I am feeling very good about Portland’s chances to get out of the first round this year. I think that they just might take the game tonight and a commanding lead in the series, but even if they lose tonight they are in the driver’s seat for the series. Barring a total meltdown tonight they should come home full of confidence and with the Suns superiority complex gone.
Word seems to be that the Blazers played a perfect game and the Suns just missed shots that they usually make. The inference is that the Blazers can do nothing more once the Suns turn it on and take over the series. I don’t see it.
Anyone that follows the Trailblazers knows that they played defense as they are capable of when they are focused, but their offense was scattered and disconnected (only 16 assists) and they were out-rebounded and gave up 17 offensive rebounds. Phoenix missed some shots they usually make, but I give some credit to the Blazers hit-em-in-the-mouth defense.
I expect the Suns to adjust, but it’s not like the Blazers can’t do things a lot better also.
Through the course of the season, Portland consistently played Phoenix well and have won three out of four games this season including three in Phoenix. Except for the first game of the season series, Andre Miller has been one of our high scorers. LA and Bayliss have had great games against the Suns, and the Blazers have shown over and over that they can adjust to the absence of a key player.
I think that the Blazers will take the Suns in six games and go on to defeat Dallas in the second round.
As I write this the Suns are running away from that Blazers in the third period, but as I said before, regardless of the outcome of this game, I am confident in Portland’s ability to move on from this round. I really think tat Portland, when they are playing within their game, are a better team than the suns, and that should play out over the course of a seven game series.
I think, too, that Portland is better coached.
Rip City is ready to be red hot and rolling again.