For now, the home court thing is playing its part. If anyone thought that the game 4 collapse of epic proportions would damage the Mavs’ confidence going into game 5, back home, well, you were wrong (I am one of those mistaken). Dallas dominated the paint and the boards, Brandon Roy didn’t pull off any heroics while Tyson Chandler had his best game of the post season, leading Dallas to a 93-82 win and a 3-2 series lead.
Lets stay with Chandler. Averaging only four points in the first four games and taking only 14 total shots in them, Chandler was limited with his touches as Dallas were hurting the Blazers from the outside. They shot nearly 50% in the first two games from outside the arc. This game? Dallas were terrible (3-17, 17.6%), but their dominance in the paint and especially on the offensive glass, grabbing 20 offensive rebounds. Tyson Chandler finished with 20 boards, 13 of them offensive rebounds, the best output in the post season since Shaquille O’Neal grabbed 14 in 1995 while playing for the Orlando Magic.
Chandler himself scored six points off those offensive boards. Portland had a total of 9 offensive rebounds, creating 8 points off of them. By the way, Chandler scored the rest of his points from the line. He didn’t create anything, or Dallas didn’t create anything for him in set plays. For that there’s Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki scored 25 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. He’s averaging 26.2 in the series. Jason Terry, who’s been up and down so far scored 20 points off the bench.
Meanwhile, the Blazers’ hero from Game 4 didn’t have the same effect on the game this time. He was received with rather strong booing from the Texan crowd but they laid off him pretty quickly. Roy wasn’t the one to help Portland steal home advantage. He finished with 5 points, shooting 2-7 from the field. On nights like these he looks slow, like a man recovering or still suffering somewhat from knee injuries. He couldn’t create anything from isolations and it seems that in this series, Roy is the Blazers barometer. When he doesn’t hit his shots, Portland succumb to the Dallas’ depth.
It’s not that the Blazers don’t have players who can score from the bench – Batum, Rudy Fernandez. Still, without a dominant Brandon Roy, the Blazers can’t seem to compete with Dallas. When Dallas are out hustling them and dominating the boards like that, Portland really don’t have a chance. With Lamarcus Aldridge scoring 12 points, Portland really don’t have a chance.
The Blazers are a different team at home, energized, aggressive. Even if they win game 6, they’ve to bring that with them to Dallas. And they need some magic, help from someone on the bench. It has to be Roy. I’m not sure he can bring it.