By Scott Spangler
Tyson Chandler looked like a man wanting desperately to atone for a rather forgettable performance in Game Four. Shawn Marion no longer appeared baffled about coaching strategy.
Chandler played this game angry. Who could blame him? The Maverick center was very much a part of what happened Saturday at the Rose Garden. That said, he certainly answered the bell 48 hours later.
Until tonight, LaMarcus Aldridge has clearly been a problem for Chandler. But as an All-Star caliber forward, that is to be expected. This is a tough cover for any big.
Monday evening, the Tyson Chandler that received consideration for the league’s Defensive Player of The Year showed up, and his teammates couldn’t help but to fall in.
The meek little Mavericks that wilted away two days earlier had been restored. Being at home didn’t necessarily mean better shooting for Dallas, but it did do something for the rebounding.
Try 49-37 on for size. How about twenty offensive boards? Thank Mr. Chandler for 13 of ‘em.
This game changed in the third quarter. Rick Carlisle dusted off his zone defense and put it to work. Dallas began to stretch that advantage, outscoring the Blazers by eleven to end the quarter leading 75-63.
And so, after JJ Barea scooped and scored, pushing the Dallas lead to 85-66, any sign of Blazer voodoo emanating from Brandon Roy and his magical meniscusless knees seemed unlikely.
For the record, nine times these two teams have met this season, regular season and playoffs. The visiting team has yet to break through.