I'm psyched to pack up the Red's Army Blog-o-tron 3000 and head to the Garden tonight. It's a matchup between the two hottest teams in basketball (Portland is on a 6 game winning streak), and it's a potential statement game for the Blazers. All 6 of their losses have come on the road… but they're coming off wins in Washington, NY and Detroit.
The key to tonight's game will be the bench. The C's bench, which was awesome early, has sucked lately. It won't help that Tony Allen is probably out tonight. Sergio Rodriguez and Rudy Fernandez have been playing well on this trip. Travis Outlaw can be hit or miss. I don't fear Channing Frye or Joel Pryzbilla.
If the C's don't find a way to contain the Blazers' second unit, this is going to be a tough one. I'm also interested to see how the C's play Brandon Roy. I've become a huge fan of his… and at 6'6", 211… he's gong to be a tough cover. Do you put Rondo on him and hope he can force Roy to stay outside? Do you put Ray on him and have Rondo help? I'm going with Ray on Roy… and we can count on the C's rotations to keep him in check. I don't like it, because it's going to give LaMarcus Aldridge a little more room… which could be a killer.
And of course… there's Greg Oden (who will always be special to us). I think people need to cut him some slack. What do you expect from a guy who left after his freshman year, only to miss his first year to an injury? Of course he'll be inconsistent. We need more than 20 games to make a judgement on him.
So this is a great game to go to (thanks Phil!). While I'm gone, Chuck will be going through his usual game-watching routine… watching the game with his cat.
And here's that full Paul Pierce article from SI. I encourage checking it out.
Herald: Oden front and center | Globe: Championship link | Powe, Davis fill void | Camerato: Checking in with Giddens and Walker | Souza: Cassell not ready to hang 'em up | SI: Brandon Roy a thinking man's star | Oregonian: Are the Blazers ready to play at the next level?