4 - 3 Portland @ 2 - 6 Philadelphia

Portland just did not compete against Denver. One suspects they will be a little more prepared in Philadelphia. And even though it is a weak Philadelphia team, this is a key game for the Blazers season.

Coming in, people will no doubt make much of their 0-4 road record. But look at who those teams have been and how Portland has played them: San Antonio, Portland had a shot at winning. Charlotte, they started slow but made a run. Against Houston and Denver they pretty much laid down. Still, those are 4 tough places to win and their performance against 2 of them was very respectable.

Portland is a much better team than Philadelphia and should win. If they do not, for whatever reason, then the road struggles will become a thousand pound gorilla and they will struggle on the road for the rest of the season. Conversely, if they they should...then that will build their confidence and lead to a few road wins this season, which they will need to reach their post-season berth which I expect for them.

Philadelphia, like Portland, is a young team. Philadelphia, unlike Portland, lacks the talent to go places, and Philadelphia plays in the weak Eastern Conference. They try to mask this by slowing the game down and minimizing the number of possessions to hide the talent discrepancy.

Starting Line-ups
Frye is coming off his season high. He will continue to get 4 - 6 points a night, then give way to the defense and rebounding of Przybilla. Samuel Dalembert is no stud, but he will have a slight advantage over Frye, scoring wise.

Aldridge had an off night against Denver and still shot almost 50% and went for 15 and 9. Philadelphia apparently plays a small line-up. I cannot even figure out who their power forward is. As near as I can tell they start Iguodala, Andre Miller, Willie Green, and Kyle Korver alongside Dalembert, with Reggie Evans logging heavy minutes. Of those, Evans is the monster at 6'8". The others are 6'6", 6'2", 6'3", and 6'6" respectively. Only 7'0" Jason Smith is hitting about 17 minutes a game and his statistical contribution is negligible, 5 points and 3 boards.

Meanwhile, Portland has more size across the board and more talent across the board. The Sixers will struggle to score and to keep up with Portland on the boards, a rare luxury for Portland who usually gets outrebounded.

This is one of those rare nights where if Portland plays an average game, they win by a lot. If they implode, they should still win, just it will be close. They are that much better than the 76ers.

Portland by 10+

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