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Portland Draws Dallas in First Round

Posted By Brandon Marcus On Apr 16 2011 @ 3:53 pm In Portland Trail Blazers | No Comments

Now that we’ve made it through the plod that is the regular season’s final month, alas we can be rebooted by the commencing of a potentially fabulous playoff run. Amongst one of several intriguing match-ups is the Trail Blazers drawing the Dallas Mavericks in the first round.

Portland is a trendy choice to engineer the first round upset, which in truth, is only an upset in terms of seeding. The Blazers have found a favorable matchup for themselves, especially true after acquiring Gerald Wallace at the deadline. With Wallace, Aldridge, Camby and Batum, they will be well equipped to combat Dirk Nowitzki’s unique set of skills. Wallace’s doggedness and athleticism have elevated this team, and his menacing nature could give Dallas issues.

LaMarcus Aldridge played outstanding against Dallas this year, and following his breakout campaign looks poised to carry a large offensive burden for the Blazers. The key for Portland will be their ability to knock down outside shots when Dallas deploys their stellar zone defense, which the Blazers struggled with at times in their earlier match-ups.  Charged with the duty to hit those shots will be Wes Matthews, Batum, and Rudy Fernandez, who all are capable outside shooters, but have a tendency to run hot and cold.

In the backcourt, speed is not a virtue of either team, especially with young guards Roddy Beaubois and Patty Mills unlikely to see much court time on their veteran laden teams. Jason Kidd and Andre Miller are kindred players at this point in their career, but I give the slight edge to Miller.  Jason Terry is as calm and clutch as they come, however Wes Matthews strength and tenacity presents problems for Dallas too. If Brandon Roy can get to his spots and give them a good 20 minutes, thats an enormous X-factor for Portland.

I expect a long, hard-fought, and at times low scoring series, with Portland prevailing in six or seven games. Aldridge will need to match Dirk’s offensive output, but by the simplest and most basic of evaluations, I just see more talent on the Trail Blazers.

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