adjust after injuries. Much more then the players were given. BRoy should not have even played this year after the surgery, but he came back early to give the team some needed depth, then as you said, got ridiculed for not being better. Camby is getting older; his injuries are multiplied to a worse extent because of age. Dre didn't play worse, the Mavs were just keying on him and he was more or less handcuffed. Matthews as reported has a messed up ankle that plagued him all year. Rudy's and Wallace's back is bothering them. No comment on Batum, maybe it is his quiet demeanor, he just takes what is given him and doesn't push the issue, but that is just a guess. The Johnson boys, Babbitt, and Patty were just too inexperienced.

    You say they were flat and uninspired in game six, I say they have had the after burners on since before the all-star break and they just went to burn out. When other teams kick it to a higher gear, PTB had no other gear to go to so it made them look bad, but in actuality the other team just got much better then they have been all season. Plus the Mavs didn't have a 57 win season by having their hands in their pockets. We all know Dirk is for real, Jason Kidd regardless of his age is a hall of famer, and Jet has been solid for years.

    Therefore, going on the assumption that every game has its own characteristics,
    we were just over-matched in experience and ability to adjust to each and every game.

    Finally, I am not disappointed in anything the team did this year, over-coming adversities, over achieving just to reach the play-offs, trading away loved players in hopes of getting better, but at the same time sacrificing, and still taking the Mavs to game six, makes me very proud of the team and makes me proud to be a Portland Trailblazer fan.

    by Hg on 5/1/2011 4:01 AM
  44. Lamarcus Aldridge is the new face of the franchise. When teams prepare for Portland the conversation starts with LA. When he gets that much attention from EVERY opponent and still put up the numbers he does says something to me. Off the court he is pure class. What he did for Dre brought tears to my eyes. More about Dre in a minute. La worked his %&$ off last off-season. Pushed his game to another level. He defines professional. Never a negative comment coming from his locker. We also have true warriors on this team. Dre is an employee everyone would love to have. Comes to work every day. Will do the dirty work. Matthews I wish we could clone. He's young but plays like a vet. He will play on one leg and has if asked to. I'll put GW in that group. I want to see him play 82 games with us. The future is bright. We are not there yet. A few pieces short. If we continue to make steps in the right direction this core group will advance.

    by Divotking on 5/1/2011 7:47 AM
  45. Hg: I think you are right about BRoy. He is a fantastic talent but becakuse of our personel and experience level he was called on to do things that are not his strengths. I hope he can return healthy and the team can find that point guard that they can have confidence in to let him play to his strengths. In that situation I think he can become a cornerstone again.

    Some talk about LA not showing up in the playoffs. We didn't have a backup center (although I loved CJ's play) or power forward. Dirk only had to play against a big on one end LA had to play against a platoon of bigs. He's still my man.

    Even at all that if we had a reliable spot up shooter it would have helped tremendously.

    OK Cho show us what you've got.

    Guys I had to get up and munch a cold chicken leg on my own blog.

    by Ancientone on 5/1/2011 8:06 AM
  46. Ancientone these last three post will put on an extra ten pounds, I had to go get dessert after reading Bullfrogs.

    Bull Frog, just a joke that ancientone pulled a long time ago about having to make countless trips to the frig on my long post. Keep them coming

    by Hg on 5/1/2011 8:06 AM
  47. Well, it's likely to my LAST post of the year. May as well make a memorable one :( .

    I Am not dissing on the team or saying anything bad. I am just saying I have never seen a Blazer team coached by McMillan come out that flat in a playoff game, especially at home. Wallace obviously means a lot to the morale of the guys, but I felt like something in our spirit was broken. Miller looked distraught, and believe you me, I would have bet 9 times out of 10 before this series started he would have got the better of Kidd. I was wrong, I mean I was expecting Kidd's knee to pop out of the socket the whole time but I was proven wrong. He is a good point guard, not sure how much juice is really left in him though. Patty or Rudy would have been good to stick on Barea. We couldn't stop the ball and make Barea shoot over the top of us. Maybe I am missing something but is that guy really that good? Back off him a foot and a half and stop his dribble. Get your hands on the ball, tie him up get it out of his hands. Easier said than done, obviously he is better than one would think. He is just good against the Blazers.

    Our bench was transparent other that the 2 really good games Roy had. That was just too much to ask of LA and the starters. None the less, every team has injuries so it to some extent it balances out. Portland will not be the most injury prone team in the NBA. At some point we will reach the playoffs with a healthy 11 - 15 players. The past 2 years we just haven't.

    No matter how you look at it, a Blazer playoff exit is always going to hurt no matter what people are saying. If the media hadn't been talking upset just because we got 'Crash' Wallace I think we could have played better just being us without all the hype and expectations.

    Lastly I just want to say that we didn't look like the same team in the playoffs. I wonder why that is. We have been there for 3 years now, why does our purpose and demeanor change when we get to the dance. Dallas just handed our hides over to us I guess. Like I said, I expect the Mavs to really hand the Lakers a tought tough time. Dallas has proven they are ready and willing to do what it takes. I just get sick of Tyson Chandler trying to act like he is a carbon copy of Rasheed Wallace. Flailing his arms. Whining to the officials. He doesn't play quite as dirty as Artest (does anyone remember how the knee injury happened to Roy at the end of last year?!)

    Anyways, he is a good tough presence that Chandler, but tries to be an intimidatory and a whiner too much and that was lame to watch

    Lastly Hg. we a were at home. That was my point.

    by Bull Frog on 5/1/2011 9:14 AM
  48. Bull Frog;
    I wasn't disagreeing with you, just giving my opinion, and my opinion is just that just an opinion like yours.
    It wasn't my intention to upset you and many fans do get hurt for early exits, I am just an old man that has seen this type of thing for forty years and just enjoy watching them as long as I can. I love watching them win or lose. They are not playing to live up to my expectations of them, and I don't plan the outcome of the play-offs so therefore I don't get disappointed.
    That is just me and the way I enjoy the Blazers, maybe out of defensive measures. That surely doesn't make you wrong for the way you feel,
    I hope you don't quit posting because my opinions differ from yours. Your posts are very good and reflex your perspective of the Blazers and that is what being a fan should be

    by Hg on 5/1/2011 9:45 AM
  49. Sad,but not unexpected.Our droughts were the continued kiss-of -death. is intersting how mental shooting droughts are.and how contagious they are. Now ,it's time for the who stays and who goes game.
    Props to Sarge for duct taping compettitive teams that scrapped,suprised, and stepped up, when no one thought they would.Props to Crash for inspiring hustle,props to LA for bein DA man.Broy for showing us what he means to this team.Props to Dre for doin it all,Camby,too,and all of the unsung Blazers who made every game fun.
    Lasdt but not least

    by DowntownVinnie on 5/1/2011 10:31 AM
  50. Vinnie I've missed your unique perspective through most of the year. No one can say you jumped on the band wagon. I agree about Nate and the team. We're due for one of those healthy years.

    I know that a lot of bloggers that showed up at the end of the year will fade out now but I hope they return next year. This blog has been a very civil discourse with a wide variety of views that I have had to reavaluate my ideas. It's been great. So many of these get nasty and personal. Thanks again Mike.

    by Ancientone on 5/1/2011 10:54 AM
  51. MB,Youre the man,taking time to respond to Emails ,Taking pictures w/fans at games and taking time to meet and greet despite your schedule.We appreciate the time to throw down this blog as well, not to mention the fun you give us watching you call the games,Courtside,and putting up w/"The Wild One",You are a credit to the team and organization ,cuzz.You are much appreciated. I said it,I meant ,and I'm here to represent it:
    BLAZERSROCK

    by DowntownVinnie on 5/1/2011 11:17 AM
  52. ancientone..Thanx to you too,bro,I know you are Blazer -like -warrior in your own life .I admire ,and you inspire:).There is much good to look forward to. We have only just begun ,the summer is when all the speculation begins,I like that time of year.Peace to you.

    by DowntownVinnie on 5/1/2011 11:22 AM
  53. Hg: enjoy that read; sounds like me with my studying. i'm starting a blog today, but not sure when i'll actually post it. i'm sure i'll see you around.

    Vinnie: welcome back (again!). i couldn't agree with you more about our droughts this season. they were God-awful. for the second straight year Nate and the guys did extremely well with that which they had to work, and found a few surprises along the way (LaMarcus, Crash and Wesley).

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 5/1/2011 11:59 AM
  54. Ancientone: We already have a great spot up shooter -- his name is Brandon Roy. BRoy is our most consistent jump shooter and he could easily become our best 3-point shooter as well. His 10 to 17 foot fadeaway is nearly unstoppable.

    For that to happen though, he obviously must learn to play without the ball. If he can do that, he can be a force in this league for many more years. And Andre MIller's assists will rise along with Brandon getting more shots coming off picks, or from the arc on dish outs.

    I still can't figure out why Brandon took only 6 shots in game 6. He made 4 of them. I didn't notice Dallas defending him any differently, just maybe with more intensity. I guess that was enough...
    --
    dg

    by dgpdx on 5/1/2011 2:04 PM
  55. Hg: You are right about opinions.

    I am not great at X's and O's. I claimed to have seen a lack of heart at home.

    Would you or anyone like to discuss why any member of Dallas was so tough for us or why guys like Miller underachieved? Why our passes looked lazy? I would like to break this down with maybe some better educated basketball fans and understand this. Why Barea? Why Kidd? Why is Nowitski so good? Hoe do players like Terry make it to there spot and fire with some much ease and repeated success.

    Thanks for the response Hg...

    by Bull Frog on 5/1/2011 2:49 PM
  56. Because LA played 35-45 mins all year long and expect him to drive in and draw a foul. Obviously he's wear out and so does out starting 5. Everytime you saw LMA shoot the jumper that mean he's tried of getting hit( he even said it). Nate doesn't trust the team enough to put on patty or rookies in. So yeah dude if you play 5 guy without sub obviously they gonna get tired and wear out. Blazers got 12 guys active on the roster. we only play 5 guy meanly.

    by ijamesza on 5/1/2011 3:44 PM
  57. Bull Frog:
    I am not a educated Blazer fan, I was talking about burn out from excelling to long. That is to everybody in every way of life. Go to your job and go full speed for 10 or twelve hours a day and the next day get up and do it again. sooner or later you will start taking short cuts, slowing down when it is possible and maybe even put some of your load on other members of the working crew. That is why I think we just hit our wall. Remember if it wasn't for some Marathon play we wouldn't have made the play-offs, We wasn't even sure we would get in until the last week of regular season. I just think we did too much in too Little of time and it caught up with us, I think it was more mental fatigue then physical, or maybe both. The Mavs players has been there before and know how to cope with the play-offs better, but other then that I don't know why them and not us, I feel we have a team that is just as good, but just can't get over the hump yet.

    by Hg on 5/1/2011 9:31 PM
  58. Hg: In response to your comment about the blazers hitting the wall. Perhaps they did. Were they undermanned? Perhaps. Did they overachieve in the regular season. Maybe. Does Nate push too hard at the end of the season. Not giving enough rest? I don't know. I do know every team of championship quality works as hard or harder than the blazers. In the playoffs you have to dig a little deeper than the next guy. Dallas was a better team in April. They had more bodies. Portland needs a few more pieces.

    by Divotking on 5/2/2011 6:54 AM
  59. Hg: In response to your comment about the blazers hitting the wall. Perhaps they did. Were they undermanned? Perhaps. Did they overachieve in the regular season. Maybe. Does Nate push too hard at the end of the season. Not giving enough rest? I don't know. I do know every team of championship quality works as hard or harder than the blazers. In the playoffs you have to dig a little deeper than the next guy. Dallas was a better team in April. They had more bodies. Portland needs a few more pieces.

    by Divotking on 5/2/2011 6:54 AM
  60. Divotking: You are right, Dallas did play better than Portland. Their depth on the bench was far better, and their defense was better than I realized. but all in all it was a great series, and the outcome was what in reality I expected. I don't predict how many games or even who wins, It was just that they were 3rd and we were 6th, and was hoping for an upset.

    by Hg on 5/2/2011 7:30 AM
  61. hg ,cuzz,Let me break it down for ya.......Mavs had WAY,WAY more CONSISTENT bench.Key to the series right there,bammmm.JOMO:)

    by DowntownVinnie on 5/2/2011 7:53 AM
  62. hg.......One more thing.Mavs played better at Crunch time And Dirk is a great Closer,too

    by DowntownVinnie on 5/2/2011 7:56 AM
  63. DTV: I believe you are right. Our bench has been our downfall all year. What do you think will happen this summer? We need some consistent shooters.

    by Hg on 5/2/2011 8:07 AM
  64. It was a long season for a team thinned by injury and further thinned by a two-for-one trade. Nate leaned hard on LaMarcus all year, and when the playoffs came, the people who had warned that he was playing too many minutes turned out to right. As for our bench play: 1) Luke and Armin got few meaningful minutes during the season, so they never got the chance to develop their games enough to help us. 2) Nic was in a new role coming off the bench, working in unfamiliar lineups where we lacked a real power forward. He's not exactly a freelancing player, so it's no surprise that he sometimes looked lost. 3) Roy was still rebuilding his game after injury, with his performance so spotty I had completely written him off after game three. 4) Rudy has always faded late in the year. He's had back trouble that may have recurred after a bad fall he took diving into the stands. 5) Chris was acquired so late he had real no chance to learn our offense. 6) Nate decided that one outing where he made a couple of mistakes was all the opportunity he need to give Patty. 7) Two bench guys, including an important big man off the bench, got hurt in pre-season and missed the whole season. 8) After the trade, we no longer had Joel and Dante to back up our bigs.
    Add it all up, and is it any surprise that our bench was outplayed?

    by Islander on 5/2/2011 1:05 PM
  65. hg Im thinkin Rudy might be gone ,just a hunch. We have a lot of talent in Europe,plus Ellliot will be playing,So I like our prognosis,I think guys like Chris Johnson could add some energy and competition for the summer. I like my man Dre, but we might be lookin to pick somebody up,at the very least, in a backup role.We need a solid backup PG.Theres sometin to chew on , bud:)

    by DowntownVinnie on 5/2/2011 11:35 PM
  66. Hi Hg how are you. My wife is from Prineville . Nice to talk to someone thats in our area. I bowled at Lava for 11 years now its a neat place. But now with Blazers over and bowling season over seem like nothing to do.... talk to you later.

    by jyp on 5/3/2011 1:32 AM
  67. DTV:
    That is what I am thinking about Rudy, I don't know what his value will be and I am not sure what is going on with him, I have read that his back is still bothering him.

    If BRoy wants to be on the starting 5 and can play without the ball then I see to many 2's on our team. Is Elliot a PG or a 2? I read that he is a slasher and of course lots of hops and spring. Have to wait and see on that. I know Nate had BRoy playing PG, but I think if he is to be on the starting five, and his knees are OK; Since he came back, I read that there was no swelling or pain although he was not doing the things that made him famous, like quick cuts, elevating at the rim and taking over the game on a regular basis, but plans to do so next year. But I don't think Nate should play him as a PG. Therefore you may be right about a back-up PG, but don't forget that your Man Armonizer and Patty were just rookies and has lots of room to grow. Armon the hammer is said to be a left handed JBay, but with better defensive skills. With his want to learn he may make the grade. Patty brings lots of energy, can shoot the three, is a fan favorite and Paul Allen's pet, so he may improve his setting up the offense better and quit making rookie mistakes

    If Greg is back and I think we will be; if we re-sign JP, and Chris puts on some wt. our bigs problem will be taken care of, That would free up Babbitt to play the three with Batum and GW. Babbitt is also a reported out side shooter if he can learn lateral movements on D and get over his stage fright, may be the shooter that we are looking for.

    All in All, if we drop Rudy, pick up Jeff or bring over Joel Freeman than we don't have to depend on the draft to up our production but can use the free agency to get players we want. Who-ever that might be, if any. Right now, it depends on the lock-out, the return of Greg, BRoy getting better, EW making his debut with a splash and Babbitt getting over his deer in the spotlight syndrome. So, it is much like the last two years, wait and see on our returned walking wounded.

    Oh, I think Joel Prisbilla might also make his return to Portland.

    by Hg on 5/3/2011 7:12 AM
  68. jvp: what is your name?, mine is Harold Mangum, I was thinking that maybe we can meet at Lava Lanes, or RimRock lanes some day. I am bowling the summer league at RimRock Lanes.

    by Hg on 5/3/2011 7:14 AM
  69. Did you see Dallas play last night? Down by 16 in LA. Kept their composure and won the game. After the game all Dirk wanted to comment on was their defense. Dallas and defense has never gone together. They have finally bought into it. That was the difference in the blazer series. We knew they had offensive weapons. Their defense caught us off guard.

    by Divotking on 5/3/2011 3:29 PM
  70. Hi Harold my name is Jeff Platt nice to meet you. yes we can meet at lava or rimrock lanes... Im bowling at Lava this summer also nice to meet you.

    by jyp on 5/4/2011 1:55 AM
  71. @Jeff:
    I bowl the Summer mixers at 7 on Thursday nights. For the summer I get Tuesdays off since that is my bowling night in winter league. I work mostly at nights, but since we clean business places after they close down my hours are flexible as long as I get them done before they start up the next morning.

    Week-ends evenings may be the best time to meet. Since many businesses are closed closed on week-ends we do most of our work doing the day.

    My Dr's for all my old age and worn out parts are in Bend, so at times my wife or I have appointments doing the day, doing business hours.

    My e-mail is
    magnumpi@q.com

    Let me know your schedule and we can do this.

    by Hg on 5/4/2011 4:32 AM
  72. I wonder if Dallas had did just as bad or way worse than Portland in that game 6 and continued that play in game 7 (basically having much less confidence and eventually giving POR those 2 games) what would have been the outcome in round 2?..... Put it this way.. even if Dallas just gave up and said "Here Portland you're doing just as bad but we are worse, so we'll give you the series after that miraculous Roy showing in game 4" does anyone think Portland would have any more confidence going into the second round against the lakers? I think they wouldn't and get dominated!! I know the Blazers love playing the lakers!! But this team was just awful in the first round!! Awful enough that even if they got lucky against Dallas, i don't think they could do enough to get passed the lakers and it showed that they weren't ready.. Portland i could tell was looking for something to save them.. all series! That's why they lost.

    I love the quote that any team is better than the other on any given night. OH AND "any team can be better than the other team on ANY GIVEN SERIES!" So why did Portland lose this series? Heart! that's all. Dallas had more heart! One more thing... I NEVER liked what Doug Collins did w/ his team against the Heat (Barkley noted this too on Inside the NBA).. he said if the heat played just as good as Philly, the heat get a unanimous win! Are u kidding me?? NEVER think like that!! Always go out there before a game wanting to win and prove your just as good as any other NBA players! Hello?? this is the NBA!! 76ers definitley could have beat the Heat.. they just didn't know it!

    There's a gazillion problems to why that is.. 2 main reason are the media and straight up EGO! Those things have to go!! Dallas coming into this was like WTH? Every team wants to play us in the playoffs? OK, now we got something we can rub off on and NOW we can act like we got a chip on our shoulder. Portland heard alot of that! The same reason Philly heard a lot about 3 UM EGOS!! all season long!!! If they NEVER believed in the hype, what would the outcome be? Sure, LeBRON, WADE & BOSH are 3 total MONSTERS! But every other player on the that team the sixers could match up with! And 3 players do not get you a ring! WILL NEVER HAPPEN! Public Enemy- Dont Believe the Hype! That's why Portland lost and that's how David Stern gets his paycheck! Wanted to get that off my chest!!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 5/4/2011 8:12 PM
  73. Those Mavs are making the Blazers look pretty good! Bye, bye Lakers -- finally?
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 5/4/2011 9:27 PM
  74. Lakers see-ya. Too much bling. Too much hollywood. Karma.

    by Divotking on 5/9/2011 6:49 PM
  75. Go Griz -- on to Dallas!

    by dgpdx on 5/11/2011 12:19 AM
  76. one additional thought about the dallas series, then i'll move on: we caught the mavs when they were peaking, or at least beginning to peak, for their season. we just weren't at the same level of play.

    so the dull time of the season is upon us, but not for the gm and the scouts. this is their busy time of year. i'm going to start thinking draft. i know the general consensus is that the draft is weak, but when you add some international players, if might elevate itself to halfway decent.

    Rich Cho has said his philosophy is to take the best available, but the problem is we're pretty deep at a couple of positions (i.e. sf, sg ... barring a trade) so i don't think we can strictly adhere to that. i see our needs as center, pg and backup pf. some of these could be addressed through trade(s) or free agency (Jeff Pendergraph anyone?). perhaps it's time to get the ball rolling.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 5/12/2011 7:21 AM
  77. Kassandra, not bad for a snotty nosed teenager LOL. You know I am just joking, I value your thoughts and input to no end.

    There is a lot of questions to be answered on Greg and BRoy, before we do to much. I am in the opinion that we need a PG back-up that is already NBA tested. Not the best necessarily, but one that can move the team without losing to much. that is because we have PGs in the making in Armon, Elliot and fans favorite Patty. How we get that ready made veteran PG is beyond me. I have suggested bringing over Petteri Koponen, but I don't know that much about him, but we need to use him or trade him and open up options.

    I think Jeff and Joel would be a good idea. As I said Greg still has lots of ?, so we need to work on what is and not what could be, then we don't strictly have to depend on Greg. If they resign Chris Johnson, get him in the wt room, then I think he will make a great back-up PF, but I don't know if he is quite ready for the big minutes.

    Anyway Miss Kassandra, I think your post hits the nail on the head. It is time to get the ball rolling.

    by Hg on 5/12/2011 7:43 AM
  78. While the idea of getting healthy players back is a great hope to have, I think in no way will it make us a legitimate contender. Oden, Roy, Williams, and the list goes on....Pendergraph even Przybilla, I mean it would be nice to have Brandon back averaging 17, 6, and 5 and Oden back averaging 10,10 and 2 but it is something we just can't bank on right now. Don't get me wrong, I want Oden and Roy here but i look at Dallas and Oklahoma City and Memphis. Guys like Tony Allen, Daquean Cook, Chandler, Marrion, you know, guys coming out of the woodwork that are role players but that have the ability to step up and be stars off the bench when needed. That's what the core of this team deserves because LA should not have to do so much on his own. Pendergraph looks great in build and stature, be he has lot to prove and for one he has to stay on the court for 65 games minumum and reach playoff full speed. Really all the players do and if one or two go down (hopefully no more good Lord!) then you have the Haywoods, Stojiokovich, and so forth. We just haven't had that the last two years. Going in to the playoffs with a 7-9 man rotation with no one else is hard on the team times mentally and physically without a solid insurance policy (I know, hard to come by) but even if they don't get minutes it's good to know you can call upon them.

    by Bull Frog on 5/12/2011 10:26 PM
  79. And I love Batum but he has got to step it up a little. Next year I hopw will be his year to just improve to the point where he is a threat and a defensive anchor. I know the potential is there and he is so young, he could totally give us 14, 5r, 3a, 2s, and 1-2 bl/g or even better and he could be an option as a closer. He is the only guy we got that can guard Durant. I absolutely love what Andre Miller has done in Portland but it would be so smooth to see Chris Paul playing with Matthews, Batum, LA, Roy,Wallace, Oden etc, Or someone of the like that is quick, good ball handler and decision maker, but who can also score when needed. And someone committed tp Portland and bring contention here in the Rose City regardless of what LA, OKC, NY, Miami, OKC, Dallas, and Chicago are doing. Got to get a couple two or three quick solid big men that can rebound and accept their role. I know..dreaming away here..

    by Bull Frog on 5/12/2011 10:36 PM
  80. Everybody should check out my new blog and support a fellow blazer fan

    ManOfTheFans.com

    feel free to leave comments and when you visit PLEASE just click a link
    RIP CITY UNITED

    by Timothy James Folkman on 5/14/2011 12:16 PM
  81. Given who's left in the playoffs, I'd love to see Chicago vs. OKC in the Finals.
    Let the young dudes get it on...
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 5/16/2011 7:18 PM
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