Blazers: 28-31 (4th Northwest Division)
Mavericks: 33-26 (3rd Southwest Division)
Game Details: Rose Garden Arena Portland, OR. 7:30 PM. TV: CSN, ESPN. Radio: 750 AM (KXTG)
Projected Blazer Starting Lineup: PG Raymond Felton (#5, 6’1”, North Carolina), SG Wesley Matthews (#2, 6’5”, Marquette), SF Nicolas Batum (#88, 6’8”, MSB Le Mans, France), PF J.J. Hickson (#21, 6’9”, North Carolina State), C Joel Przybilla (#10, 7’1”, Minnesota)
Projected Maverick Staring Lineup: PG Jason Kidd (#2, 6’4”, California), SG Delonte West (#13, 6’3”, St. Joseph’s), SF Shawn Marion (#0, 6’7”, UNLV), PF Dirk Nowitzki (#41, 7′, DJK Wurzburg, Germany), C Brendan Haywood (#33, 7′, North Carolina)
The last time Dallas played in Portland, they ended the Blazers’ season. I don’t have the empirical evidence to back this up, but hearsay pre-game is that if Dallas wins in Portland and Denver wins in LA, then once again the Mavericks will have put a stop to the Blazers’ postseason hopes. Seems fitting.
How about instead of focusing on that, we think about what happened the second to last time Dallas played in the Rose Garden.
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s at least the third time I’ve posted that video this year. I know it’s a bit masochistic to keep coming back to it with the way this season has gone, but I can’t help myself. If the Blazers are going to go down in flames, as they have this season, why not remind everybody of what was arguably the most incredible moment (non-championship related) in franchise history.
Friday won’t be the kind of game that game four was last year. Dallas has to win. Not losing for Portland just delays the inevitable. They aren’t the same thing.
The last two times these teams have played the games have gone to at least one overtime. So if you planed to spend a dark and gloomy Friday inside the Rose Garden instead of enjoying the bars on North West 21st or attending the Bridgetown Comedy Festival there’s a good chance this game will carry you almost to the witching hour. Enjoy it. After this there’s only one left.
Two things to watch for:
- Can Jamal Crawford have another big game: Jamal Crawford was quoted in Hoopsworld that he might be interested in trying the free agent market in the off season, meaning he may choose to opt-out of being a Blazer for any longer. I have mixed feelings about that, which I’m sure I’ll address when the season’s over. For now, it means that every night is an audition for Jamal.
- Will Dirk miss a shot: Pre-game I watched Dirk Nowitzki warm up for awhile. Dude hardly missed. I asked resident numbers guy Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus if he thought it would be possible for a player to make a thousand shots in a row. He did not dignify my question we a response.
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