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Blog Entry

Playoff Fix: Blazers-Mavericks Game 6

Posted on: April 28, 2011 8:52 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 5:44 pm
 
The Dallas Mavericks have their first chance to close out the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday during Game 6. Posted by Ben Golliver.
dirk-blazers

One Big Thing: The Dallas Mavericks, up 3-2 over the Blazers in the series, look to be in full command. The last time we said that, though, Brandon Roy turned everything upside down by exploding for a miraculous fourth quarter in Game 4. Portland doesn't necessarily need another miracle, some consistent scoring from the backcourt would do just fine. Dallas, meanwhile, has been efficient offensively this series, even if it hasn't led to huge point totals, but it must find a way to get to the free throw line on the road. Their Game 3 effort (23 attempts) was much better than Game 4 (10 attempts). DallasNews.com notes that the Mavericks are 1-9 in Game 6s and 0-5 on the road. Continuing to contain Portland's backcourt while also getting to the free throw line is a solid formula for putting a dent in those numbers.

The X-Factor: The Blazers' offense has been anemic all series, cracking 90 points just once in five tries and shooting 25% or less from three-point land three times in the five games. The long ball, and the offensive balance it provides, is key: Portland's offense produced 97 points and looked best when guard Wesley Matthews caught fire early in Game 3. Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge is seeing increasing amounts of attention inside -- with his scoring production dipping every game so far -- and someone must step up to stretch the defense or it will be another long night. The candidates: Matthews, Roy, guard Rudy Fernandez and forward Nicolas Batum.

The Adjustment: The Mavericks haven't received enough praise for their ability to make the necessary defensive adjustments in this series. They've mostly shut down Portland's famous lob plays to Aldridge. They've crowded and frustrated Roy into a 2-7 shooting night in Game 5 following his Game 4 explosion. They've succeeded in containing Gerald Wallace throughout the series, more or less. The final necessary adjustment isn't about Xs and Os, it's more mental: they need to seal the deal on the road. To do that, the Mavericks need to protect the ball. Portland is now 9-0 in its last nine home games against Western Conference playoff opponents, winning the turnover differential battle by an average of 6.4 in those games. That's an astounding number, and it speaks to the Rose Garden's ability to rattle opponents and Portland's ability to step up its defense at home. Dallas was -7 in Game 3 and -4 in Game 4 on turnovers. They'll need to cut down on some of the sloppy, unforced errors if they way to erase the Blazers' dominant homecourt advantage.

The Sticking Point: We're just five games into the playoffs but Portland has already done its fair share of public complaining. Coach Nate McMillan questioned the officiating after Game 1. Aldridge has made mention of his fatigue multiple times. Matthews and guard Patty Mills took exception to a hard screen by Brian Cardinal during garbage time in Game 4. Aside from Roy's rally, the Blazers have appeared to be a very disjointed bunch on the court, and the talk off the court has given off the impression that perhaps they've bitten off more than they can chew mentally. Dallas, meanwhile, withstood the emotional Roy rollercoaster to dominate at home in Game 5. Portland has banded together multiple times this season -- in the wake of injuries to Roy and center Greg Oden, some early season road struggles, after the midseason trade for Gerald Wallace -- and they'll need to do it one more time if they hope to stave off elimination.
Comments

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: April 29, 2011 2:59 am
 

Playoff Fix: Blazers-Mavericks Game 6

Hey Hope!  How are you?  I saw you posted here earlier and must admit I was disappointed you did not acknowledge my presence.  But, your concerns expressed are well taken, and indeed make up for the prior disregard of me.  I know you are very busy and in the final analysis this internet thing is pretty silly.  It's great to hear from you.  I sincerely appreciate your concerns expressed, but you well know I can take care of myself.  This thread is most likely over with.  I really don't care if these simple minded people return or not.  You know I don't seek conflict.  But you also know I will not back away from it, either.  If they want it, then bring it on.  I agree with you in that this guy is most likely relatively harmless, but I haven't been in a good fight for quite a while now.  You just never know.  Quite frankly, I might even look forward to it.  But don't blame me if it happens. He started it, and the ball is clearly back in his court now.  It is my hope to simply move on to other threads for entertainment.  But you know me all too well!  This internet is a funny thing to me.  People just seem to post cheap shots and then just go away.  I don't understand what that does for a person.  Take a shot at someone, but refuse to be responsible for it.  Why even post the shot then?  What point have they made?  I guess it's where we're going in today's society.  I don't like it.  Oh well, it's great to hear from you, Hope, and I will consider you're advise carefully.  You know I respect it.  Take care and I hope to heaar from you again soon.



Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: April 29, 2011 1:57 am
 

Playoff Fix: Blazers-Mavericks Game 6

Wow WU!  It's been quite awhile since I've seen you start to absolutely shred somebody here on the CBS boards.  I do not envy this person you are addressing with your latest post on this thread.  I think your posts are right on, but this is not likely to be very pretty.  I'm kind of hoping this person does not come back to respond.  If he/she does respond, it is my hope you let it end with that.  But I know you well enough to know  that is merely wishful thinking.  But please consider it.  It is my hope we can continue our focus on these great games in the playoffs, and let live and let live.  I really don't think he/she was intentionally personally attacking you.  I think he/she was simply expressing his/her opinion, though in a very poor and unthoughtful way.  This person obviously does not who you are and I hope you let it go at that.  The people you have taken apart here in the past have never been heard from again here.  This person seems to be OK mostly.  I repeat, I don't think it was a personal attack on you.  Perhaps a degree of immaturity, but nothing more.  On a side note, congratulations to the Mavericks on the road win and on winning the series.  Their next round should be very good.



Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: April 29, 2011 1:12 am
 

Playoff Fix: Blazers-Mavericks Game 6

Ummm!  I can only imagine where "lpmagic" has disappeared to.  I've been looking under every rock he could possibly crawl under, but no luck yet.  Anyway, I hope he emerges and returns to this thread to defend his obviously homer comments about his Blazers vs tha Mavericks.  It was an absolute foregone conclusion in his mind that Portland would win game 6 with the Mavs, no matter what.  That the Blazers were clearly more talented and deeper than the Mavs and this game 6 was an absolute certainty.  He even resorted to calling my thinking in to question.  I really have no respect for his personal attacks on an expressed opinion based in fact and results.  Lighten up a little, my friend. Read his post again.  It's interesting he doesn't even know how to spell Dirks's last name, yet knows everything else about him, or so he thinks.  Let me say first, I have absolutely no vested interest in the Mavs, other than respecting their talent.  I also have great respect for the Blazers and stated that I admire what they accomplished this year in the face of tremendous adversity.  My fav team is the Celtics, followed by the Lakers and Spurs.  I also have a passion for the Thunder and the Nuggets.  Dallas means nothing to me other than my respect for their capability.  They are simply more talented and deeper than the Blazers, and that's a fact, not an opinion.  I never said fatigue was anything more than a contributing factor in Portland starting to struggle in this series.  Portland has very little depth.  This guy, "lpmagic", has tried to attack my analysis and logic with emotion and faulty logic.  I have to wonder how old he is.  While this Mavericks' win does not prove my logic as sound, it certainly does not disprove it.  At least it's credible.  Now lpmagic does not fair nearly as well.  In fact it shows the immaturity in his thought process.  This game in fact proves his immaturity of thinking.  He stated the Mavericks' talent "is in two aging wonders."  Well then who are Terry, Marion, Chandler, Barea, and Stojakovic? They only combined for 60 points tonight.  Almost 2/3 of the Mavs' total point production.  Maybe he is simply blinded due to his "homerness", I guess.  It will be most interesting to see if he returns to defend any of his bold, irrational claims.  Either way, I hope I don't have the "pleasure" of running into him again on another thread here. Oh, and congratulations to both the Mavs and the Blazers for their performances in this series.  It was a good one and I appreciate both their efforts.



Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: April 28, 2011 5:53 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Blazers-Mavericks Game 6

The only thing that saves the Blazers in game 6 is it is being played on their home court.  The Mavericks are awful on the road in the playoffs.  The Blazers are tired, but I think the Dallas road record gives Portland a really decent chance to win this game.  Looks to me like this could well be a 7 game series.  But I just don't believe the Blazers will be strong enough to take this series.  On a side note, I don't believe I have ever seen a team as snake bitten as Portland.  Greg Oden and Brandon Roy.  Two superstars crippled in action.  This team deserves all the credit for simply being in the playoffs.  I'm not at all sure where they go from here, but they seem to know what they're doing in the face of signicant adversity.



Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: April 28, 2011 5:06 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Blazers-Mavericks Game 6

I take exception to the "while Dallas clearly has more talent" remark, as it is not logical, if you simply believe that fatigue is why Portland is (kind of) losing the series. The logic is off. Lamarcus is tired because he plays 40+ minutes a game, especially since Roy went down to injury. I think two nights off will have recharged the batteries enough to matter. The blazers have blended well in the face of adversity and I believe they will do so again. They have not really hit the achilles heel of the mavericks yet, they have not gotten tough, there needs to be some playoff caliber fouls. if they are going to get called for a foul, they need to make it count. I think that Dallas's "talent" is in two aging wonders, Novitski and Kidd, and I will give tyson chandler a nod for defense and rebounding. If the blazers will take the ball to the hole, then they will win going away, if they remain perimeter, they will win tonight, but lose in Dallas.

GO TO THE HOLE!!!!!!



Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: April 28, 2011 12:23 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Blazers-Mavericks Game 6

The Blazers are showing significant signs of fatigue as this series wears on.  Dallas has a deep team, and Portland has been ravaged by injury both this year and last.  Could it be they have simply run out of gas?  They are playing like a team worn out.  Spurts and surges of great talent, which they certainly have, but then the fawcet just seems to turn off.  This is a team just scrambling every game to stay in this series.  How long can it last?  I, for one, do not like the bickering because this could well be a symptom of the fatigue.  And if it is, then Dallas will simply steamroll the Blazers from here.  While the Mavericks clearly have more talent and are depper than the Blazers, this fatigue factor is what I'll be watching very closely in game 6, and game 7 if it gets there.  The Blazers home court in game 6 is some help to the Blazers, but is it enough to lift them.  I am doubtful, but time alone will tell.


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