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Blazers v. Suns

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I'm getting flooded by inquiries about whether Portland can win this game tonight.  So...  Short Answer:  Of course!  Portland has shown the ability to hamper the Suns.  Phoenix doesn't play well when hampered.  The Blazers absolutely, positively can win this game.

That said, I think Blazer fans are somewhat uneasy because as the series has progressed it's become apparent that the Blazers are the bar for the Suns to leap, not the other way around.  Portland is not letting Phoenix walk away with this series as they had planned.  They are in for a fight.  But the Blazers have their hands full just keeping Phoenix in check.  Portland doesn't yet have a credible exit strategy for their own victory outside of "stop the Suns from winning it".  If Phoenix falls short twice more, Portland will advance.  That's it.

THAT said, I believe the dynamic changes if the series gets to a Game 7.  At that point the Suns will have failed to clear the bar three times.  Down to their last chance, doubt starts to creep in.  The Blazers, meanwhile, have a chance to actually WIN the series for the first time instead of just preventing Phoenix.  That could awaken something heretofore unseen in this battered bunch...much like walking through a dark maze and finally seeing the doorway ahead.  One last rush for freedom might just bowl over the Suns.

We'll never know unless the Blazers can hold back the Suns once more tonight.  Personally I'm hoping it happens not only for the obvious reasons, but because it will be fascinating to see how this all plays out.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)