#3: Blazers at Suns

Another night, another game, another “national” TV appearance and another Western Conference power.

Say what you will about the Suns but barring some sort of catastrophe, they are still headed to the playoffs. That being said, tonight is a battle between two Works in Progress. The Suns are still adjusting to Live After D’Antoni, new head coach Terry Porter and his necessity to actually *gasp* PLAY DEFENSE and something resembling depth. The Blazers meanwhile are still attempting to smooth out all of the edges. Every game the Blazers are learning how to play with each other, and while this is a good thing it creates inconsistencies in nearly every area.

My personal key to tonight’s game will be to see some improvement in the Blazers road play. Not expecting a victory as the Blazers always struggle in the desert and are coming off a back-to-back but I’m definitely looking for a lot more competition. Last night they were completely comfortable at all times, but we all know that in LA they looked like a mother listening to the unedited version of the Ying Yang Twins song ‘Wait’. Still a lot of questions surrounding this team, many that could get answered tonight. Can LMA and Roy bring it every night? Can Batum provide energy outside of the Rose Garden? Will Blake ever turn the ball over?

Bigger question: Will the Blazers ever win in Phoenix again? They’ve lost 9 straight to the Suns including 7 in the US Airways Center. The last Blazer victory in Phoenix took place on February 4th 2004. Rasheed Wallace was still a Blazer and Wesley Person iced the victory. E. Nuff. Said.

The Suns still have the weapons to score, and considering we like to shoot a lot of jumpers at this point things could get ugly. Missed jumpshots mean fast breaks and even though they are no longer 7 seconds or less…Steve Nash can still run a mean fast break. Just like we had no one to guard Tim Duncan, I’m worried about who is going to take on Amare. That being said…Amare can’t guard LaMarcus so I guess I should relax. The Suns are still a very talented home team.

How angry are Suns fans going to be that they gave away Rudy Fernandez after tonight? We’ll find out.

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