In: NBA Free Picks29 Apr 2010
Bryan Albin’s NBA Pick of the Day 4/29
Phoenix Suns @ Portland Trail Blazers (-1)
After the the Nuggets scored a significant win over the Jazz to cover the spread I dropped to 12-5 since joining Free Picks. Once again I will be picking a game from the Western Conference Playoffs, as the Phoenix Suns look to wrap up the series against the Portland Trail Blazers tonight in Portland. If Portland manages to win, i will force a decisive game 7 back in Phoenix.
This has most certainly been the oddest first round series in the 2010 NBA playoffs. In the Suns’ three victories they have been dominant, winning by a combined 67 points over those three games. However, they still have dropped two games in the series, one of which the Trail Blazers played without PG Brandon Roy. Furthermore, home court has not necessarily been pivotal, as both teams have won a road game thus far in the series. If I had to guess, the only reason Phoenix didn’t win this series in five games is that Roy’s comeback caught the Suns off guard in game 4 and provided an emotional boost for the Blazers.
In what appears to be another attempt to change things up in the series and catch the Suns off guard, reports out of Portland state that Roy will get the start tonight, after coming off the bench since returning from knee surgery in game 4. Whether or not Roy starts, don’t expect it to make that big of a difference. While he has shown that he won’t hurt Portland by being on the floor, he has not shown signs of the all star form we are accustomed to from him.
The Suns were able to cruise in game 5 due to the stellar play from the bench. F Jared Dudley and F Channing Frye combined for 39 points of the bench from the Suns. This took a huge burden of of G Steve Nash and G Jason Richardson. The Portland bench as a whole only delivered 23 points in game 5, while the Phoenix bench had 55 of the 107 points. If the Suns can continue to get significant bench contributions they will be one of the toughest outs in the playoffs.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Pick: Phoenix 115, Portland 98, Suns cover