Here's the immediate pre-game thread for game discussion. Rules for all Gameday Threads:
--Stay on topic, discussing the game and surrounding issues only.
--No pictures posted. They slow things down.
--No swearing even if the refs stink and have hundred-dollar bills hanging out of their slacks with Houston fingerprints on them.
A new Gameday Thread will open every half hour tonight to prevent them from bogging down with too many comments. Migrate on up the chain as they appear.
Here is my final pronouncement on this game. Game 1 is always important, but remember we haven't won the series if we win tonight and we haven't lost the series if we lose. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that Game 2 is going to be one of the most critical moments in the momentum flow of the series. We'll only know after Game 2 if this is has the potential to be a blitz or a hard-fought slug-fest all the way.
Also remember that the Blazers have to negotiate the twin obstacles of being overly amped and not knowing entirely what they're doing. It may take them a quarter or two to get their sea legs. If you read Ben's report from shoot-around today (scroll just below) you'll see that the Rockets are confident and loose. Somehow I don't think Portland will be playing quite as easily when this game starts. Could be a benefit, could be something to adjust to.
And that's that. The talking and analysis are pretty much done. Blazers...playoffs...here we go.