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Game 73 Preview: Blazers vs. Warriors

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Whatever the after-effects of Tuesday's feel-good game against Washington, this game has all the hallmarks of a potential blowout.

Let us count the ways this game could be trouble.  First the Warriors are 43-27 and in the thick of an incredibly hot race for the potential final playoff spot in the West.  Second they just lost an overtime heart-breaker to the L*kers.  Third they're at home.  Fourth we're going to be without Brandon Roy and the jury is still out on Lamarcus Aldridge's fitness.  Fifth we have not been playing consistently lately even WITH our main players.  Sixth, if Roy and LMA don't play we're completely outclassed offensively.  The Warriors field three 20-point scorers while we don't have anybody within 6 points of that range.  They average 111 on the season.  We average 96, but if you take out the big guys it's more like 59.  Obviously other players are going to step up and take those shots and points but that's still one heck of a distance.  Forget not being in the same area code, we're not even on the same planet.  Seventh you can't defend the Warriors.  They might be cold for a quarter but eventually the flood is going to break loose.  In 70 games this year they've failed to reach 100 only 8 times.  Your best chance to overcome them is to control the tempo with your offense but our two most accomplished tempo-controlling guys are...guess who?  In short, this has the makings of a massacre.  Anything short of that should be considered good for us and an actual win would be a feat worth celebrating well into the night.

Our best chance, I think, is if Lamarcus plays.  He gives us a post presence to battle them with.  I shudder to think of us only shooting jumpers against a quick-scoring monster team.  I think we sometimes frustrate the Warriors by our stubborn refusal to turn the ball over.  That also shaves points from their advantage.  We ought to be able to get rebounds and limit them to one shot.  We also need to take advantage of their willingness to foul and manufacture some spare points at the line.  Finally we just need some guys to have an unconscious night.  Lamarcus will be huge if he plays.  I'm looking at Travis as well.  If those two are shooting the lights out then maybe a good offensive game by one or two of the Webster/Blake/Frye/Jack set would keep us within shouting distance.  That's a ton of things to go right though.  Here's hoping.

What I'd Like To See

1.  A good effort, complete with energy, hustle, drive, and not abandoning ourselves to chucking the first thing that comes our way and then shrugging our shoulders while the Warriors convert a lay-up.  That's about it.  If I get that much I vow to be happy.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)