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Gameday Open Thread: Blazers vs. Suns

Dave was tied up last night, so get started on the gameday open thread RIGHT NOW and I'm sure he will come through to say a few words to preview the Suns shortly.

Here's my Suns preview.  Terry Porter is their coach and the Blazers should retire his jersey.  HONOR TERRY PORTER.

Be sure to check out Bright Side of the Sun. That site is so awesome -- as soon as we cut Steven Hill, they were all set to pick him up.  These guys think like us!

Go ahead, say it loud and proud: "FIRST."

-- Ben (

Update:  A couple thoughts from Dave...

First on last night, nice to get the win.  I love how we opened up the middle and then moved the ball and people in there.  I liked the hustle to force turnovers and get offensive rebounds.  Roy and Aldridge really came through...Roy especially with those clutch shots and the calming influence.  Loved the break.  Loved how Batum helped the break.  Predictably we killed the Spurs bench and that made a huge difference.  When the second units were in it reminded me of the pre-season games against the Kings.  If you don't defend this Portland team well they will take you to the woodshed.  The unselfishness last night was spectacular as well.  We also drew fouls, which was important.  Our point-of-attack defense still needs some work.  We saw the signs of youth not being able to put the game away when we got up.  Also I wasn't thrilled how willingly we got into a jump-shooting contest with the Spurs when they invited us to.  Situational awareness is definitely a work in progress with the Blazers.  Hanging on for the win aptly describes it, but it WAS a win and that's great.

Quick overview of tonight:

1.  Defend the pick and roll with Nash.  That's going to be the first and greatest key.

2.  Do not let the Suns get back on you in transition.  I don't care how different their style is, if they're running behind your defenders this game is going to be a blowout.

3.  Keep Amare and Shaq from getting deep in the paint and catching the ball.  Also make them move around on defense.  They and Grant Hill are exploitable on defense if you don't make it easy on them by letting them remain stationary.

4.  Two of the bigger challenges of the night will be to keep up on the boards and to keep them from parlaying all the attention we have to pay to their main guys into a host of wide-open threes.