FanPost

A Few Quick Thoughts on the Playoffs

  • It occurred to me today that there's an excellent chance that regardless of how far they get, the Blazers will never have to face a team against whom they had a losing regular season record.  The only two playoff teams in the western conference for whom they were on the losing side are Denver and Utah.  The Blazers were 2-1, 3-1, or 3-0 against everyone else.  Of course, this doesn't mean anything, the playoffs are a different animal, but I took it as a hopeful sign.
  • The above bullet is particularly true because the two teams the Blazers were weakest against this year are hurting.  Denver with Martin and Anderson, Utah with Boozer and Kirilenko.  (Bynum has been out for some time as well.  There's not as much talk about Bynum being a bust with his frequent injuries as there has been with Oden.  Maybe it's a number one pick thing.)  In addition, neither team has adjusted well to the injuries - they haven't been playing well lately, not a good sign headed into the post-season.
  • I'm glad we didn't get Dallas in the first round.  After that last game in the Rose Garden I don't want to see them again anytime soon.  They were terrible, we were terrible, the zebras were awful and the result made me want to claw my eyes out.  It's one thing to force a grind-it-out style game, there's going to be a lot of that in the playoffs regardless. That was just badly played by all parties, and the bad blood towards Dallas was palpable in the arena.
  • Defense is generally key in the playoffs, which gives us a bit of an advantage over a wide-open system team like Phoenix.  Refs don't call as much bumping, and are less likely to blow a whistle on tenacious defense short of egregious grabbing, etc.  Here's where the Blazers should shine, barring another 60% shooting spree like in the first game of the playoffs last year.
  • I've been musing - who will be on the playoff roster?  Aldridge, Camby, Miller, Batum, Fernandez, Webster, Howard, Bayless, Cunningham, Pendergraph.  Roy, maybe.  If they shut him down and have him go ahead with the surgery, then no.  Still, that's only eleven if Roy is on there.  The twelfth spot could possibly go to... Greg Oden?  I saw Diener and Mills last night, neither would get a minute of playoff time, unless others were all fouled out or injured.  They could stick Oden on there just in case the team is still playing in May.  There have been recent reports that he could play in the playoffs.  Might as well stick him on the roster... just in case.
  • I'm looking forward to watching the Suns in a seven game series.  Their games are generally entertaining, and even though I expect the Blazers will be effective at slowing them down some, the pace will surely be above the Blazers season average.  The series may be a glimpse of what the Blazers would look like if they played with a little more tempo.  The lack of Phoenix defense should allow Portland to avoid any offensive stink-bombs (though it's not assured, they managed to brick in the face of little defense on March 21st).
  • I still miss Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake, and wish they were here for the post-season.  This is not to say we ever could have gotten to here without Camby.  It's just that Travis and Steve were important contributors to making this team what it is, Blake in particular this year of course, and it's unfortunate that their seasons are done early (though I'm sure they're glad to have completed their contracts with the Clippers).
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