I guess I exposed myself as more of a fan than an analyst in my optimistic post yesterday about a strong win for the Blazers. I wasn’t that far off with the point spread, just on the team. Small consolation. Reality has set in and, while I am still a big fan and the eternal optimist, I have to admit that they may be going no farther than the first round this year. That said, I still think that they will tie up the series in the next game and we will go to at least six games.
I think that Phoenix has shown us once again to be careful what you wish for. They are not the same team that Portland won the regular season series from, and they are peaking at just the right time. They will be a load for anyone they may face.
I am still hoping for the unlikely, but if they go no further the Blazers deserve our respect and support for the effort that they maintained through an unprecedented amount of adversity including some unexpected controversy to pile on to the myriad injuries suffered this year. Once we lost both of our centers to knee injuries a lot of people questioned their ability to even make the playoffs. The players, coaches, and management did everything they could to make this a successful season and accomplished that so well that expectations were raised and excitement remained in Rip City.
If they go no further they have earned our thanks for an exciting season and a team that we can be proud to cheer for.
Saturday I think that we will see a different team than has shown up the last two games. I didn’t think that LA would have three bad games in a row when we need him to excel, but I think that the pressure of the situation is something that he has yet to figure out. He is a bright, talented kid and I have confidence that he will come out in game 4 ready to go to battle.
Rudy showed some life in the late stages and Andre Miller and Marcus Camby are savvy enough to calm the young guys down and rally them. Martell can replace Batum’s defense adequately.
Blazers win on Saturday. Series tied.