Thursday, January 15, 2009

76ers Recap/Nets Preview

Quick note on the contest. I actually went back and checked out your guy's previous posts and matched them up vs. the spread and O/U, so now we have a more accurate read on what your W/L total is. You can see it in the bottom right of the page.

Man that was gross. I am not going to get too detailed into this game review, because like the Blazers, I must look forward. The 76ers jumped on us out of the gate, and after all the talk about Portland and their Sleep Doctor, it sure looked like they were asleep during the game. We had 7 turnovers in the 1st quarter, scored a season low in the first quarter and in the first half. We made a run in the 3rd quarter and brought it within 8 points, but could never get close enough to make it a game. Ugly all around from everyone. Let’s move forward though and take a look at tonight’s game.

Game Preview

Tonight we have the New Jersey Nets. The Nets are a very interesting opponent. For one, they have won more games on the road (10-8) then at home (9-12). They are sitting in 7th place in the Eastern conference, so they have something to play for. Devin Harris is 3rd in the league in free throw attempts per game (9.6) and 2nd in free throws made (8.0). That is in sharp contrast to our leader, Brandon Roy who averages (5.8/6.9) a game. It will be important to try to control Harris and keep him out of the paint, because he opens it up for everyone else, including Vince Carter.

It looks like Steve Blake is not going to be able to play tonight after suffering a separated shoulder in last nights game. It is still up in the air who is going to start, Bayless or Sergio. Who do you think should start? I personally think Sergio should start. He is more familiar with our system and just playing in the NBA in general. Bayless, will get his minutes, but I would like to see Sergio get the nod. It sounds like Rudy is also going to be out for tonight’s game, so Bayless and Sergio should see ample time tonight. UPDATE: Sergio Rodriguez is going to start, and Rudy will play tonight. So that helps our depleted backcourt.

I think the matchup that I am most intrigued by is Greg Oden vs. Brook Lopez. Lopez has come into his own lately. In his last 5 games he is averaging 14.4 points, 9 boards, and 3 blocks a game in 32 minutes. I would like to see Oden take it to Lopez tonight and establish himself early and often. Let’s hope Greg plays smart and stays out of foul trouble.

Keys to the Game

1. Limit Devin Harris’ Penetration
This is easier said then done, but if the Blazers can keep him out of the key. New Jersey shoots 38% from 3 as a team, so limiting their open looks comes down to Bayless and Sergio’s ability to keep Harris in front of them.
2. Limit Our Turnovers
I know this seems silly to list, but if you watched last night’s game it’s not.
3. Come Out Ready to Play
We need to stop spotting teams early leads, then forcing ourselves to come back. It has worked in the (2) games before the 76ers, but it is just too hard to do on the road.
4. Get Aldridge Involved
Aldridge’s overall game goes up if he is hitting shots. He tends to play with more energy and gets more boards and blocks more shots. With Blake out tonight, someone is going to have to pick up the offensive slack and I look to Aldridge to provide that for us.
5. Bayless or Sergio Need to Step Up
Neither one seized the opportunity last night when Blake went out, hopefully someone will tonight.

Gambler’s Corner

The Spread is Portland -2
The O/U is 187.5

I am going with New Jersey and the under. New Jersey plays at the 18th slowest pace and is 15th in the league in offensive efficiency. That’s why I like the under. I am taking the Nets, because I see us having a very hard time handling Harris without Blake, and as he penetrates, I see him getting our big men in foul trouble. I hope I am wrong though…


If you read this far you deserve something extra. Here is a link to a 2009 mock draft that has us taking Stephon Curry. What do you think about that? Would you want him?

And in unrelated news, check out this article from Rick Riley at ESPN about the Beer Pong Championship's. Maybe I still can be a professional athlete?


  1. Blazers 101 Nets 96. If we could get Stephen Curry there would be an outrage from every other GM in the league. Curry is a better shooter and passer than Bayless and would be a great PG prospect to groom. The only question is his size and being able to defend...however he is pretty much the exact same size that Blake is. Curry is my favorite college player and he would be the perfect PG to groom behind Blake and to play with Roy. If he falls that far to us in the draft... it would be great. Interesting though that NBA draft has him listed at 6-1 and ESPN at 6-3. GET CURRY! GO BLAZERS!

  2. Matt, I now know you don't read everyday! We actually changed the score guessing contest to guess against the spread and the over/under. If you have any questions about what the stuff means, check out the "Contests, Recap, D Miles, & Trade Talk" post.

  3. You caught me. I have been busy. I am an idiot! Portland and the under.

  4. Haha, it's all good big Matt! No hard feelings! I don't see you criticizing me for missing like 8 days in a row during the snow storm!

  5. That's because I was too depressed to do anything. Constantly snowed in + 1 Blazer game a week it seemed like + no blog posts = Major depression.

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  7. Haha, Matt, I am sorry for being one of the components of your winter depression.

    But good point on Curry. Things change so much between now and the draft. Guys can move 15+ spots in a week before the draft. But I think Curry would be a nice piece to have. What I love about him is his great basketball IQ. That can make up for a lot when it comes to physical tools.