Otto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesApril 29, 2010
It's now do or die time for the Portland Trail Blazers
. After 5 games of a very schizophrenic series, it's time to buckle down and win one at home. Andre Miller and Jerryd Bayless continue to fight and will this team to victory, but a terrible offensive game plan and bad defense allowed for another Suns
blow out on Monday.
Obviously I have to take Steve Nash every time in this match-up, but the Blazers will need to play inspired defense against Nash to have a chance. Just like game 4 Saturday, our guards need to be everywhere smothering Nash. I think Portland can take care of business tonight, I'm not mentally ready to end the season yet. Suns win here, however.
But since they don't know what the Hell they're even talking about, we'll just let things play out as they should. I think Roy has a better game in Portland tonight.
Jason Richardson didn't have his typical 20+ points in the latest beating of the Blazers, but he was still solid. We'll need to continue to keep him in check tonight because I don't see Dudley and Frye going off again in this game. Look for Richardson to play well but look for Brandon Roy to play better. It's Roy time.
Grant Hill did not have a good game on Monday. But that didn't matter much considering his back-up Jared Dudley finally came to life from beyond the arc. Dudley hit 5 threes and scored 19 points. He really spread Portland out and gave them too much to handle on defense. The good news is I don't see him doing that again.
Batum was nonexistent in this game as well, but i think that changes in Portland. He and Martell will be playing with nothing to lose as the season could be over after tonight. I like both guys to outplay Hill and Dudley.
Who knows which LaMarcus Aldridge will show up tonight. The one who's aggressive and getting after it on the boards or the one who lets Channing Frye beast him. In order to have any chance, LA has to be tough. Shake off the mental drama and get to work!
Amare Stoudemire has earned himself a reputation of a chump and a flopper in this series. I don't think Portland fans disliked him before, but now a lot of people hate him. His whining, posturing and chatter in the media makes him look quite arrogant. LA needs to hold his own at power forward, but I think Amare has a good game.
Channing Frye finally stepped up on Monday in a big way for Phoenix. He hit threes, scored in the paint and even grabbed eight rebounds. He made Aldridge and the entire Blazer front line look terrible. That can't happen again.
Marcus Camby must show up for this game and stay out of foul trouble. His importance to this team will be magnified as the Blazers try to stop all of the weapons the Suns will throw out. I think Frye struggles again and Camby has a nice night on the boards.
This could easily be the last game of the season. It could also be a win which delays the inevitable. Of course it could also be the game that puts Portland in the right place mentally to overcome all the problems and win two games in a row. I think the Blazers have never quit this year and they aren't quitting tonight. Blazers win!