In the NBA, playoff momentum would seem to be a myth. Maybe it's the space between games, the intimacy and knowledge of one another the opponents earn or just the overrated nature any soft, nuanced concept like "momentum" takes on when wrung through the American sports media ringer. If momentum did matter in the NBA Playoffs, you'd think Brandon Roy's stirring Taming of the Shrew production in Game 4 in Portland to even up the Trail Blazers' series with the Dallas Mavericks would prove it.
Instead, Dallas smacked Portland in the mouth in Game 5, retaking the series lead and setting up two elimination games for the Blazers, the first of which will be played Thursday at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT. Now no one knows what to think, except those that realized that this would be among the NBA's closest fought first-round series, and who fully expect another twist or two simply because the teams are pretty evenly matched and because the 2-2-1-1-1 home-road format of the NBA Playoffs increases the likelihood of long series.
That's where we are, with Portland holding a chance to send it on to a Game 7. Roy figured heavily in the last two games at the Rose Garden, while the Mavericks' big men set the tone in Dallas. Most eyes will be on Dirk Nowitzki and LaMarcus Aldridge, who continue to battle from the elbow. Old men/point guards Andre Miller and Jason Kidd loom large as well, for good and bad reasons.
But it'd be understandable if one wanted to keep tabs on Roy, given the heroics in the Rose Garden over the week. Be sure to check out our Mavericks vs. Blazers hub for full series coverage. For more on the Blazers, visit Blazer's Edge. For more on the Mavericks, Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.