Suns v. Blazers (Part I)

Alright, so the playoffs are about to kick off, and the Suns, well, they ended up with a pretty good draw.  That’s right, they get the Blazers in the first round!  I can’t think of a team that I would rather the Suns face.  Why?  Well, let’s let the Wild Oregonian Reinwald kick things off:

With the way they’re playing, I definitely predict Suns winning in 4 games. How nice for them to get Portland without a 100% B-Roy! Actually did you see that he’s going to try and play ‘because doctors told him the injury CAN’T GET ANY WORSE!!!’ Anyway, Suns are on a role right now, Portland can’t score to save a burning baby, and PHX will win in 4 games, unless Aldridge plays out of his mind and STAT doesn’t show up. I can’t be totally pissed about that…

Well, that part about Roy is no longer true.  He was thinking about trying to play, but modern medicine prevailed and he will miss at least the first round.  Part of me (the part that hates Broy [that's not B-Roy, but Broy] with a burning fiery passion and is the part that happens to be the vast majority of me) wishes he would’ve tried to play and would have suffered extensive damage that would keep him out for a season or two.  But noooooooooooooo…he had to listen to the doctors.  Jerk.

The Suns are on a mighty mighty roll right now.  Helluva roll.  And that roll will not be stopped (or, most likely, even slowed down much) by the Blazers.

Portland can’t score to save a burning baby.  Well done.

This last part, though, is the funniest part to me.  PHX will win in 4 games, unless Aldridge plays out of his mind.  This is the thing about Portland’s fans (and management, which is why Portland is not really much of a threat): they waaaaaaaaay overvalue their young players.  LaMarcus Aldridge is a good player.  But that’s it.  He’s a damn sight short of great and miles south of being any kind of star.  In fact, let’s see what Professor Hollinger had to say about Aldridge heading into this season:

2008-09 season: Call it a mild disappointment. Aldridge did all the same things he did in his breakout 2007-08 season … but nothing more. He averaged 7.4 field goals on 15.3 attempts, the exact numbers he averaged a season ago, and his other numbers were virtually identical as well. Whether this represents progress is in the eye of the beholder. On the one hand, he didn’t regress and proved his sophomore season wasn’t a fluke. On the other, one gets the impression we’re already pretty close to his ceiling.

That was after Aldridge took his PER from an 18.32 in 07-08 to a 19.13 in 08-09.  This year?  Aldridge finished with a PER of 18.30.  Lower than his “breakout” season.  He’s just not as good as they want to think he is.  I mean, don’t get me wrong.  He’s useful.  He was 45th in the league in PER this year.  But he’d have to travel a helluva long way outside his damn mind to be any kind of dominant player.  And STAT?  Well, I assume by “STAT doesn’t show up” he means actually, physically does not enter the arena.  ‘Cause that’s the only way STAT doesn’t crush the Blazers over four games.

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