2. They are rockin' and rollin'. Everything's clicking. They got a ton of weapons, are extremely athletic, and possess almost zero fear. What a way to close out the season heading into the playoffs
3. Houston.... Yao Ming.... watch out. Since this is his fourth try getting out of the first round, I'll bet he's hungry to get out of that rut. After watching him dismantle both Pryzbilla and Oden the last time the Blazers played Houston, it's only a matter of how much destruction Yao will dish out on our posts. However, I'm optimistic because....
4. Pryzbilla wants to take Yao on. Pryzbilla's been such a force, and clearly one of the most underrated post players this year. Yes, his skill set offensively is lacking, yet he'll make up for it in effort. If he and Oden tag team it by keeping Yao at about a 10 foot radius away from the rim, Yao will be forced to use his jumper. He's got that shot, but I'd rather have Yao work for it than get Oden and Pryzbilla in foul trouble.
5. What the crap, Rudy and Outlaw? 70-some bench points against Denver? Outscoring your own starters? What a way to boost the rest of the bench's confidence. That boost will help us in the long run when it comes to bench play, which Portland clearly has an advantage over most teams in the league, save the Lakers.
6. Nate's got them focused. The open communication I've read from Jason Quick's "Inside the Locker Room" reports on Oregonlive.com says a lot about how this team is such a tight unit. The constant communication issues trust in each player... so vital in the post season
7. I'll give my left nut to be in Rose Garden. I haven't heard that place so jacked up since the late 90's. Rip City's presence has most definitely struck fear into the hearts of our opponents. Kobe's even mentioned how tough our house can be.
8. Oden. Oden. Great Oden's Raven.... what separates playoff contenders from pretenders is physicality. Oden's got that. We all know from his foul trouble. However, because it's the playoffs, and refs understand TV ratings, we'll most likely see Oden have even better nights, and I hope our perimeter players notice how much more room Oden will be able to work with less fouls called on him. Watch out.
9. I love Rudy, too. His confidence level hasn't wavered all year. The way he interchanged passes with Sergio to nail one of his last 3-pointers was classic. As much as I appreciate the fact that he's our deep threat, he's got the ability and athleticism to cut into the paint and make things happen. I hope Nate exploits that as well.
10. Roy. That 30-foot buzzer beater to beat Houston in November will ring clear in his mind. He fouled Yao a few seconds earlier that should've sealed the game for Houston that night. However, Roy, as young as he is, is pure clutch. His humble leadership through action will drag up this Blazer team by their bootstraps should something go wrong.
Rip City, baby.