Blazers/Clippers Pre-Thoughts


I can’t believe I have to talk about the Clippers for a third time this season.

I literally almost have nothing to say. Key word = almost. Portland cannot afford to lose to teams like this at home during this stretch. Especially when you consider they are about to do a Texas Two-Step and end up playing San Antonio twice in a week. And even more if you consider we’ve already lost at home to the Clippers once. If this was college basketball and we had a selection committee that would be the definition of a key loss.

Reasons the Clippers can win? Hold on. Reasons the Clippers can win without Zach Randolph and possibly Marcus Camby Umm….Baron Davis, Eric Gordon and Al Thornton. All three can put the ball in the basket. All three are going to shoot the ball a lot. Gordon has been on an absolute tear over the past two months. Thornton has done this weird thing in the month of February where he alternated from GOOD AL to BAD AL. No joke though his game log for this month reads like this: 9 points, 27 points, 9 then 31, 6 then 20, 8 then 33. The pattern says he’s due for an off-night but I’ll believe it when I see it. And then there is Baron Davis who is considering entering the ‘stealing money’ phase of his career, but has always found a way to smack the Blazers. Let’s hope he doesn’t.

After that the cupboard is uber-bare. I guess I shouldn’t say uber-bare but definitely full of guys who should be beating us in late February. Can’t let Novak or Fred Jones get going though. It’s a stretch but if we look at the box score and either are those guys are in double-figures something didn’t go to good. Also this team isn’t great offensively or defensively. They don’t do a lot of things well. I’m just not that intimidated by them.

Keys to the game:

  • Play with an edge. I’m beginning to notice that the Blazers are starting to play up or down to their competition. I think that’s a bad habit. We need to play with an edge and a sense of urgency and take the Clippers out from the start. Of course we’ll probably drag it out, make it dramatic and need a run in the 4th like against the Knicks and Grizzlies but I disgress. It would be nice if we went out and beat a team we’re supposed to beat.
  • Contain one of their three scorers. I’d prefer Baron Davis to struggle as Gordon and Thornton seem like the prototypical players who can go off in a losing effort. One of these guys has to be held in check though. They don’t stand a chance unless these three play extremely well so let’s take something away from their attack tonight.
  • Attack, attack, attack. Minus Camby the Clipper lineup is soft. Skinner? Samb? Thornton? Anyone of those guys sound like defensive juggernauts? Exactly. I’m not putting it all on LMA as our guards should look to attack the basket, but our bigs should look to go to work. Now I’m looking at you LMA.
  • Shore the defense up. I can’t remember the last time I could sit and say the Blazers played pretty good defense. I want to say that after tonight.

I’m finding it hard to get “up” for this game just to be honest with you. Portland should not have problems with this team if they go out and take care of business. It’s a must-win on the home court.