Well, Portland finished the game on a 18-1 run.
Nash tried to do too much. We won't know whether that was necessary until later in the season, but it was obvious to all of us on the game thread that he tried too hard and was gassed. Tunnel vision. Ignoring the other players. He has to know this in the future: you have to win with a team, not a single player.
Ok, off Steve's nuts now.
And onto the rebounding. Were the Suns actually trying to rebound the ball? Or were they trying to live up to their reputation/billing as a terrible rebounding team?
Listen, through the years the Suns have been competitive with one big and four smaller players. Last playoffs, the Suns outrebounded this same Blazers team with Amare as the only productive big. This time it's Robin.
So what happened to everyone else? Turkoglu didn't get enough boards. Neither did J-Rich. Neither did Grant Hill. Neither did Childress (though he has a good reason with a broken finger). Neither did Dragic, or Lopez or anyone else on the damn floor. Not one guy exceeded expectations in this area.
That's not gonna get it done.
Having said that though, the Suns had a 90-88 lead at about the midpoint of the 4th quarter. They played very well, with energy and aggressiveness. They worked hard and scrapped, just like I thought they would have to. And they made the shots they needed to make.
This team will be competitive this season. I feel better now about my 50-win, 6-seed prediction than I did when I made it.
Portland just made a lot more of them. And the Blazers just might be a pretty good team (they did win 50 games last season). Nate McMillan had a nice game plan to win on the boards and with their superior length. They got it done, and really played better than in any game in the playoffs last season, in my opinion. They resemble Utah, with burly guards who get after it on offense and defense. Then you put Aldridge and Camby in the middle (and soon to be Oden and Przybilla) and that's a darn good team.
Don't hang your heads, Suns fans. Look forward to a fun season.