Steve Blake and Andre Miller will have to have excellent games in order for the Blazers to compete in Dallas. Jason Kidd has been great, considering all of the weapons around him. He's averaging nearly 10 assists a game and has the Mavericks competing for a top spot in the Western Conference. Kidd will be good, even if his All-Star is out, but Andre Miller will be better, and Blake will make his threes tonight.
|Brandon Roy has been on an absolute tear lately. He's scoring at will, destroying all competition, and I don't see him slowing down any time soon. His opponents won't scare anyone size-wise, but don't be fooled. Jose Juan Barea has taken advantage of Portland in the past. Plus, Jason Terry coming off the bench is a very difficult matchup for anyone. Jerryd Bayless will spell relief on defense, and our shooting guards should hold down the fort in this game.
Shawn Marion has never returned to "Phoenix Suns form" for Dallas, but he's still a versatile and dynamic player. He thrives playing with a good point guard, and I'm afraid he can take advantage tonight. Not to mention Josh Howard, who has scorched Portland offensively in the past. Look for Martell Webster to give it his best effort, but he has no chance in this matchup.
Dirk is still day-to-day for this game, and that could make all the difference in the world. If Dirk plays, Portland has no chance in this game. If he's out, there's a glimmer of hope. But no matter if he plays or not, LaMarcus Aldridge must show up. His contributions are needed more than any other Blazer besides Roy. He'll need to attack the basket as well as hit the open jumper. A little more aggression on defense wouldn't hurt either. LA can block shots, he just needs to put forth the effort.
|Erik Dampier is having a surprisingly solid season thus far. He benefits a great deal from the talent around him, and he knows his role: defense and rebounding. Not only that but the Mavericks have Drew Gooden who can fill up the paint and even fill in for Nowitzki if he's out. Joel Pryzbilla will have his hands full and can't possible deal with both guys. Unfortunately, I don't see Portland winning this game at all.|