To quote The Rock…it doesn’t matter.
I could talk about keys to success until I got blue in the face, but guess what? It doesn’t matter. All the strategy, all the preparation, the chess matches, the little give and take…they all don’t matter. This is Game 5 and all of that is thrown out of the window. Houston knows what Portland is bringing to the table and Portland knows what Houston is bringing to the table. Portland knows what they need to do to win and Houston knows what they need to do to win. You can only make so many adjustments. We know they aren’t letting Roy and LMA get off. They know we’re not going to let Yao get off. As great as Adelman and McMillan are there is only so much you can do. Game 5’s are almost like booty calls: you know exactly what you’re going to get. None of that matters right now. The fact that Houston hasn’t gotten out of the round in 12 years? Doesn’t matter. The fact that numerous playoff series in the Blazers history have ended on the Rose Garden court? Doesn’t matter.
This is an elimination game and everything is on the line. Take a piece of paper, rip it up into little pieces, write a cliche on each one, throw them in hat and pick one. It will apply tonight. Don’t believe me? Here…read the rest of this paragraph in your best Kevin Harlan/Marv Albert/Mike Breen voice: It’s do or die. The season hangs in the balance. This is a must-win situation. Win or go home. Portland needs to stave off elimination. Houston controls their own destiny. Portland has their backs against the wall. Houston’s in the driver’s seat. This is what the playoffs are all about. Now stop before you want to throw up. I’m making myself dizzy but you see where I’m going here.
This game is coming down to which team wants it more. Probably another cliche but ultimately it is the truth. Both teams want this worse than Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag want attention. Houston wants this series over more than anyone will admit. You think they want to go back to Houston for another 48 minute slugfest with some pressure on them? I think not. Portland…well….it’s obvious. These teams are more evenly matched than the 3-1 Houston lead would state. A couple plays here or there and it could be 3-1 Portland. This is a completely different 3-1 than the ones that San Antonio and New Orleans are facing. (Or at least I’d like to think) It all depends on how Portland comes out tonight. There is hope…but only if the Blazers go out and take it. Emphasis on take it.
As a fan you hope that the win or go home scenario will loosen your team up and they will go out guns a blazing. But you never know how a team is going to come out. Look at Detroit and Utah. I forgot Utah was on the verge of elimination watching that first quarter. A loss ends the season at home on a sour note and only time will give it perspective. A win tonight extends the series and would give Portland another chance at getting that win in Houston. But all of that, the kind of the win, the momentum of the series… that’s all chatter for another day. Ladies and gentlemen there is only one thing that matters tonight.
Tags: Blazers Elimination Game Blazers Nba Tv Brandon Roy Houston Rockets Nate McMillan Portland Trail Blazers Rick Adelman Rockets Blazers Game 5 Rockets Nba Tv Rudy Fernandez Win Or Go Home Yao Ming