Nov 04

Ice-Cold Finish Sinks Portland

By mikebarrett
We've talked recently about how it's never too early for a team to establish its identity in an NBA season.  Often times a team's poise and confidence is shaped by the experiences it racks up early on.  This cuts both ways, and it cut both ways at the Rose Garden on Thursday night.

After returning home from a very successful road trip, the Trail Blazers were poised to protect the home floor, continue to build momentum, and make a statement in one of those very important divisional games against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder, meanwhile, were recently routed at home by Utah, needed a last-second shot to escape Detroit with a win, and were manhandled by the L.A. Clippers on Wednesday night. 

One team had a heck of a lot to gain, and the other was simply desperate.

What will haunt the Trail Blazers is that they were in a position, several times, to not only get the win, but to deliver another blow to OKC's confidence that could have had lasting effects.  Instead, all of that went up in smoke in the final two minutes.  The Thunder got a reprieve, and it's Portland that's now picking itself up off the mat.

The Trail Blazers led this ball game 75-62 with just over five minutes to go in the third quarter.  Even after giving that lead away, they had rallied to lead again, 98-93 with just 2:10 left.  The offense, that had been free flowing and attacking, turned completely stagnant.  The Thunder took full advantage, got new life, and stormed behind to get the win in overtime, 107-106. 

After LaMarcus Aldridge scored on an alley-oop with 3:07 left, the Blazers could manage only one field goal over almost the next 7 and a-half minutes.  It was a stretch that saw them become completely predictable, and suffer through a 1 for 11 draught from the field to close the game.  Once the game got to overtime, it was the Thunder with all the momentum, and you sensed it was over.  That certainly turned out to be the case.

The Blazers always talk about having the goals of not only winning their home games, but winning close games.  Normally they're very good at both.  The sad part is, if you get away it this time, and a lot of this is forgotten.  But, because this ultimately cost them a big win, over a division rival, doubts could creep in the next time they're in this situation.  That's how it works, especially early in a season.

Kevin Durant was very good in this game, but he wasn't the difference.  He did have 28 points and 11 rebounds, but Portland actually did a good job on him.  He shot just 11 for 24, and had 5 turnovers.  The difference was Russell Westbrook.  The Thunder point guard had 28 points, was 10 for 10 at the foul line, and had 11 rebounds- including 6 offensive rebounds.  You get 6 offensive rebounds from your point guard?  What a huge benefit that is.  And, he did a lot of his damage late.

The Trail Blazers attacked again with a very balanced offensive effort, putting six players in double figures.  LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points, Brandon Roy had 19, and Andre Miller and Nicolas Batum each had 16.  Marcus Camby had another double-double, scoring 13 and grabbing 12 boards.  Wesley Matthews had 13 off the bench.  And, they were actually shooting a high percentage most of the night- until that final 1 for 11 stretch.

This Blazer team has been so good in fourth quarters so far this season, and has taken control, or come back late in games.  On this night, they were outscored by Oklahoma City 25-19 in the final quarter.  And, they still almost got away with that.  They had the ball, with the score tied at 100, with a chance to win the game.  But, Roy, who waited perhaps a little too long to initiate a move, ended up getting a lean-in jumper at the horn that had very little chance of going in.  We have seen the isolation stuff with Brandon work late in games, so it's not like it was unexpected.  This time it simply didn't work, and was used too often down the stretch. 

Often times I preach not to read too much into games early in a season, but this one has the potential to sting for a while.  We're very, very early in the season, obviously.  But, a 5-1 record, with a big win over the Thunder, would have been a nice feather in their cap.  Combine that with the chance to send OKC home with a 2-3 record, and a loss in what is going to be a very competitive season series, and it's just plain painful.

To listen to Nate McMillan's post-game comments, click here.

You never have to wait too long for a chance at redemption in this league, and Portland's comes Saturday night at the Rose Garden.  They host the Toronto Raptors.  After that game we'll fly to L.A., and get ready to play the Lakers on Sunday.


  1. As I've been saying all night, this loss was simply the lack of us being intelligent.

    It had nothing to do with being ice cold, if I may disagree. It simply had to do with shot selection. The blazers took dumb, contested, wild shots. The chances of them going in, even in non clutch time, were still around a 10% chance. We lost this game ourselves.

    The worse part, is it's to the Thunder, who are not a good team. Yes, I said it, and I'm not being biased or dishonest. I truly believe they are not that good of a team. Tonight, we showed why we're the better team. How'd we lose then? We failed at defense. Too many times we'd leave a player open for a jumpshot, or leave the lane open. Our defense looked bad tonight. It was no where near as good as it was against the Bucks or the Knicks.

    The last second shot by Roy... I only have three words to define that shot. Here's a hint, the words are often used in abbreviation as WTF. I'm a fan of Roy, but honestly, that was the STUPIDEST shot I've ever seen in a late game scenario. He could have taken it to the rim, gotten fouled, and won the game. But he took the world's stupidest shot. I don't see Roy as being a selfish player, but that shot looked like he was more interested in hitting a wild game winner than actually winning the game.

    I remember a broadcast by you MB, awhile back when Portland was coming back from being down by a bottomfeeder team. You mentioned "This is what separates the elites from the nonelites. had this been the Celtics or Lakers, they'd have gone for kill and stepped on the throat".

    We had a 13 point lead. Brookes calls timeout. Nate changes the line up. 13 point lead is gone. Why did he change the line up after forcing an opponents timeout? What was he thinking?

    Also, the Thunder never found a true solution to LMA. Why did we stop going to him? WHY DID WE STOP GOING TO HIM!?!?

    Let's see what advantages we had going into this matchup.

    Experience, veterans, height, length, homecourt, bench production, height, height,height,height.

    Why did we stop using our advantages? Why was LMA, when he FINALLY got the ball, shooting on the three point line? Why was MILLER shooting the ball in clutch time while fading away? Why was Batum going for a three pointer we didn't need?

    We wasted so many possessions in overtime, it was pathetic. Not once did anyone attempt to make a drive to the basket. They looked young, inexperienced, and dumbfounded. We looked like a bottomfeeder to a team that probably won't make it past 8th seed in the playoffs.

    Now, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I think we would have won this game, had the refs been more fair. What I'm mad about is that this should have been a blowout win for the Blazers. I try not to complain about them, but we expected this even before the game started. Westbrooke and Durant get way too many charity fouls. Even that foul on Harden that put OKC up in OT was ridiculous, there was no contact made, yet the one time MIller and Roy did make a drive, it resulted in a turnover with our player on the floor. NBA... national bullcrap association... at it's finest. I heard Kassandra mention that the FTA were lopsided. Hopefully she can tell us here on this blog how bad they really were.

    Overall, it's 1am, and I'm still pissed off that the Blazers played so poorly in the final 10+ minutes of this game. Just proved to me that they are not an elite team. It was a complete embarassment. Maurice Lucas would be ashamed to have this game in his honor. I say we try again and have a different game in his honor.

    by Herr on 11/4/2010 11:53 PM
  2. I'd like to mentioned I facepalmed around 10 times writing that. That's how frustrating this loss is. I expect more from the Blazers. Just glad this is only the regular season.

    by Herr on 11/4/2010 11:58 PM
  3. Mike:

    Thanks for the update. Wow, what a heart breaker. We had it in our grasp only to lose it in over time.

    I feel we have a better team then OKC, but not this night.

    Why didn't Nate play Rudy? How come he didn't put Matthews in when BRoy wasn't able to get his shot?
    BRoy seems to miss a lot of shots this year. I know he is holding back taking it to the rim, but he just doesn't seem like the old BRoy.

    You have to admit from a BB point of view, you could not have asked for a better game. Both teams played great ball, both teams were being aggressive going to the rim until the last qtr. It seems like Portland was playing not to lose rather then playing to win.

    by Hg on 11/5/2010 12:04 AM
  4. This one hurt a little. Where's Rudy? Is he hurt? We had them where we wnted them until the last second. Oh Well it's over and on to the next game. This one was a stinger.

    by civilhold on 11/5/2010 1:24 AM
  5. I just read that Rudy was held back because of his back that he has been getting treatment for. That may explain his poor preformance of the last two games. So I ansered my own question.

    by Hg on 11/5/2010 5:02 AM
  6. I have to be honest, I went to bed and didn't watch the 4th quarter or the OT. I woke up at one point and checked the twitter feed, seeing that we lost. I read both Dave and Ben's game notes over on BE, plus Mr. Barrett's above. From the sounds of it, I don't know if I WANT to watch the end of the game now, though I am curious to see the implosion myself.

    I was nervous about this game a few days ago. I originally predicted we would win this one, but lose in Oklahoma City. Earlier this week, after noting how OKC was playing, I got the sense that we were going to lose this one. After the CLIPPERS clobbered them, I became convinced they were going to walk into our house and just take it to us. When I saw how well we played through the 3rd, I thought perhaps I was wrong. I was happy to see that on national television, we were illustrating why the Thunder should perhaps be re-evaluated by the national media. I was also happy to see LMA's new game and our new offense getting wider attention. Then, we fell apart.

    I don't know what happened. I understand Nate said we quit being aggressive. Dave noted we went ISO and it became addictive and we failed to stop using it once it became ineffective. He also noted that Ibaka managed to make Lamarcus' job harder, so that offensive option declined. If you haven't read his analysis, I would suggest doing so, it's very good. To me, this game was lost mentally. For some reason, the Blazers quit doing what was working and reverted to what only works occassionally. Why? Were they tired? Overwhelmed by the Thunder's persistence? What happened to them mentally? I guess we can't know that, but I'm gonna have to agree that we beat ourselves in this one.

    I know this much...this team STINKS in OT. Last season we lost almost all of our OT games and based on this game, I will expecting the same. If a team can get us into OT, good or bad, they will likely beat us. I think we scrap and play so hard for 48 minutes, that the extra 5 just becomes too unmanageable.

    Anyone else notice that we have done a GREAT job defending the best guys on the opposing team, and our losses or close games have come at the hands of someone having an unusual performance? How soon do you think it will be before Deng has another 40-point night? Or that Westbrook will get SIX OFFENSIVE rebounds (his average is only 2)? This happened with the Suns, too, during the playoffs when JRich destroyed us. I know the defense can only stretch so far (which, interestingly, is one of OUR strenghts against other teams), but we have to do a better job defending the element that starts to work for the other team.

    We won all the categories we needed to win this games, expect for rebounding, which was more balanced until the fourth. I was thrilled to see the assist, points in the paint, and fast break difference. It's hard to accept that this squad gave this game away so easily.

    So, I predicted this as a win (though I felt the last few days it would actually be a loss), and so now am hoping we win in Los Angeles on Sunday instead, which I predicted we would lose. The Lakers play Toronto tonight, and I don't think it's a stretch to assume they will be 6-0 when we meet them. They've gotta lose eventually right? They are going to have an off-night at some point (I hope), so it would be really cool if it was against us. That would take the sting out of this loss to the Thunder. I will be hopeful for that, but won't be expecting it.

    Too bad about Oberto and Elliot. I am really surprised we have already lost two players to injuries. I am beginning to get nervous about that. It will be great to see Joel back though, which I think will definitely occur prior to the Nov 26 date given :) Maybe Saturday...that would be nice!

    by EowynAmarie on 11/5/2010 6:35 AM
  7. Eowyn excellent point on having someone else than the star beat us ,ie Westbrook,Deng.
    i'm am reallly upset about our shot selection , but I have to give Ibaka credit for throttling LMA.Once you take away the inside threat,we can't work inside out like Nate likes to do.
    Westbrook ate us up.We were remiss in screening out last night WAY,WAY too many weakside rebounds.You'd think this was the NBA,or something.Put a body on that man, damn. Every time we would get a crucial stop ,then they would get a rebound and score.story of the game,kids.

    by DowntownVinnie on 11/5/2010 7:01 AM
  8. as i was scrolling up to read the article, one of EowynAmaries sentences popped right out, and i had looked at the boxscore which showed this to be true: "we won all the categories we needed to win the game, except for rebounding."

    i even think we could have gotten past the rebounding defecit if we could have matched the thunder in fg percentage. but there were some other things which i think prevented us from sealing the win.

    we we're doing a great job of attacking the rim in the first half (loved the ally-oops!) and LaMarcus was playing a really nice inside-out game. the problem is that we went away from that. isn't there an old line that says "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." well, the art of attacking the rim wasn't broken, but we went to our default outside shooting and that really hurt us, especially in the fourth quarter and overtime.

    a lot of the guys gave something meaningful to the team last night. game ball goes to LaMarcus for playing a complete game; as i said, inside and out. Nicolas had a great spark there where i think he scored about 10 of 14 points during a run we had. Brandon drove inside a couple of times, and should have continued that. Andre set up a lot of opportunities with his passing; in particular, i loved the lob to LaMarcus in the third when Andre pretty much telegraphed it to him and it worked. Marcus played 10 years younger than his age, diving for loose balls (has anyone mentioned to him that he's our only center?!). Wesley provided some spark off the bench at times, Dante played some tough minutes, especially on the defensive end, and the Armonizer was a bucket of hustle (plus, it only took him 52 minutes and 59 seconds to score!).

    Durant plaed well, but i don't think he dominated us last night. it was more Westbrook and their other supporting players here and there.

    i would never call a loss a good thing, but maybe this will serve as a slap in the face to tell the team that they can't rely on winning the game in the fourth quarter. it really seemed like we got complacent near the end. we didn't play our game.

    surely, it would have been nice to win on the night of Maurice Lucas' tribute. the word regarding Mr. Lucas were about the only thing tnt got right on this night (still not liking Barkley, btw).

    i guess we buckle up and get ready for toronto. i have a feeling the raptors are in for a beating on saturday.

    i'm not sure what to say about Elliot's injury. i haven't really read much as to when it happened or such. my heart goes out to Fabricio for his tough decision.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/5/2010 7:06 AM
  9. Eowyn Amarie:

    I also have found that we stop their best player and let some one else get record games against us. In fact one of Wheels favorite sayings if that supporting player played against us every night they would be All-Stars.

    I read both Dave's and Ben's articles earlier and commented on both of them.

    I agree that this was a mental collapse, either from mental fatigue or losing interest because the shots came to easy early on and then they couldn't get it going again, or both.

    Also as Herr said, their shot selection stunk up the place badly.

    As you said, they made LMA inside game harder, but he just abandoned it, not sure why.

    Maybe LMA playing with five fouls and no other big man to take his or Camby's place, Camby having to play extra minutes because we lost Oberto, plus we didn't have Rudy's outside presence, and Mike and Mike says that the first game back from a tough road trip was really the last game of the road trip and as you said OKC having a terrible melt down in the last two games and us being division rivalries, our injury report, Luke’s memorial game all added up to our melt down. Wow!! That was an unneeded mouth full but I had to vent.

    Yesterday, BE had a vote for what kind of game it would be and I voted nail biter, mainly because I was already worried and biting my nails.

    Actually we lost three players to injury, counting Pendergraph, although you are really right because Elliot's injury was pre-existing and they just chose to get it done now then later when he was more valuable. Ancientone said it was a women's injury because of being Knock kneed. Are you going to let him get away with that (:>)?

    We are trying out various big men to replace Oberto. I have read that because the Blazers were just holding back Joel for insurance and he is basically ready now, that they might move up his debut. Joel said he wanted it to be a home game and it would be great to have him against the L*kers Sunday, I will agree with you that Saturday would be nice.

    by Hg on 11/5/2010 8:41 AM
  10. When I saw we were headed into overtime, I felt like a puppet with cut strings. No standing or shouting; I was content to stare at the back of the dude in front of me, rather than watch another piss-poor Blazers overtime drubbing.

    I've said it a million times, but ISO sucks. It's a team sport, danggit! What's the point of having 5 players on the floor if you're only going to use one. "My best player is better than your best player!" is all that offense says. Sometimes it works, but what message are you sending to the team? An ISO gives the rest of the guys an excuse to disappear. "Just let Brandon handle this one", they say to themselves before drifting to perimeter to clear out, thus ceding position for a rebound.

    Also, I hate running the clock. It's the smart thing to do when you're up by 5 or more, but in a neck and neck contest I want to see hustle on every play. Maybe I just don't know the game well enough, but watching Brandon dribble down the clock on the perimeter is the single most tortuous thing to watch. I know what comes next and so does everybody else.

    We've been scouted. Time to move on.

    by 500Dogs on 11/5/2010 8:42 AM
  11. What a difference a game makes. To quote one poster who said yesterday, "We looked like an elite team against Milwaukee", and now today "we look like a bottomfeeder and there is no way we are an elite team." What we look like is a bunch of fans with a bad case of Bi-polar disorder! I try not to read too much into any one game. I saw the blazers play OKC last year at home, and even though the blazers won the game, OKC played very well. Perhaps by concentrating too much energy on shutting down the other teams' star we are setting ourselves up for getting beat by the role players. I have also noticed that the hangover has carried over from last year concerning our poor three-point line defense. The New York game was a good example. The Knicks were wide open time after time. For a coach that stresses defense, sometimes... well, I'll save that for another debate.

    by Phi Slamma on 11/5/2010 8:59 AM
  12. Kassandra: Welcome back from wherever you have been.

    We didn't go away from the Alley-opp; they took it away from us by taking out green and putting in that other dude.

    I agree with on BRoy's driving to the inside more. That is a confusing issue that was being discussed on BE. Is he just being cautious, his he still not completely healed from his surgery, It took me about 8 month using a Brace much like Maggette's, he is doing great at being a leader and getting all the players involved, balance scoring, But that last of the game ISO, just doesn't work, if he can't beat anyone off the dribble.

    What is this AJ taking 52 minutes and 59 seconds to score? He only played few minutes and that three at the end of over-time tells me he should have played more in the OT.

    Elliots injury was the re-occuring old injury, but he said it is better to have the surgery done now and get it over-with. That also helps the Blazers keeping him in reserve.

    Losing Oberto may have been a big factor in losing the game. Camby the Canby man had to play extended minutes at 36.

    Of course a loss is a loss, and it very well could be a wake up call. I was only upset with the loss because it was a game we had in the bag and we beat ourselves and that is worst then having another team just out playing you. Of course the Blazers stole a few games also, so I guess the Scale of Justice gets balanced LOL.

    by Hg on 11/5/2010 9:18 AM
  13. 500dogs;

    I am glad you said all that, I feel the same way. I just stated on BE, that Nate complains about the other players not moving or not passing the ball, but what are they supposed to do on a clear out ISO. Where can they move to? As you said, we know what’s coming down and so does everybody else, If BRoy beats his man then they will just converge to the paint because they know BRoy is not going to give up the last second shot to anybody. Another thing in dribbling down the clock, tells me that Nate and or BRoy was settling for a tie whether then going for the win. True 10 seconds isn't long, and we want the ball in the hands of our best shooter, but this year I question that as being BRoy. BRoy would have been better at being a facilitator at that point whether then dribble, dribble, dribble then throwing up a brick.

    by Hg on 11/5/2010 9:30 AM
  14. Everybody:

    The comments are not being sent to my e-mail anymore. Is it my e-mail server or is anybody else having the same problem?

    by Hg on 11/5/2010 9:33 AM
  15. Over on BEdge, they ask who the Blazers should sign to fill the Oberto spot. I'm wondering what Ekene Ibekwe is up to. Also, broken record time (do not visit this link Kassandra)...


    by 500Dogs on 11/5/2010 11:07 AM
  16. Well I was at the game, Got me some sweet seats few rows behind Blazers bench. I think its been said over and over again, we just settled for jumpshots later in the game, allowing a hungry OKC team to get back in it. Brandon Roy has never been a leaper, but I have noticed that he does even get up like he used to, either hes holding himself back,or his legs are not the same anymore,instead of exploding to the rim, he gingers in there and is getting stopped alot more this year..hmm..early in the season, hard to tell..just a note. This team still needs alot of direction. I dont think Nate told his team to relax on defense, settle for jumpshots and quit passing to LMA, so prabaly falls on the players this time, just comes down to execution basketball, and I agree that killer instinct is not there.

    On a side note, So Elliot Williams, joins the knee injury club too? So its happens twice to Greg,and Pyrz,Pendergraph,Williams...wow!..is it just me, or are you guys really trying to figure whats up?..cause this is wierd..I know its crazy and far fetch, but is it Nate's style of play thats causing this same injury???? I mean outside of a voodoo witch doctor curse, Im out of excuses..its just ummm Bizzare.

    by whitefeather21380 on 11/5/2010 11:19 AM
  17. Phi Slamma, no doubt you're quoting me. As far as bi-polar goes, I can confirm that I'm not.

    What annoyed the crap out of me yesterday, is that we held the Bucks to such a low shooting percentage, and to 76 points after allowing, what was it, 27 in the first? Yesterday, we only won one quarter (but we dominated it). We DID look like an elite team against the Bucks. We never let them get back into it. We kept attacking, taking great shots.

    Yesterday, we released the pedal and slowed down. The defense stopped, the fast break stopped, and most of all, the good shot selection stopped. My opinion is that we did not look like an elite team. We gave up a game to a "contender" in the West, and in our own division. This game, regardless of how good the Thunder(Westbrooke) played, was lost because of the Blazers. They had everything in control and their actions, not the Thunders, lost it for them.

    One thing I forgot to mention was Roy's leadership abilities. On the road, they seem flawless. At home, he lets everyone play their own game, or wants to be the hero on the homecourt. That to me is selfish basketball. Like someone said, why did we run ISO in the final minutes of the game when we have 5 players who all have 10+ points? There was no passing in the overtime, it was all iso, or maybe one pass that lead the player to taking a bad shot. When the ball is moved, the team scores. The ball wasn't moved. They looked like they didn't trust anyone at all with the ball, and with their bad shots, it looked like they didn't trust themselves.

    It is amazing how fans reactions can change after one game, but it's even more amazing how a team can go from looking extremely talented to extremely inexperienced. Look at the Thunder for example. Clippers played Clippers basketball on Wednesday when they blew the Thunder out. They weren't playing any better, Thunder were just playing god awful. They came back and embarrassed a way better team.

    The only great news that came out of it, is that we can still see we're the way better team. After basically giving up in the fourth quarter, it went to overtime, and they only won by a point with how bad the Blazers played in the final minutes. We can beat this team, but as far as being elite, we've got some work to do. Maybe Joel's return can spark the defense a bit more. I wonder if Camby and Joel will be on the court sometimes together.

    by Herr on 11/5/2010 11:21 AM
  18. what a freaking strange day

    yesterday before work, i was on the internet for a bit. i ran down my normal sources for blazers news and info.

    as the afternoon unfolded, i found out that elliot williams was going to have surgery ending his season, oberto would be retiring because of a heart condition, and rudy wouldn't be playing because of back trouble.

    i haven't read the blog or comments yet because there is sooo much to read today. i didn't see the game, but fatigue would definitely have been an issue closing that game. coming off the emotion of a tribute to coach lucas, and then playing with an 8 man rotation took its toll.

    i'm sure the players and coaches won't use excuses, but these things have their effect.

    if you add 10-15min from oberto and 15-20min from rudy, i don't think portland fades so badly down the stretch. durant may have played 52min, but the blazers got 47 bench minutes and okc 73.

    from the box score, wesley could have given another 10min or so. i try to be patient, but can joel just jump back in there for 15min a game?!?

    having said all that, the team is on pace for 55 wins and there is no need to panic even if the loss is frustrating.

    fabri being out may signal the end of rudy though. if they can trade rudy for my much coveted back-up 4/5 i'd have trouble containing my joy, especially with lamarcus' performance as a 5 against the bucks.

    again, i didn't see the game or read any of the blog yet. these comments are the product of the box score and yesterday's news.

    by reverse on 11/5/2010 1:39 PM
  19. Well I was at the game, Got me some sweet seats few rows behind Blazers bench. I think its been said over and over again, we just settled for jumpshots later in the game, allowing a hungry OKC team to get back in it. Brandon Roy has never been a leaper, but I have noticed that he does even get up like he used to, either hes holding himself back,or his legs are not the same anymore,instead of exploding to the rim, he gingers in there and is getting stopped alot more this year..hmm..early in the season, hard to tell..just a note. This team still needs alot of direction. I dont think Nate told his team to relax on defense, settle for jumpshots and quit passing to LMA, so prabaly falls on the players this time, just comes down to execution basketball, and I agree that killer instinct is not there.

    On a side note, So Elliot Williams, joins the knee injury club too? So its happens twice to Greg,and Pyrz,Pendergraph,Williams...wow!..is it just me, or are you guys really trying to figure whats up?..cause this is wierd..I know its crazy and far fetch, but is it Nate's style of play thats causing this same injury???? I mean outside of a voodoo witch doctor curse, Im out of excuses..its just ummm Bizzare.

    by whitefeather21380 on 11/5/2010 2:25 PM
  20. ea noted the rebound battle, and 500 linked the rudy for seraphin trade again. i'll agree along those lines and put in my more favorites again. rudy and another chip (a pick or even babbitt who would be playing if he were 6'9" and 245) for brandon bass or ronny turiaf. given that seraphin has yet to log any playing time, i'd suggest trying to get someone more game ready even though i like kevin. we need a proven 2nd rounder with a bit of an attitude.

    if the blazers acquire some progenitor of the low end theory, the likes of russell westbrook and luol deng can be dissuaded from their transgressions. does george clinton have any grandchildren that turned out 6'9" and 250lbs.? do q-tip, phife dawg and ali have any sons that want to team with lamarcus aldridge for years to come amongst the splendours of the great pacific northwest? calling the grandsons of doctor funkenstein and the sons of a tribe called quest. the portland trailblazers are asking, can you bang for yours? championship rings available but not guaranteed. billionaire owner awaits your reply.

    by reverse on 11/5/2010 2:40 PM
  21. Ok Ok i agree brandon should not of played ISO. At least from out side. Nate says that play was ment to go to the basket which it should of. But guys despite what brandon did in the final min did not lose this game. It just didnt win it. What lost this game was rebounding. I was at the game and watching our guys get out husseld by a PG on the Ofens rebounding was killing me. Lamarcus i love you your awasome and you had your touch last night. But YOU NEED TO REBOUND. there is know reason a 7 ft Pf should have only 4 rebounds and a 6'3 gaurd has 6 thats a joke. We had 6 guys in double digits 2 guys with double doubles we should have one.

    As for camby and joel playing together i hope so. I would rather us get a back up center like they plan on doing, to give joel a break. And play canmby at the PF position. maybe play him 20 to 25 min in the spot. LA doesnt need 48 min every game. camby is a better rebounder so if him and joel are on the floor together for at least 15 min a game i think we could have alot more 2end chance points. Granit camby isnt the scorer LA is but he can put numbers up.

    NATE you should of played armon more. I understand miller killed the assist stat last night but he could not gaurd westbrook. when armon was in he was able to keep westbrook in front of him. I think Armon is half spider by the way. Just my thoughts guys take it easy on brandon we still wouldnt be were we are right now with out him. And I know if he would of made that shot last night you guys would be praising him. But because he does put it on his shoulders. He gets the negative stuff too when he missis

    by Avgjoe28 on 11/5/2010 2:43 PM
  22. They just outhustled us. I like to watch what is going on off the ball. Last night I noted that Broy several times down the floor seemed to be aimlessly meandering around and sometimes not even watching the play. If he can't explode to the basket and takes plays off to pace himself maybe he should do the pacing on the bench so he can give full effort on the floor. This is what he did in pre-season and perhaps it's become a habit.

    by Ancientone on 11/5/2010 2:50 PM
  23. of the 5 guys named to work out, i think a 10 day contract seems the best fit. sean marks perhaps? shavlik randolph seems like moving backwards. they need someone physical.

    as for the overall view of things, someone above mentioned l.a. and the celts. the thing that those teams consistently have is the power advantage. l.a. plays a small forward that is 260lbs and has the bynum/gasol center combo to go with the gasol/odom pf combo. the last time they didn't have bynum they didn't win the title, the celts did. when the celts didn't have garnett, no ring. when they didn't have perkins, no ring. portland needs a back-up 4/5 in his mid-late twenties that is a power player as a long term solution.

    just read that lamarcus is dinged up from taking a charge. these bigs need to get the old school olajuwon/ewing knee pads. the ones that aren't tight/restrictive or supportive, but just there to cushion from impact. joel, greg and LA all should be wearing them. if aldridge gets seriously injured, the season will be in jeopardy.

    by reverse on 11/5/2010 3:42 PM
  24. travisd: When you are right, you're right. I even agree about the knee pads

    by Ancientone on 11/5/2010 4:50 PM
  25. are the warriors for real, are the suns done, can the raptors get one?

    surprise of the start of the season, coach monty and his new orleans hornets.


    thanks for the acknowledgement.

    by reverse on 11/5/2010 7:49 PM
  26. There was no ice cold and s..., it was just a plain dumb coaching. As a coach, Nate Mcmuffin should have done better in overtime, he can not let his team gone for three minutes without scoring. He should have recognized who is hot and who is not. He should have noticed the poor shot selection by his players. He is an incompetent coach.

    Nate Mcmuffin only knows one thing, BROY ISO play whenever situation is crucial. That's the world most predictable and boring play ever. He doesn't know how to motivate his players.

    BROY and Batum are overrated. Enough say about, we wouldn't be where we are if it weren't because of BROY. Yes, it could have been worse or it could have been better depends on how good your GM is.

    If Mr. CHO keeps his head in his a... and not making any major move. in my opinion the blazers will be quick to exit the first round of play off this year.

    Imagine, this line up, CP3, Wesley, Anthony, LaMarcus, and Oden. That would be a serious contender.

    Batum and Miller plus+plus for Anthony C, and BROY for CP3 straight up. But the most important one is getting a championship caliber coach. The blazers is not an elite team until something is done, meanwhile they are continue to be a bottom-feeder.

    Go blazers

    by Idealist on 11/5/2010 7:55 PM
  27. (1) It hurts real bad to see the visitors want the game more than the home team at the end. Russell Westbrook has done that to lots of teams. Where was the scouting report? Why no Blazer body on him when a shot goes up?

    (2) I mildly disagree that Westbrook was the key though. I vote for Serge Ibaka as the difference maker in this game. He took away the lobs at the rim and our offense was never able to adjust. He also rebounded and scored well. He gets the game ball from me.

    (3) Why so few minutes for Armon and Wesley? Wesley was playing well and was the most consistent Blazer out there, but got only 19.5 minutes. Armon could have jump started the offense again after the easy baskets disappeared in the second half when we reverted to walking the ball up the court rather than attacking as we had earlier. Especially with Rudy out and playing a team on the second game of a back-to-back there should have been more minutes for our two Energizer Bunnies off the bench.

    (4) All in all a very bad loss that could very well haunt the team big time as the season progresses.

    (5) Second guessing is so easy...

    by dgpdx on 11/5/2010 8:09 PM
  28. don,

    point 5 is greatly appreciated. a shot or two fall, or a rebound bounces to our guys instead of theirs and much of these comments are exactly the opposite. the team can try to get one tomorrow, and circle the 12th in okc to try to get one back.

    by reverse on 11/5/2010 8:41 PM
  29. a final comment for the evening

    not having seen the game, i don't know how this went, but if past performance is any indication, ibaka's defense consists of constant fouling or near fouling. coach should get on the refs about this before the start of the next game in okc.

    also, my hope is that joel is part of the mix a week from tonight in oklahoma city. having our bigs rotation as LA, marcus and joel against krstic, ibaka & green could really help. the rebounding battle may well go differently.

    and, if you haven't seen derrick rose's dunk against the knicks from last night, give that one a look. a two-handed monster.

    by reverse on 11/5/2010 8:59 PM
  30. hg, had a bad shrimp salad on wednesday morning and it knocked me out .. food poisoning .. doc said "just don't eat what you ate." i think he thought it was funny, but it wasn't! also been busy with school. i have a workshp tomorrow which should help toward my dean's list goal (basically).

    who would have thought that we might be talking about Fabricio's absense. i think it just goes to show you how much Popovich thought of him in san antonio. despite Joel coming back thanksgiving weekend, we still need an insurance policy. Joel would play this very minute. we know that. i projected his return earlier, but that's all right. we're still looking at about 11 games with Marcus, LaMarcus and Dante in that c/pf rotation. that's too long. don't get me wrong; i have confidence in al three, but we need that extra guy, period.

    Wesley played well, but he's inconsistent from game to game. he's active and that's good, but i've yet to feel he can be relied upon.

    the Armonizer may just well be for real. he plays harder than Rondo, and gets a lot of the defensive results. he played 12 minutes last night (should have been more) and he didn't hit his first shot until the end of the game. he shot only two times from the field.

    i have to say, Andre is playing well; i was never one in favor of trading him and you all know that. he is doing what we want him to do. Marcus ... what would we have been doing without Marcus Camby? i thought he was 36, but i swear he's playing like a rookie trying to make a team.

    i guess i'm trying to tell you that we're all right. we're going to give toronto a lesson, and then we're going to show the lakers that they should fear us in the west.

    by the way, portland and miami have the same record, 4-2. stick that in your oven!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/5/2010 10:02 PM
  31. First game at the RG tonight! Soooo excited and we BETTER win!

    Kassandra: terrible about your food poisoning. Hope you make the Dean's list :)

    Well, the HORNETS are just doing amazing. I was positive they were going to lose to the Heat, who have been stomping on opponents. It was a close game, but they got it done. I for one, am extremely impressed with what they are doing.

    The Lakers remain undefeated, after beating the Raptors. Kind of an interesting box score (didn't see the game), as the Raptors absolutely killed them on the boards, 49-31, with an unusual contribution from Amir Johnson, who grabbed 15 (his average is like 3) - here's to hoping that's one less "unusual" performance we might have to worry about tonight. It looks like they lost the game on TOs (21-12; 12 of those were Laker steals), so we should expect them to be more careful with the ball tonight. We should also GO AFTER the ball ourselves :) It was a close game, with the Lakers winning only by 5 after a very close scoring 4th quarter (25-26). What is my point? I think the Lakers are due for a loss :) They have very few true competitors coming up, aside from us and a Thursday game against Denver (their first legit road challenge). So, seriously, I think we can beat them!

    The signing of another body has made me realize despite Joel's own evaluation of his readiness, we likely won't see him for awhile yet :( Oh well.....

    by EowynAmarie on 11/6/2010 8:29 AM
  32. Kassandra:

    You will get on the dean's list, I made it every term but one with just hard work and no extra ordinary brain power, I don't know about your work ethics, but assume liking Blazer players with solid work ethics, you practice what you preach. I read your articles therefore I know your brain power, except for Matthews and Blake you are almost a perfect analysis LOL.

    Actually, I agree with you on Matthews, I think he is just trying to hard and forces up to many shots. I have confidence in him and Armon. On that note regardless of stats, BRoy isn't playing his normal offensive game, but he is definitely getting his teammates involved in the game and we need that. I am sure later in the season; he will be able to up his offensive game.

    I agree that we are OK, although the OKC loss was painful, like EA said, you knew OKC was going to be focused and determined to show the world they are not as bad as their record. Everybody is down on the Blazers including me, but in actuality, OKC took much of our offensive game away from us, my problem is, I feel they shouldn’t have been able to. I hate getting beat at our own game.

    by Hg on 11/6/2010 9:38 AM
  33. Don:

    All five of your points are very valid. Just one block out on Westbrook would have sealed the deal.

    Of course I am guilty of point 5, I am second guessing.

    by Hg on 11/6/2010 9:43 AM
  34. Eowyn Amarie:

    Your prediction for a Blazer loss to NOH on a back to back road game preceding a re-match of OKC is getting spooky. Oh, I so hope you are wrong. Other then that I too am glad Monty and JBay's new team is doing so well.

    We all picked a win at home against OKC and a loss to OKC on the road. With a little hope involved, maybe the two games will be reversed.

    by Hg on 11/6/2010 10:11 AM
  35. OT record 2008-09: 1-4 (the single win was at home)

    OT record 2009-10: 1-6 (the single win was @ Dallas - Miller's historic 52-pt. game)

    OT record 2010-11: 0-1 (so far, first loss coming at home)

    by EowynAmarie on 11/6/2010 11:31 AM
  36. It never fails, on the first game back from a long road trip we are sluggish and never have a sold defensive game. I can't understand with the defensive players we have, we can't play lock-down defensive consistantly. Why can't Mcmillian get these guys to play hard nose defensive every game? He needs to light a fire under these guy every game. The elite teams(Boston, LA, Orlando) play solid D every game and we do not seem to be in their same class, but we have to personel to be. The first four games everyone on the team was getting rebounds. Now we are getting out rebounded every game. It seem we excel at something (rebounding, assists, defense) and then all of a sudden we stop doing these things well and get into bad habits. It's up to Mac and his coaching staff to stress these things every game. But I don't see this happening until we lose some games. It just seems we are giving the other teams easy shots and getting beat on the boards. Until we do the extra things on a consistant basis we'll never be in the elite team conversation.

    by Gavinfan on 11/6/2010 3:22 PM
  37. Gavinfan ,nice post.....I would definitely agree with you on defensive consistency.We just have NOT had that all year.I also agree on being sluggish coming back home .
    that's when it should be -home cookin ,sleepin in your bed ,takin care of business,defending our house mode.
    and untill we do that ,we will not be an elite team.

    by DowntownVinnie on 11/6/2010 3:54 PM
  38. Sean Marks ,it is.

    by DowntownVinnie on 11/6/2010 4:02 PM
  39. hg and EowynAmarie: thanks on both counts. i pretty much flushed myself with water and orange juice for a couple of days and i'm feeling much better. busy day today: i did the workship/lab thing today, came home to change and head to the stanford-arizona game (we won!) and made it home just as the fourth quarter was starting. fortunately, i was able to follow our blazers as i was at the football game.

    tonight's game was pretty much what we should have done against the raptors and our starters really stepped up. in varying ways, all five starters reached double figures. something that popped out for me was that we made 25-28 free throws. i think that was huge for us. while we may not shoot that well every night, our free throw shooting will make a difference in each game.

    game ball: LaMarcus with his double-double. i think that's number three or four for him this season. it also seems like he's getting more and more comfortable as the season goes along at his inside-outside game. i'm really liking what i'm seeing from him lately (ha -- and some of you were worried when he only scored eight in the season opener!).

    i was a little worried about Nicolas for a couple of games there, but he's been great in the past couple of outings. 20 points and three steals; very, very nice. merci beaucoup, Nicolas! Brandon seemed like he had to be a steady and consistent game. nice to see those two blocks, as well as his 26 points. Marcus' 16 points and Andre's 13 assists were both excellent indications of a team effort.

    i was disappointed in our bench tonight. i think was really should have gotten a lot more offensive production from them. they gave some rest to the starters on the first end of this back-to-back. it would have been nice to give those guys more rest, but i'd rather pick up this win.

    i'm streaming the fifth quarter right now. i always enjoy hearing Michael Holton, but i have to say that this Kenny Vance is a huge vat of negativity. he seems to be off base, but maybe it's just me.

    two additional points:

    * we won and miami won ... we now have identical 5-2 records.

    * i hate to keep mentioning this, but ... Rice thinks we'll only win 42 more games!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/6/2010 9:28 PM
  40. travisd: Sorry but I don't agree that a shot or two falling or not falling would have made the difference in this one. OKC simply outworked the Blazers over the last 10 minutes of the game and that's inexcusable. Losing is one thing, but losing due to being outworked at home is not just a loss -- it's embarrassing.

    by dgpdx on 11/6/2010 10:00 PM
  41. What's up with BRoy? Nice win tonight over Toronto but our superstar looked anything but happy both during the game and even after the win. Was he not feeling well -- or was it zero assists and the fact that the offense functions much better with Andre Miller running the point than with Brandon?

    Brandon wanted the ball more this year but I'll take tonight's performance anytime (except for the few times they seemed to be sleepwalking and let Toronto back in the game!). Andre was brilliant with the ball and the balanced scoring was very nice to see.

    I hope Brandon can be content with averaging 24 points a game and letting Miller average 10-12 assists.

    by dgpdx on 11/6/2010 10:08 PM
  42. What's up with BRoy? Nice win tonight over Toronto but our superstar looked anything but happy both during the game and even after the win. Was he not feeling well -- or was it zero assists and the fact that the offense functions much better with Andre Miller running the point than with Brandon?

    Brandon wanted the ball more this year but I'll take tonight's performance anytime (except for the few times they seemed to be sleepwalking and let Toronto back in the game!). Andre was brilliant with the ball and the balanced scoring was very nice to see.

    I hope Brandon can be content with averaging 24 points a game and letting Miller average 10-12 assists.

    by dgpdx on 11/6/2010 10:12 PM
  43. i have nba league pass and so far every opposing team's broadcasters have been calling the game. i miss mike and mike but it's interesting to listen to what other people around the league think of the blazers.

    people love roy. they are amazed at what he does. i find it strange that our own fans criticize him so much. tonight against the raptors i thought he had a solid game. he mixed up his jump shots with good drives in the lane. he looked good. but, i will say i worry about his health. it would be nice if he sit a little more.

    aldridge is playing good all around. he was cleaning things up, playing physical, and rebounding. he's another guy commentators like to talk about.

    batum is the guy that seems to be getting a lot more attention. people love his game and continue to warn that you can't sleep on him cause he'll make you pay.

    overall, this win over toronto was good. our starters got the job done.

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 11/7/2010 2:26 AM
  44. Kassandra:

    Great analysis. Should be a courtside reporter LOL.

    I was streaming post game show, I didn't know I could do it until tonight. But, I lost it when they went to talk-n-ball then had to go to 95.5 The game for the fifth qrter show.

    Glad you are back and running, food poisoning is awful.

    by Hg on 11/7/2010 3:37 AM
  45. Don:

    In the post-game show, BRoy said he had to leave the game for an emergency toilet break and said he missed much of the first quarter. Maybe he had a shrimp salad with our loving Kassandra LOL.
    He was much more aggressive tonight in scoring.

    That took away his assists.

    He looked much more active on Defense in the second half and looked to score more in the whole game. I don't know if this was because of the opponents, or if he figured like you said, play his role as 2GD and leave point guard duties to Dre and eventually Armon.

    by Hg on 11/7/2010 3:46 AM
  46. thedanman:

    Good to read your input again.

    I too, have league pass and was surprised at the praise given to BRoy, LMA, Batum and the Vets Camby and Dre.

    They have all said that Portland is a scary team right now and when we get Greg and Joel back healthy we are going to be spooky good.

    The starters must have had a wake-up call or lecture after the dubbing by OKC. I hope they continue against the L*kers tonight.

    by Hg on 11/7/2010 3:53 AM
  47. One more thing:

    Armon had a rough night as did Matthews, but I am not too worried, they are both new and guilty of trying to hard. Their energy and hard play will prevail and is needed.

    I think we all had tonight’s game as a win in MGB’s pole, With mixed predictions about the L*kers game. I predicted a lost against the L*kers because of it being a away game and on a back-to back. I have been wrong in almost all the other predictions, and I am hoping that continues. If the end results comes out at 12 and 4 most of us will be right. I haven’t gone back and checked yet, but I think our girls, EA and Kassandra are leading the pack.

    Great win

    Bring on the L*kers. We match up good against them and I am sure the Blazers will have the energy, but so will Kobe. I am looking for a good game from both clubs. They will both leave it all on the floor and Portland will win leaving no doubt about who is the best team.

    by Hg on 11/7/2010 4:07 AM
  48. Ya, the Thunder just wanted this game more. I couldn't believe they got two offensive rebounds at the end of the game and scored when all we had to do was get the rebound and the game is over. We stood around and watch the shot go up like we expected it to go in and then went for it after it didn't instead of attacking the basket and boxing out. Bummer because this would have been such a nice win on national television against the team everyone is picking as the next great team.

    by mgb on 11/7/2010 4:54 AM
  49. hg: i agree with you in that maybe armon and matthews may be trying too hard. i just hope people remember how young they are and that consistency comes with time and experience.

    glad you are hearing the same things i am. it's almost funny how people gush over roy. and it's true, there's so much respect out there for camby and dre. this team is good and anyone who knows anything about this league knows it. i feel that our starting unit is working better and better together. i'm very happy about this evolution!

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 11/7/2010 7:33 AM
  50. Kassandra
    It looks like we'll beat Rice's win prediction by early springtime. I think he was conservative because he doesn't want to be a homer and he doesn't want to be let down if the blazers bomb. If we can stay in the Northwest Division hunt until Joel and Greg get back we'll be able to win the division. I think having Miller and Camby have really made a difference with this team. They don't get rattled when they get down. Kind of like the Ducks! Tonights game against the Lakers should be tough, but maybe we can catch them flat footed. They have been off for a few days and may have lost there shooting touch. A win would sure send a message that we're a team to be feared on the road. Go Blazers!!!

    by Gavinfan on 11/7/2010 11:51 AM
  51. a few thoughts from last night against the raptors

    the starters were excellent all around.

    having had migraines myself, big props to marcus for getting it done cleaning the glass.

    the miller to batum to aldridge alley oop fast break was a thing of beauty

    brandon had a "steve nash" shot in the lane that was really neat.

    the reserves had some rough moments.

    sean marks showed he's a vet and stepped in without making any big mistakes.

    watching dante try to defend the rim was tough as he took on 5 fouls in 23min. as always, he was hustling.

    hg, you're right wesley and armon are guilty of trying a bit too hard, which is of no worry cause things will fall in place for both.

    let's hope they're up for the challenge in l.a. tonight.

    by reverse on 11/7/2010 12:02 PM
  52. against l.a.

    attack the rim over and over.

    attack gasol repeatedly.

    i want to see batum crush one through the basket and hold up the #3 at gasol.

    i want to see b-roy get supernatural and dunk on gasol and odom.

    attack the lane.

    by reverse on 11/7/2010 12:06 PM
  53. travis d is right attack the rim. thats how you win on the road easy baskets or you get fouled. paul is not the best shot blocker or that athletic. get to the rim! fk la GO BLAZERS.

    by Miller on 11/7/2010 12:31 PM
  54. A couple things have been knocking around my head, and I'll try to get them out as quick as I can.

    As much as I would love to have Turiaf on the team, my only concern is what happens to Cunningham. I think he is going to break out this year and be our Sixth Man. With a stellar big like Ronny coming off the bench, that seals Dante into the backup SF role, where he'll be battling Mathews for minutes. (Ditto for Bass)

    Andre Miller has looked great. For the first time in years, I'm comfortable with the PG rotation. Armon was lousy last night, but he'll continue to improve (same with WesMath: lousy night, young player, will improve). But really, Andre is finally clicking with this team; 13 AST last night is proof. In general, the Blazers are getting away with a lot of crafty lob passes and I think that's Andre's influence. If this continues, I'll call off my Nash to PDX campaign (that was tough to type).

    by 500Dogs on 11/7/2010 1:43 PM
  55. Okay, wanted to wait for another blog, but I guess there just wasn't much time today, with having to travel to LA overnight and all.

    I was there last night and I want to mention something that really shocked me before I get into the game: the crowd at the RG was flat, no energy. I was really disappointed and have never really seen it like that. I don't know what was up, but I know I didn't like it.

    Ok - yes, Armon and Wesley stunk it up. I agree that they will work it out. Dante had a really tough assignment, as he subbed in for Camby most of the time. No, he wasn't very productive, but his hustle on the court, especially after rebound and loose balls, is only matched by Marcus Camby. I wouldn't trade Dante for anyone else at the moment. Overall, our bench was a mess, and was outscored 20+ points by the Raptors bench. The fans love Patty though, who got his first time on the floor and his first points of the season (though he did not go for the chalupa shot, so maybe his reception won't be so warm next time, lol!)

    Brandon was superb last night. My husband says, "ok superstar, time to superstar it up!" and I'll be damned if Brandon didn't immediately start doing just that. His game was very solid, very complete, and when I looked up at the board after one of Nico's 20th point, I was surprised to see Brandon had 26! For the first time, I felt like we were seeing "the Natural" (despite missing all his 3 pointers). I questioned why Nate was having him play so much, but then thought perhaps he recognized Brandon was having a great game, and so let him have it. I have concerns about his minutes though, as many others do, and think he should rest more.

    Lamarcus has definitively answered the call of his critics. He rebounded, shot inside and out, passed well, and played good defense. And those alley-oops are so gorgeous when they make it, but even when Dre is off the mark, Lamarcus manages to gather it up and put it in anyway. His growth is apparent and it is soooo nice to see.

    Batum had a great game and I was extremely relieved. Yes, he will make you pay the moment you forget about him. He played well, though he didn't rebound as good as he is capable of. It was GREAT to see him hitting his 3s again, and he was rewarded with lots of time in the 2nd half. I was complaining about him sitting so long in the first, but later I realized that Nate was maybe trying to conserve his energies for tonight's match-up, where his length and defense will be extremely important.

    The box score was exactly what I want to see regularly: Brandon leading scorer, Nicolas 16+, LMA with a double-double, Camby 15+ rebounds, and Dre with 10+ assists. Our scorers scoring, our rebounders rebounding, and our PG assisting. Yes, on nights like this, I feel totally comfortable with our PG rotation, and was extremely happy to not see Matthews or Roy in that position much.

    Marcus Camby, who is my age, is a stud, and is my new hero. If he can do what he does, I can do what I want to do physically :) However, I do hope Joel is back soon, since eventually, that age is going to catch up to him.

    The first two quarters were terrible, imo. We played the first half of each of them very well, then kinda fell apart for the last 4-5 minutes of each one (at least for little stretches). Also, the whistles were driving me CRAZY! We couldn't get a call for awhile, while it seemed like Toronto got one every possession. They actually caught up with free throws in the first. It killed the momentum and made the half drag out. Maybe that's why the crowd, and the Blazers never really got going. The second half was much better. The whistles kept coming, but less often. More importantly, we played well, the whole time.

    Travisd: yes, another Batum-over-Gasol dunk would be so nice to see. I literraly LOL'd when I saw that comment.

    Dan and HG: yes, most team media do seem to respect our guys, as even a few national commentators do. I agree, it is nice to see, especially since the league in general likes to pretend we aren't relevant at all and only "get lucky".

    Shall I mention that NO is 6-0 now? But guess what team you can't find on national TV? Shame, shame the NBA doesn't try to broadcast teams a little more fairly. I know it's all about money and ad dollars, but fans of the game are getting a tiny bit robbed when the Suns and the Rockets are thier options while New Orleans and Atlanta are not :) I, for one, would like to see them play!

    by EowynAmarie on 11/7/2010 2:32 PM
  56. Btw, I have I think officially become a home of Dave over at BE. Here's what he noticed about our offense last night, a very astute observation and something that would never have occurred to me:

    "The more the Blazers play offense the more it becomes clear that Nicolas Batum is the difference between success and failure. He's not the leading scorer, the biggest threat, or even that high of an option. But when he's touching the ball in positions to do harm the offense is going right. He can pass, he can finish on the break, and he can hit threes. All of those are signs of success. As soon as Portland goes stale Batum's hands become as leather-free as a PETA convention. I'm not saying the Blazers can win by forcing it through Nicolas. I am saying when things are easy for Nic they're easy for everyone. He's the barometer"

    That's very tasty :)

    Kassandra: I forgot in my last post - yeah, I can't stand Vance. Him and Dwight Jaynes can kiss it as far as I am concerned. Even when the Blazers are doing right, they see a wrong.

    by EowynAmarie on 11/7/2010 2:54 PM
  57. Yes.........it seems The Armonizer was a bit confused on which team to pass it to:) Unfortunately it didn't hurt us.

    by DowntownVinnie on 11/7/2010 3:15 PM
  58. hg: please, i do not want to be a sideline reporter. i've already told you my career intention. that is not going to change.

    Gavinfan: i agree; i think Rice was trying to be a little humble and factor in improved competition in the west. as i've said previously, i love Rice; i just hope we very much exceed his prediction.

    EowynAmarie: i usually don't listen to the fifth quarter, and i only think i've heard Vance once or twice before, but last night he was so horrible, i cut off the stream and went on to something else. his negativity was one thing, but every time a caller was disconnected, his announcement that a phone line was open annoyed me to no end.

    all: i'm concerned about us getting into foul trouble against the lakers since we're so thin at pf and center. yes, now we're two-deep at both positions with the addition of Sean Marks, but i don't want to rely on that. we all know how the officials love to call blazers-lakers games. other than getting thin at those two positions, i think we match up well against the lakers. one key could be Wesley's effectiveness on both sides of the ball. he'll have to pick up some of the defensive assignments on Bryant. i also just eard Nate say that Rudy will play tonight; it would be a really good game for him to light it up from beyond the arc. otherwise, i think we have the talent to beat these guys. we just have to play the game we all know we can play.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/7/2010 6:08 PM
  59. Okay......that was just awful. Our guys are tired, and it's getting concerning. I don't like to criticize Nate, but when a game is clearly out of control, and your star player is DROOPING while standing still....it's time to take him out of the game. I had NO IDEA both Brandon and Lamarcus were playing SO MANY minutes (2nd and 3rd most in the NBA). I know we are short-handed, but this is going to come back and bite us in the bottom later this season....especially with Brandon. Based on what he said last night (which they posted on BE), he's not happy about it, and being a person who probably doesn't feel like he can tell Nate what is up...he showed him instead.

    Perhaps it's time for everyone to take a little pressure off and accept that we cannot compete at an elite level until we have another solid Center and our bench can play with some consistency.

    I haven't wanted to say it, but......Wesley is starting to concern me. I am trying to be patient...I know he is adjusting to our slower and more deliberate system, but why the heck is he shooting so many 3s? He just needs to hustle and play his game, so BRANDON CAN SIT DOWN ONCE IN A WHILE! Yes, Kassandra, your caution was perhaps warranted. I do think he will pull it together, but it is NOT fun watching him struggle when we need him to pick it up! Sometimes, I think there is something to the perspective that Nate's system stifles players.

    Okay, sorry for the rant. I never really expected us to win this one, but to get blown out this way was a tad shocking. Moving on now...

    MGB's original prediction was that we would win all 10 games. Here are mine and Kassandra's:

    @New York - W
    @Chicago - L
    @Milwaukee - W
    vs OKC - W
    vs Toronto - W
    @ Lakers - W
    vs Detroit - W
    @ OKC - L
    @ New Orleans - W
    @ Memphis - W

    W @ Knicks
    L @ Bulls
    W @ Bucks
    W Thunder
    W Raptors
    L @ Lakers
    W Pistons
    L @ Thunder
    L @ Hornets (I know, don't ask me why, maybe cause its a b2b) *Um, yeah, I made this prediction long before their streak....gotta luv "gut feelings"!
    W @ Memphis

    So far, I have the lead at 5-6, while Kassandra is 4-6. We both see us losing to OKC (I was thinking we just might get this one, but am doubtful again after they lost to Boston tonight on their home court). I think New Orleans beats us (and their play is backing that up), while Kassandra has us winning the last 2 games. If I am right the rest of the way, we will finish up 7-5 for our first 12....which is .58

    I know a lot of you could care less, but I thought I would tell you something I think is really cool: Kevin Durant recently moved into a new neigborhood. His neighbor is a 14/15-year old kid who got really excited and started filming Durant on the sly. He started a Twitter account and Youtube account and was posting the vids. KD found out about it, and thought it was funny. People were telling him to call the cops on the kid, but instead, he invited him over to meet and hang out. Now, the kid posts cute little vids he took without having to hide. I just think it's really classy of Durant, and reminds me that he is not a guy that is going to allow himself to turn into a "King", ala Lebron. Despite media attempts to make him into something, Durant seems to just want to be a great ball player and win, and for that, I have to respect him (I was still rooting for Boston to beat them of course!). If your curious, check it out. He's under kd35sneighbor at both sites.

    by EowynAmarie on 11/7/2010 9:39 PM
  60. Mike Rice is looking more prescient all the time -- 47 wins might be it for this team. Our early season schedule is brutal and more injuries have taken away the good thing we had going with the second unit in the first couple games.

    Clearly though, we didn't belong on the same floor with the Lakers tonight.

    by dgpdx on 11/7/2010 10:05 PM
  61. i had an epiphany watching roy tonight. he's not fully healthy and he has a hard time adjusting to team ball. all his success came when he was "the man". he had the ball a lot more and destroyed opponents on iso situations. oyherwise he would dump it off to his trusty sidekick blake. the team is clearly moving to a more team oriented style of ball and roy cannot seem to embrace it. he should watch video of the 77 team. maybe he'll have an epiphany and realize that we cannot win playing iso ball anymore. teams have learned to prepare for him and neutralize him. it's not just his playing either. it's his body language. this is what he told jason quick after the game:

    When it was suggested that this team needs the Brandon Roy from two years ago, when he averaged 22.6 points, 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds, Roy showed the irritation he feels with his reputation with Portland fans.

    "Seems from all the talk, they didn't need the old Brandon Roy, they wanted a new one, a different one," Roy said. "So I'm trying to adjust to what they need."

    there's a storm brewing here people!

    by sudelander on 11/7/2010 11:35 PM
  62. sudelander nailed half the problem. Nice job.

    The other half is a coaching/system limitation. It's a coaching staff's job to maximize talent & put the team in position to score *efficiently*. To put it bluntly, given current personnel limitations without effective centers this offense sucks. All too often this team goes on scoring droughts against even average or poor opponents. It was clear after tonight that the Blazers are nowhere close to challenging the elite teams. It's doubtful that Oden's presence at even full strength would have changed this fact.

    I've been saying this for 3 yrs, but it is becoming more apparent to me as time passes that this team will most likely not make the next step until a system change takes place. Unfortunately, that means that Nate will need to be let go and replaced by someone else as it seems he is sadly unwilling/unable to modify his system to take advantage of the talent we actually have on the floor...not the talent he wishes we had. The bottom line is that most of the team aside from Roy would perform at a significantly higher level in a more uptempo system.

    Half the problem is Roy's style and attitude holding this team hostage. The other half is Nate's inability to change things to benefit the team as a whole because he is clinging to a systemic idea that benefits only 1 player on the roster. A player who, by the way, has noticably slipped from his peak of 2 seasons ago and no longer seems capable of carrying this team deep into the playoffs. There is no question Roy has lost a step & some explosion to the rim and it is highly questionable that he will ever regain this ability. The team needs to change things up in a big. Sadly, I feel this will be a lost season as we watch a boring, largely offensively stagnant style peter out in the first round of the playoffs yet again.

    by Marcus Johnson on 11/8/2010 1:21 AM
  63. Side comment: Hey Mike Barrett...just curious...during tonight's broadcast when the camera panned over Bill Maher you made an offhand comment that his show is "going to be cancelled due to limited viewership". Do you have any proof of this or are you talking out your proverbial behind? You are aware he recently signed a 35 show extension, right? ;)

    by Marcus Johnson on 11/8/2010 1:29 AM
  64. Side comment: Hey Mike Barrett...just curious...during tonight's broadcast when the camera panned over Bill Maher you made an offhand comment that his show is "going to be cancelled due to limited viewership". Do you have any proof of this or are you talking out your proverbial behind? You are aware he recently signed a 35 show extension, right? ;)

    by Marcus Johnson on 11/8/2010 2:24 AM
  65. This was a classic case of a finely tuned Lamborghini matched up against Oscar Meyer's version of the "Lambor-weenie". Usually the blazers relish the idea of the underdog but in this game couldn't cut the mustard, and were playing catsup all night. When the wheels finally fell off, the Lakers took their tire irons and beat them with it. Where's the trunk monkey when you need him? Sudelander mentions the 77 team. Let me expound on that. If one were to gaze upon the many banners hanging from the rafters of the Rose Garden you would think that the championship team must of had a lot of all stars on it. You'd be wrong. Portland has more retired numbers from players who never made the all star team than any team in the nba. It was a collection of role players who played unselfishly and together. Crisp passes to cutters going to the basket and they played a beautiful inside-outside brand of ball. But enough about the glory days, back to this car-jacking of a basketball game. I remember watching Rudy standing alone in the key while his man was wide open at the three point line, and thinking, "Who the hell is he guarding"? Pretty much sums up the team's play tonight.

    by Phi Slamma on 11/8/2010 3:15 AM
  66. Kassandra:

    Hey, I know you are going to be a litigation lawyer, I am just a brat, always teasing, but mostly just complimenting your great analytical writing. I by no means am trying to change your curriculum. I think you will be a great lawyer with your ability to present the facts.

    The beating we got tonight was very painful and unexpected in my mind. Of course I had to listen to the LAL broadcasters and they said repeatedly that their main defensive goal was to shut down BRoy and dare the rest of the team to beat us. But with no rebounding, with a one and done jump shooting we were doomed anyway.

    I am optimistic though, we have and will have games like this, as all teams does. It is just sad.

    by Hg on 11/8/2010 3:32 AM
  67. Eowyn Amarie:

    Oh come on quit bragging LOL. Of course I am so for behind I couldn't catch up.

    The one thing is we both predicted a 8-4 total of the first 12 games and that leaves us with just one more loss. You have a loss to NOH and I have a loss to Memphis. We both have losses to the next OKC game, but said maybe we will reverse the two games. If not we would have to win both games we differ on. Oh yes you did pick NOH before we knew they would be this good. For the same reason I picked Memphis as a lost that gut feeling.

    With the Blazers lack of commitment to games a 8-4 record would be looking nice.

    by Hg on 11/8/2010 5:56 AM
  68. well ya'll (channelling my inner southerner), that was certainly not pretty. no, actually it was just plain ugly. it was hideously ridiculous. but you know, even though it was a horrbile performace by the team as a whole, i'm not ready to throw the blazers under the bus after this loss. i know how getting blown out stings, but these are the same guys we've been talking about and projecting as a serious playoff contender for several months now. this one hurts, but you rest, collect yourself and move on.

    not everyone played ugly last night for us, however. game ball goes to Andre for pretty much single-handedly keeping us within the lakers' sights, especially in the first half. he shot 7-14 and a perfect 6-6 at the line while still dishing out five assists. i really appreciate the steady way Andre is playing lately.

    Nicolas came through and helped us keep l.a.'s lead in the teams with a nice little run in the third quarter. he's been doing that lately and i had thought it was a nice way for him to help keep us in the game in the third quarters of games. i'll take his 7-13 fg, 3-6 3pt. shooting any day of the week. Rudy should have shot more for us; he had a great opportunity to become a spark plug, but didn't quite get there, though he shot fairly well and ended with 13 points. though it was in mostly garbage time, Armon's 12 points came from 5-7 shooting. i was even a little impressed with Sean Marks making both the shots he took.

    i was also unaware that Brandon and LaMarcus were so high in the league when it ocmes to minutes played. LaMarcus i understand because of our lack of depth up front. however, we have guys behind Brandon who can give him rest. i'm curious as to why Nate's not rotating that way. i'm not yet going to say that Brandon is still injured or lost or anything else. maybe he's on a different page than Nate and his offense, but until i see something which really stands out (aside from Artest doing a great job of denying him the ball), i'm not going to jump to conclusions.

    just a couple more things about last night: the lakers nearly doubled us in rebounds, 49-24, and topped us in assists by a 33-21 margin. it's hard to win games with either performance, let alone both.

    on to the pistons; i think we'll be hungry.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/8/2010 8:13 AM
  69. Well,i am sickened ,though not suprized.LMA AND Brandon dissappeared from sight .proably because they were gassed.however.Blakers played Styfling defense .The Rebies .....Argh .............we are 17th in the league in the rebounding category.Granted,The Lake Show rebounds as well as anybody.So, i knew this would be an uphill battle.
    granted we have beem out matcged physically,but I think when our two best players dissapear off the face of the earth.Makes me wonder .Ok'i'lll give it to their d.LMA had Gasol on him.Broy always has a gang.
    I would agree with SUDEY's post earlier that we need a change .However I don't believe we we need to change the system.We just need to change WITHIN the system.I'm hoping the veteran assistants will help there and maybe influence Nate.This is a good system,but Nate needs to let loose a little .He is already doing it.You'll notice that we run a lot more.so he is changing, a bit.and to his credit.He has had so many lineup changes ,it must be impossible to impliment a game plan.

    I think this game will hopefully be a wakeup call to us.


    by DowntownVinnie on 11/8/2010 8:56 AM
  70. first, regarding last post: the rebounding edge for l.a. last night was 49-25, not 49-24.


    it appears you're calling me out on my predictions!

    all right so far my record is 4-2 to your 5-1. here's the thing though ... i think we both might miss the okc game later this week. the blazers just might return the favor and beat the thunder on their home court. obviously, we can play with those guys so i think we've got a shot at that game. really though, the only game at this point on which we disagree is new orleans. i believe we match up well with them so i don't see that as an automatic loss, despite their record.

    Wheels was saying last night after the game that if we can get through next week, our schedule begins to ease off a bit. we've already played three back-to-backs and we're less then two weeks into the season. some of these things are going to even themselves out so it we get through memphis at 7-5 or 8-4, we're actually in good shape; then about a week later we get Joel back. another point is that a 7-5 pace puts us on pace for 48 wins, while 8-4 would reap about 54 wins. we've played the majority of games on the road as well, another thing which evens itself out beyond the game at memphis.

    in other words, i'm not really worried about a struggle here or there during the toughest part of our schedule while our two largest players are sidelined. just wait until we get those guys back!

    i watched last night's game in my dorm's rec room where they have foxsports-west (same place i watch the away stanford football games), and during their pre-game show, the lakers' studio hosts did a nice interview with Mike Rice. something Rice mentioned made me take a closer look at something:

    portland has 19 back-to-backs (that i counted quickly) -- which Rice said was indicitive of the majority of the teams in the league -- and the lakers only have 14. a conspiracy theorist might say that as with the officiating (which, ironically was not a factor last night), the schedule makers are trying to give the lakers a little love. just thought i'd throw that out there.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/8/2010 9:00 AM
  71. How could Nate not note that Broy has not been playing his game? What game has he been watching. Roy has been playing too many minutes and the team needs to focus on and utilize his unique skills not see how much they can dilute them.

    by Ancientone on 11/8/2010 9:09 AM
  72. Kassandra:
    I'm not close to being ready to give up on the team or BRoy either one. I was hoping for a little more fight, but sometimes the fight is knocked out of a team early. Anyway we all predicted a loss, I was just hoping for a good game. No more joking about you being a sideline reporter, just a great post. thank you

    by Hg on 11/8/2010 9:38 AM
  73. Ancientone:

    BRoy is also playing a different role, playing PG when Dre first goes out. He is switching back and forth from a facilitator to a scorer. plus he purposely is not exploding and elevating to get longevity like Dre. That also changes his game. And like you and me, it takes a while to recover completely from knee surgery of any kind.

    I am not alarmed, just sad that there wasn't anything that the Blazers tried that worked. Even being more scrappy and pushing the tempo just created fouls and turn-overs.

    You know, I have bowling days like the way the Blazers played last night. The harder I tried the worst I got. The easy to bowl great (well as far as effort goes), but it is hard, hard work when nothing is going right.

    We will get better as the year continues. I do believe that BRoy is pacing himself as to be ready for the end of the season. Besides as somebody already stated he could have scored 30 points and we would have still lost by probably the same amount.

    by Hg on 11/8/2010 9:57 AM
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