In case you haven't heard, Brandon Roy is out for the series. I am not going to link to that because if you are enough of a fan to be reading this site, you've already heard.
Without Roy, the Blazers will start Rudy Fernandez at the two and will need to get more consistent production from Andre Miller than he's shown over his career. He will be responsible for a) penetrating, causing help and finding open shooters, b) hitting his own shots. And this is where 'Dre gets into trouble; he's a horrible three-point shooter. He's so bad, in fact, that his 20% shooting doesn't even show up on the NBA.com top 85 list of GUARDS in 3P%.
We've seen the Suns take advantage of this by using the zone to deny his penetration and we will certainly see the Suns go under any screen he tries to use. Miller is a very nice player with a glaring hole in his game. In the playoffs, those types of holes get exploited. His backup, Jerryd Bayless isn't much better, at 30% from deep.
If Webster and Rudy aren't knocking down threes, the Suns are going to pack it in and make it very difficult for them to score, especially late in a close game.
For more (much more) on the Blazers difficulties without Roy, read the experts:
Portland-Phoenix Preview Part 2: The Matchups - Blazersedge
A look at the matchups between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Phoenix Suns in their upcoming playoff series. (Where Andre Miller is their key)
Speaking of experts, yesterday we assembled the brightest panel of Suns stars anywhere. Or at least anywhere on this site. Or least at least anywhere on this site that happened to call in at the appropriate time.
Download and listen to me, Max Simbron, Scott Howard, Trevor Pax
ston and Jose (aka Panama Sun) ramble on. Apologies to all my Spanish speaking friends in advance. Mi barrio es su barrio (and I should know having come from Maryvale, the most barrio of all barrios).
TrueHoop's Stat Geek Smackdown 2010 - ESPN
All the geeks picked Phoenix in 5 or 6 (except Henry's mom who I believe is a Portland homer)
NBA HD Hoopdata And One Analysis | Hardwood Paroxysm
In last week's post, using regression analysis I looked some of the players who get blocked more than they should given how they often they get to the rim for....Guess who leads the league in total and 1's? Bully Ball!
- Trail Blazers-Suns: Series preview and internet reaction | OregonLive.com
I am sure we'll add more throughout the day...
NBA - 2010 Playoff Schedule - Yahoo! Sports
All four of the Yahoo! dude are picking the Suns
We want fans of other teams to support the Suns!
NBA Playoffs Adopt-A-Team: Phoenix Suns, Because They're Fun, Funny And Better Than Ever - SB Nation
Some of our bloggers took this exercise more literally than others and actually wrote letters to you fans. Here, now, is a message for you to root for the Suns, courtesy Trevor Paxton of SB Nation's Suns blog Bright Side of the Sun.
SLAM ONLINE | » Suns/Blazers Series Preview
Therefore, ‘09-10 Phoenix Suns > ‘09-10 Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers’ style of play, the longer rest periods in Playoff basketball, and a couple referee-driven foulfests will make the results closer. Still, take the Phoenix Suns in six games.
NBA Playoff Previews: No. 3 Suns vs. No. 6 Blazers - Ball Don't Lie - NBA Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Is anyone outside of Portland or not somehow connected to Greg Oden's dong picking the Blazers?