Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers Series Odds and Predictions
by Nolan Sinclair (with Robert Ferringo) - 4/16/2010
Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trailblazers
Series Odds: Phoenix –570 (Portland (+480)
The Turtle versus the Hare is a story that many of us grew up on. We were taught at young ages that slow and steady wins the race. If that is true than Portland has a great shot at winning this series. That is if, and this is a big if, Brandon Roy suits up for the Blazers. Games in Phoenix should feature run-and-gun tempos and the exact opposite when the teams meet in the Rose Garden.
Portland has had to deal with numerous injuries this season and if they were healthy they would be one of the best teams in the league. Could you imagine if they still had Greg Oden and Joel Pryzbilla? Even without them this series should be fun.
Here is a look at why either team will win this series:
Why the Phoenix Suns will win: The Suns have decided that they need to stop sharing the basketball and feature Amare Stoudemire, and it has paid dividends. Stoudemire has adapted his game to not be known as just a “dunker.” He has been extremely efficient from 15 feet and in, as his jumper has improved tremendously over the second half of the season. Since February 5th Stoudemire has twice as many 30-40 point games (12) as he does less than 20-point games (5). Portland can’t stop Amare and thus can’t stop the Suns.
Player to watch for Phoenix: Leandro Barbosa. He averaged 13 points or more in each of the last four years and was a featured player the last three years. This year he managed just 9.5 in 44 games. If he gets going this team is lethal.
Why the Portland Trailblazers will win: Defense, defense, defense. Defense and taking care of the basketball win in the playoffs and Portland can do both. The Blazers have the third-best defense in the league as they give up just under 95 points a game. The Suns, on the other hand, are ranked 26th in the league giving up 10 more points a game than the Blazers. Portland is also ranked third in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio and that should prove significant, especially when the Suns want to get out and run. Phoenix averages 110 points a game. But if Portland slows the game down on both ends of the floor and limits their turnovers they may shock Suns fans.
Player to watch for Portland: Brandon Roy. If he plays the Blazers have a shot, if he doesn’t, pencil in the Suns in Round 2.
Series Prediction: Suns in 6. Roy will show up at some point this series.
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