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Blazers 85, Mavs 81: Bittersweet Game 30:

Busta BucketCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2009

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07:  Brandon Roy #7 of the Portland Trail Blazers reacts during NBA action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2009 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

I'm struggling to gather my thoughts on this game, even twelve plus hours later. I would love to talk about how the team persevered and fought through adversity, but the Joel Przybilla injury is just too much to get past.

What exactly has Portland done to deserve this?

When Batum, Outlaw and Fernandez got injured, I was frustrated. When Oden went down, I was devastated. Last night, Joel's injury was something even worse. It brought back the Oden heartbreak and then just doubled it up.

Joel has been such a hard worker and a pivotal part of this team, I can't believe this would happen to him. I'm really in a state of shock, feeling so terrible for these guys, and hoping it doesn't ruin their careers.

I think Nate's face said it all when he first saw the injury. It was a hollow stare and a thought of, "Are you serious?"

But what's done is done and there were some high's and low's in this Dallas game. It's pretty incredible that Portland won. Despite Dallas' very poor play, they had chances to win, but Portland somehow pulled it off. The tough road trip is turning out to be not so daunting.

The Good

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A win in Dallas is always good. Portland hadn't won there since 2003 and to think that this talented Dallas team couldn't get it done is quite a mystery. Perhaps they thought Portland would be deflated following the loss to Przybilla. The whole squad turned up the intensity and powered through this one.

A lot of guys had key contributions, Bayless' defense, Blake's big three, Andre and Juwan were both solid. But this game featured LaMarcus Aldirdge's sweet jumper in the first half and Brandon Roy's closer skills in the second half. It was similar to last year, and the guys got it done. Big props to everyone.

The Bad

I'm not 100% sure about the Mavericks game-plan. They seemed to let Barea run everything. He was good, don't get me wrong, but shouldn't this offense be run by Kidd, through Dirk, with a dash of Marion and Howard? They didn't use their weapons last night, and got beat on their home floor. Pretty bad.

The Ugly

Neither team shot the ball well in this game. It was difficult to watch—Portland's complimentary players (Miller, Webster, Blake) will need to step up more than ever if Portland wants to salvage this season. It's time to run, and get easier shots on offense.

I wonder who starts, and plays, the next game at center. What a horrible reality.

Box Score

A nice piece by Wendell Maxey about our Nate McMillan and Maurice Lucas , puts everything in perspective.

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