The Phoenix Suns and the Portland Trail Blazers are two teams in the Western Conference that always seem to get into playoff contention. This season is no different as both the Blazers and the Suns are back in the playoffs square off in a first-round battle.
Over the past couple of years or so, Steve Nash and company have struggled to get back to the dominant ways as they have been restricted from playing their classic run and gun offense which gave them so much success in the past.
Fortunately, the Suns have been able to get back to their high-powered offense has worked well as a veiled compete with the best in the West which they haven’t been able to do over the two previous seasons.
Coming into this season the Phoenix Suns were thought to be a team on a serious decline as it seemed like we were witnessing the end of the Steve Nash era in the valley of the sun. Even though no one expected much of the Phoenix Suns this season, they have arguably been the surprise team in the Western Conference along with the young and upcoming Oklahoma City Thunder.
As a result of the Suns success this season, Phoenix has clinched the third seed in the Western Conference which is no easy feat competing with teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Despite of all the competition and talk of the end of an era in Phoenix, the Suns have played extremely well this season and will be put to the test in the first round the playoffs against one of the best home teams in the NBA in the Portland Trail Blazers.
Even though clinching the sixth seed in the Western Conference was impressive to say the least for the Blazers, Portland will have an uphill battle from here on out as they will be going up against Steve Nash and company in the first round without arguably their best all around player in Brandon Roy.
Not only is trying to contain the Phoenix Suns run and gun offense a daunting task, but doing it without Brandon Roy and center Greg Oden seems like a virtual impossibility.
As it was for many teams in the league, the Portland Trail Blazers were uncertain of their seeding before the playoffs matchups were set and they still had to play with the same intensity and desire to win to improve their standing in the West.
Unfortunately, as a result of the Blazers shooting for a higher playoff seed, they lost Brandon Roy to a knee injury that required surgery and will not have him in the first round against the Phoenix Suns.
Even though the Blazers will be able to give the Suns a run for their money in the first round without Brandon Roy, I believe the injury is devastating enough to end Portland’s season as the Suns will be able to focus on LaMarcus Aldridge and unless the Blazers role players step up, they will be heading home early.
Series Prediction: 4-1 Phoenix Suns