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Game 80 Preview: Sonics vs. Blazers

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It's devilishly hard to write a preview for a game when you're not entirely sure that either team wants it.  The Sonics are 1-6 in their last 7.  The Blazers are 2-8 in their last 10.  Ray Allen, Earl Watson, and Luke Ridnour are out for them.  A whole raft of people are out for us.  They've been getting by on Rashard Lewis' scoring plus occasional contributions from Chris Wilcox.  We've been getting by on Brandon Roy scoring plus occasional contributions from either Jack, Outlaw, or Magloire.  Neither team has been scoring well.  Neither team has been defending well.  And both are neck and neck in the standings.  It's overwhelmingly likely that one will end up with bragging rights, the other with extra ping pong balls.

This game is simple:  Whoever wants it more will win.  And which team that is (if any) ought to be evident right out of the gate.  You go out there, you hustle on defense (including getting back in transition), you execute on offense (including driving the ball to the hoop), you rebound, and you win.

If Brandon Roy plays I give us about a 40-45% chance.  (Lewis and Wilcox are good.)  Without him less.  But either way no heart equals no victory.

My gut says that it's been too good of a season (relatively) for us to see us go out without one more win.  It's not going to be against Utah.  That means either we win tonight against Seattle or Wednesday against Golden State.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)