mikebarrett

Dec 07

A Statement Win for Shorthanded Blazers

By mikebarrett
The Trail Blazers aren't through this tough stretch of games, nor are they clear of all of their recent problems.  But, during a time when it's obvious this is just about survival, they did that and more on Tuesday night at the Rose Garden.  

Playing without their primary ball handler, and one of their most valuable players, in Andre Miller, they were able to get contributions from up and down the roster in defeating the Phoenix Suns 106-99.  The Suns did what the Suns do- they scored, they shot well, and Steve Nash was turning people inside out in the half-court offense.  But, on this night, the Blazers were just more determined.

They went with several different combinations, to make up for the loss of Miller, and every coaching move seemed to work.  We saw Patty Mills play the game of his young NBA career, and also saw Brandon Roy, Nicolas Batum, and Rudy Fernandez all take turns initiating the offnese.  We also saw incredibly-clutch free-throw shooting, as the Blazers went 32 fo 33 at the line, includuing 17 of 17 in the fourth quarter, and made their final 24 free throws of the game to preserve the win.

Portland used a very balanced attack.  Wesley Matthews had 11 big points in the fourth quarter, and 24 for the game.  Roy scratched his way to 20, LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 (while going 10 for 10 from the line), Batum had 12 (including a huge three pointer), and Fernandez had 11 off the bench. 

Now to Mills.  Patty, who didn't even see his first meaningful minutes until the game at Boston last week, provided very solid play in this game.  Playing in front of his father Benny, who is visiting from Australia, Patty had 9 points, 7 assists, and only two turnovers, while battling the best point guard of this generation in Nash.  After the game, television lights and microphones were packed around his locker.  Patty, in typical Patty style, simply said, "wow, I'm not used to this.."

We again saw a couple of the dreaded scoring droughts, that planted doubts in everyone's mind whether or not Portland would be able to hold on in this game.  Phoenix put together a 14-2 run to end the first half, and outscored Portland 28-18 in the third quarter.  Their lead grew as large as 9 early in the fourth before the Blazers fought back and put together an 11-1 run of their own.

In that fourth quarter, the Blazers outscored the Suns 37-24, posting their high quarter for the season.  Remember, in the first meeting this season, the Blazers outscored Phoenix 31-11 in the fourth quarter.  This though, was different.  This hasn't been a confident Blazer team in recent days, and they absolutely had to gut this game out.

Aldridge, who isn't a guy who has always wanted to be on the free-throw line late in games, was very, very clutch.  It's the kind of late-game performance that can propel a player out of a funk.  Aldridge wanted the ball, and was willing to take the foul and wanted to get to the line to ice the game.  Again, we haven't always seen that from LaMarcus.

The Blazer bench, which also hasn't been sterling lately, was rock solid in this game.  The bench hit for 24 points, and shot 50 percent from the field, led by Fernandez, who seemed to hit a different gear every time Patty was in the game.  Rudy was running off picks and getting into the open court with the mindset that if he got himself open, Mills would find him.

But mostly, this game was won with defense.  The Suns came into the game 0-4 when scoring fewer than 100 points.  They are also the league's highest scoring team, averaging over 110 points per contest.  In their last seven games they had been averaging 118 points per game.  But now, twice, the Blazers have held them under 100.  Some teams try and run and gun with them, but not the Blazers.  I've gone back and forth on that strategy, but now I'm convinced this is the way to beat this team.  And, it's worked.  Portland has now won 6 of the last 7 regular-season meetings.

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

Things only get tougher now.  Next up it's the Orlando Magic on Thursday, followed by a brutal four-game road trip.  Yes, another four-game trip.  We'll fly to Phoenix after Thursday's game, and probably get into the hotel at about 4 am.  Then, it's Phoenix again, followed by San Antonio, Memphis, and Dallas. 

You need confidence to even go into a trip like that thinking you can have success.  The Trail Blazers, on Tuesday night, may have earned some of that confidence back.




47 Comments

  1. 20 games in, 41 wins to go for 50 !!!

    by reverse on 12/7/2010 11:57 PM
  2. Awesome game...It was a gutty performance. Without our reliable and tough point guard Andre Miller, Patty came through tonight and provided a strong spark off the bench. Brandon Roy seem to be fairly comfortable, though 5-15 from field is not anything to write home about, it comes down to right plays at the right time and making your free throws, getting the team involved. Mathews, what can you say, guy is legit and is turning out to be a very reliable scorer and defender for this team. Key to this game was forcing turnovers and making our freethrows. This is a good game to start over from I believe, boost the confidence and lets keep playing Chemistry basketball :)

    Sidenote- Thanks to downtownvinnie for 2 tickets to the ballgame tonight. I made it down there just in time for begining of the 1st quarter from Olympia,Wa

    by whitefeather21380 on 12/8/2010 12:27 AM
  3. I had a good laugh. When Mathews made his last two free throws, before that I said "oh I hope it's Mathews at the line", since I trust him most. Funny, because I was listening to the Suns broadcasting crew (for some reason League Pass isn't showing you guys) and they said "the Blazers going near perfect at the line and only Wesley Mathews was the one to miss". Whoopsie....

    Great win, and I got to say that again. Highlight game of the season in my opinion. Contributions from everyone that played. I was really worried that Nash will light us up, but he had a quiet night. He got his impressive shots and assists, but he wasn't a big factor, and I felt confident we could get a stop when Nash had the ball. Everyone that guarded Nash gave him hell, and that's what we needed.

    I feel more confident against the Magic than I do the Suns, so that's a good sign. I think we'll win Thursday on TNT.

    However... our road trip...

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but we went 3-0 against SAS, 3-1 against Dallas (we all know that's really 4-0), and 3-1 against Phoenix last season, and 2-0 AT Memphis.

    Phoenix is a different team at home. Dallas is a better team and on a 10 game win streak, and San Antonio is the top team in the league right now. If Portland wants to make noise, they got to beat all these teams. Right now, people are doubting us to make the playoffs. I myself am confident we can pull AT LEAST 6th seed. Let's show them why Portland is a top 10 team in this league.

    by Herr on 12/8/2010 12:56 AM
  4. Awesome win for us. (Take THAT Charles!). Indeed, I think this game should give us some of that lost confidence and hope it carries over to the next game, which won't be easy.

    That was a sweet play, Patty to Rudy for the recerse lay-up and 1! LOVE seeing Pat Stacks getting the PT and attention!!! Just too cool.

    by Anees on 12/8/2010 1:10 AM
  5. This is the the kind of game I love. It wasn't always pretty, but the guys worked hard on defense all game, the international unit played well together, and it was fun to jam a stick in the spokes of the Suns' fast machine. I'm a fan of quick point guards, off-ball movement, and sharp, creative passing, so I'd love to see more spells with Patty, Rudy and Nicholas on the floor together. There were a few more proofs than I'd have liked that Brandon can't just will himself back into his old form, but he was reasonably useful when he played like a team-mate instead of The Man. I'd like to think we're getting back on track. I just hope they work out travel arrangements so Joel can play against Orlando. I imagine we'll need a full roster of bigs to spread around our fouls on Dwight Howard. Then again, if they keep calling fouls the way they have the last two games that may not be enough. Is there any other team in the league that gets this little respect from the refs on their home turf, or am I just getting too partisan and paranoid?

    by Islander on 12/8/2010 1:24 AM
  6. Nice nice win \o/
    Kudos to Patty, he deserves it.

    Strange that MB didn't mention the streak that Andre Miller ended not playin with almost 700 or so games played in a row. That's sad but "Iron Man" Miller wouldn't mind that (the record is set at more than 1200 games in a row, so...)

    So, 2 in a row... Let's hope things get good again, that the players listen to Coach Nate, and Nate listens to players too ^^

    Let's go blazers!

    by Tiago Torigoe on 12/8/2010 4:42 AM
  7. PS: Comments on players:

    Rudy: We always say, and I always keep sayin' : The kid needs more time, he's and AllStar potential (no kidding) and his game is way more than 3pt shooting. Of course, he needs to keep focused and explosive. He's the kind of player that Ginobili is, but needs more trust and more time. I believe in Rudy

    Patty: He is indeed a 3pt shooter, but nice potential for a PG, loved the way he played. Very solid yesterday.

    LA: AllStar this year? Mabbe, loved to see the rebounding effort last games, but that 2pt game and the rebounding yesterday weren't good. He's one of my favourites, but cmon'... consistency is the key, and some more dunks too ;D

    BRoy: Finding a new style of play, mabbe. The explosiveness isn't 100% yet, but along with Kobe and Melo and The Truth he's the true scorer i'd relie on ANY play. His shooting skills are improved (my opinion), mabbe as a effect of his lack of physical strenght compared to rookie years (not his fault of course).

    Wes: "Who would have thought?" ... MB said that, and indeed, we are all seeing the most reliable scorer on the team being the "overpaid" new player, the undrafted sophomore. I always liked the way he played (and Utah is my second-liked team), and knew he was going to be good. He makes me remember of Martell Webster, but with more minutes and confidence. It's BRoy's team of course, but right now we need to relie on Matthews as kinda a go-to guy.

    Many more comments on other players, but let's stick with that. We got a shot, and no room for much mistake. I started to like the Blazers the way they are, and I'm still liking what I see.

    Hope the words from a Brazillilan fan are worthy something
    I want at least a 2nd round this year, no less.


    by Tiago Torigoe on 12/8/2010 4:53 AM
  8. Mike:

    Thank you for the new blog. I have the game taped, but just now heard it was with the Suns announcers on league pass, so I won't be quite as excited.

    I just commented on Center Court With the Origin of the 3 goggles, that maybe we have the Foreign Connection now with Rudy, Patty and Nic coming off the bench instead of the Spanish Armada. As TravisD said in your last blog if Patty is what it takes to give Rudy his spark back on and off the court, makes Patty's game that much more valuable. With his three point shooting ability that makes the move to making him the back-up PG a good move.

    Although I love Arman's Defense, and I really think he will be great, for right now my thoughts are the same as Nate. Patty has really made the difference.

    As you said Mike, things only get tougher from here on, but for some unknown reason, we play much better against quality teams. I sometimes think that the Team doesn't feel that cellar dwellers merit our attention. I know that is not true. It is as you have always said, once someone learned how to beat you the rest of the teams will follow suit. It started with the Suns, and we just ended it with the Suns showing them you can't stop LMA and BRoy, plug the middle up tight and beat the Blazers anymore because we have Matthews scoring on the starters and the 3 Amigos on the reserve

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/8/2010 7:26 AM
  9. This was as fun a game to watch as I have seen the Blazers play in a while. Patty's no look to Rudy was off the hook.He had a nice game.Just think ,he almost didn't even make the team.He has PenderBender to thank for that.

    Discounting the Sun's lack of defense,we played with a renewed sense of pride as a team.EVERYONE added something to the mix.I love to watch players step up.Even the Armonizer looked hungry again.(Whackin yer minutes will do that)
    Call it Dre Zen or whatever,I liked it.

    I agree that LMA should be an All Star . He has been the most consistent Blazer by far.

    Whitefeather.that game was a great payoff to the last minute ticket retrieval we had to do.I almost thought we weren't going to pull it off.Props to MGB for that.Glad you were able to witness a visual feast like this one.Coool. Thanx for helpin me out too.
    BlazersRock

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/8/2010 8:38 AM
  10. WOW ,Babbit just got sent to D League to hone his chops with.................................Antoine Walker .OUCH
    Poor LB:( Good luck ,my brotha:)

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/8/2010 8:50 AM
  11. Interesting game, nice win, one I really didn't expect.

    Patty had a great game, and does seem to be building nicely on his opportunity. Of course, the true test will come in the next few games, as scouting reports prepare teams to plan for him. That is what seems to have taken Armon out of his game (that, and being a rookie). Patty does have some experience on his side, so hopefully that will help. It's been reported for some time now that Patty has gone out of his way to form a connection with Rudy since training camp. I think we are seeing a bit of that connection on the floor. I tend to agree with the observation that Patty might be very useful in getting Rudy into the game. I was happy with Rudy's hustle last night, getting into the passing lanes, stripping the ball, taking it inside, etc. I hope he builds on those things, while continuing to find his 3pt stroke (which is still a tad spotty). These two do make a nice set on the floor, and I hope it continues as a cohesive 2nd unit when Dre is back. I do think this though......sticking Brandon in with them would likely take away from what they are putting together off the bench. Brandon's slower pace seems like it would affect them more than the starters, most of whom are more accustomed to playing with him as he is.

    I still expect several losses coming up, but 5 is better than another 6-game streak. I will be hoping they manage a win or two, and do think they have a shot against Memphis, but just can't see them beating the other teams on the road with the struggles they have had. They do seem to be working through some of it, which I believe they can do, but Dallas, Orlando, and especially San Antonio are just playing superior basketball right now. And the Suns are always tough to beat at home. Wasn't it just last year that we finally managed to break our own 9-game losing streak in their arena? We did break it, but we aren't playing nearly as well now as we were then.

    Brandon looked good to me. I thought he played well, and made good use of his time on the floor, for the most part. The number of shots he is taking is normal, but his ineffeciency is not (Lamarcus is also taking a lot of shots and not hitting them in the last few games). Despite the recent focus on his knees, I have been thinking that BRoy's shot hasn't been good since he came back last season from the hamstring injury. I don't have the stats, but do remember seeing some last year, and I don't think they looked that great. Anyway, he looked like he played a little better defense this game, had a little more hop, and definitely got to the line and made his free throws. Those are important contributions, imo, and I still don't see enough reason to put him on the 2nd unit, especially with Wesley picking up a good portion of the driving and scoring slack. In fact, I would say he and Wesley are beginning to work well together, and would like to see that continue.

    Kassandra: Okay, it's been awhile now and I think we have a decent sampling of how he's going to be as a starter. He's kept up the intensity and the scoring even after being scouted. He earned Nico's spot. He's compensating for Roy's lower scoring and driving. So.....I'd like to know what you think of Wesley, at this point? Are you still skeptical or are you warming to him? You know I just had to ask, lol!

    by EowynAmarie on 12/8/2010 8:52 AM
  12. Sorry, one more thing.Have you noticed that Patty has become the new PenderBender? What I mean is that he's the lighthearted,inspirational guy now to keep the fire going and get the team pumped up.We need all the help we can get this year.Kudos!
    MB,BTW, what does "Pay that" means?Patty always Tweets it.And what are Balas?
    Here's a link to that sick no look of Patty's.
    http://on.nba.com/dP8hew

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/8/2010 9:01 AM
  13. It was great to see such good ball played by so many of the players on not just the talent and focus being on one. This is the kind of basketball that makes me absolutely love being a Blazers fan.

    by matther on 12/8/2010 9:59 AM
  14. DTV:

    Read the Center court Blog by Casey Holdahl.

    hg

    by Hg on 12/8/2010 10:34 AM
  15. whitefeather,

    I'm glad you made it for the start of the game. I know where to look when someone is shooting FTs by our bench to see my seats and I seen two guys sitting there early so I knew you made it. One time I seen either you or your buddy had two of those blow up white ballon type things to distract the FT shooter. He was hitting them together and then hit his buddy on the head with one. :)

    I'm no longer getting a email when MB posts a new blog. Is it just me or is it the same with everyone else?

    by mgb on 12/8/2010 12:54 PM
  16. Wow, if I bottled the Patty love around here, I'd be high for weeks. Two things:

    1)Yeah, he had a pretty good night. I liked that his 7 Asts came from different sources, so he wasn't just feeding Roy.

    2) +0. +0. He had no effect on the outcome of this game apart from intangibles (getting Rudy going). +0. His great night was him breaking even. During the game, I told my dad I was going to check that stat afterward because of his tendency to run the clock too long and wind up lost on defense. Fast Phoenix buckets + late clock plays = poor impact. Meanwhile...

    What does Armon do? Dishes out 3 Asts and draws an offensive foul on Steve Freaking Nash, and is yanked after 6 minutes (+1). Does he get any love around here? No, because he doesn't have a Twitter feed or a bloody TV segment, and his biggest fan is me, while Patty has Paul Allen. Because of this, Armon's amazing hustle in 6 minutes is swept under the rug. Enjoy the run Millsaholics; a superior talent rots because of it.

    By the way: my dad and I are 4-0 against the Suns all time, and 3-1 on the season (the only loss we saw was OKC). Great game to see! Sorry you couldn't make it, DVT, but that's awesome you were able to find another fan on here to take your place. Congrats, whitefeather!

    by 500Dogs on 12/8/2010 1:29 PM
  17. MGB:

    I also didn't get a notice of a new blog. I get the notice sometimes and sometimes I don't, but since I go to Blazers page quite often, I always check to see.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/8/2010 1:36 PM
  18. Andre Miller is upset about the suspension. Stuff may have certainly been going down on that court that we fans do not know about.

    by Herr on 12/8/2010 3:10 PM
  19. for most of this game, we played well, hit shots when needed and generally outplayed the suns. the difference in this one is that we fought through the drought and held off the suns. each player stepped up at different times and those things really made the difference in this one. it's a win like this against a team like phoenix that builds confidence.

    once again, however, the drought cut into our momentum and quieted the crowd. prior to last night, that drought could have cost us the game.

    what do you think is the difference, Kassandra? glad you all asked! the answer: energy. there were times during the six losses, and even the win over the clippers, when our energy disappeared. last night, it didn't; at least not completely. we did settle for too many three-point attempts when we should have been driving to the basket and attacking Richardson, Barron and Frye to further impact them with fouls. but we remained tenacious on defense, didn't let things get out of hand, and didn't wait too long to make our run. this is the best game i've seen the team play in a long time.

    of course, many of us are happy to see Patrick get an opportunity and show the success that he has, last night in particular. many of us have wanted to see him get this type of oppurtunity for quite a while now, and he's making the most of it. i understand there are a lot of Armon fans too and i count myself as one of those. when Armon takes the court, i want him to do well, and wen Patrick takes the court i want him to do well. i'm not going to pick and choose one over the other just because i want to see one have a future. Armon may have a future. with performances like last night, it looks like Patrick has a future. the australian definitely earned his minutes last night there's no two ways about it; he deserved to be the one out there.

    i suppose what i'm getting around to is that a lot of us have been fans of Patrick (aka Patty Cakes) for quite a while now. a lot of us know he has strong performances and high energy in him. this has absolutely nothing to do with his twitter account or his segment on trailblazers.tv (though followers of one or both would likely agree that he has and is of very good character), nor is it simply bandwagon stuff -- a lot of us wanted to see him play even before we knew he had a twitter account and before his tv segment was introduced. rather, this is "it's about time we see what he can do" stuff. he has yet to disappoint. additionally, he seems to have good on- and off-court rapport with Rudy. that can only mean good things when they're out there in the second unit together.

    we're digging out of the hole, and i'm glad to see it happen. tomorrow is a tough opponent in orlando, but a win brings us back to .500 ball. it's not ideal, but at this point, i'll take it.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/8/2010 3:20 PM
  20. EowynAmarie: yes, i'm worming up a little to Wesley's play. i know he's doing some good things on the court which doesn't always show up on the scoreboard. i still see some inconistency, but here's the thing: i still don't think there's much of a sampling because we haven't had enough games with what i might call our standard rotation to tell.

    now that we are at full strength (as full as we're going to get this season), i think we should give it a few more games to see how he does. i'm not convinced he earned the starting spot as much as Nicolas dis-earned it (not a word, but go with me there!). we've got some good things going on right now with Joel back and Patty providing an energetic spark. maybe that solidifies the second unit and gives the first five some time to get into its rhythm.

    so to answer your question: yes, he may be coming along, but i need to see more. remember from our conversations, it takes a lot to convince me!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/8/2010 4:27 PM
  21. EowynAmarie: i just had to add this.

    you say you expect several of losses coming up?

    ... party pooper!

    that's like getting everyone's attention at a party to announce that no one is allowed to spike the punch!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/8/2010 4:40 PM
  22. poor ancientone may not have to eat for a couple days with EowynAmarie and Kassandra around:)

    500.Believe I am as big an Armonizer fan as you are,but just look at Patty's story from injured rook to almost not getting a spot to playing great in a game where we needed it and providing the intangible stuff that Pendy brought off the court.You know the whole "Jester" thing.
    We need those intangibles MMMMKAY.So Cmon now,bala.Give it up for Patty:)

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/8/2010 5:07 PM
  23. DTV:

    practice what you preach. Dre giving us more then Steve did, didn't make Steve bad, So big fella give it up for Steve.

    It is a good thing Ancientone can eat like you and not gain weight. or he would gain 20 pounds just from this blog.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/8/2010 5:12 PM
  24. Kassandra: cool, I get what you are saying, and I agree, it is a small sample size (though he does seem to have survived the scouting stuff). I think he will get stronger, and as long as the rotation stays somewhat stable, I see him and BRoy building upon one another's game. Time will tell, right? And yes, I am being really, really pessimistic right now. But remember, I follow other teams regularly, and have seen these teams play. I want to see us win some, but I cannot say that these upcoming games are likely wins, I just can't. As always, when making negative predictions, I will be hoping I am wrong!


    So, Wesley would like to be called "Iron Man", as he "wants to be Tony Stark when I grow up! (with a chuckle)". He gave an interesting interview on Canzano's BFT today. It was cute, though he's not the best interview in the universe. Canzano drove me nuts though today, as did the numerous callers who want to blow up the team and start all over!

    One thing that piqued my interest was the "news" that there is no insurance on Brandon's knees....and that the organization made his deal knowing that. Basically, if you really think about it, it means that no matter what happens with him over the next few years, he is staying here. NO ONE is going to take him without insurance on his knees, it's just too risky. So.....something to keep in mind at least.

    500: I hear you on Armon, believe me I do. I noted some skepticism about Patty, trying to remind everyone that he will have to prove himself again once teams are scouting him. I also noted that scouting knocked Armon off his game (along with probably a general sense of doom among the players). I think, in the end, they will both see time, as they did last night. I think Patty will come in for energy and Armon will come in for defense. However, Patty has more value if he can keep doing okay after he's been scouted AND he keeps Rudy in the game. Perhaps he doesn't have as much talent, but the intangibles could be of great value, at least for now. Armon is, after all, a rookie.

    Another thing Wesley said on the BFT today was an explanation of the "blank stares" MacMillan got when he asked his team if they understood what he wanted from them. He said, roughly, that he thought it was just "disbelief". That the team couldn't believe they were "dominating" games and then losing "two in a row, three in a row, four in a row, five in a row, six in a row." He said he didn't even know you could lose they way they were losing. Interesting stuff and tops Quick's "insider" information.

    Jeez, apparently the NBA is considering allowing 18 to be the new cutoff age. Personally, I think it should be going up, not down!

    Anyway, enough from me for now, lol!

    by EowynAmarie on 12/8/2010 5:35 PM
  25. I definitely agree, Mike, that defense was the key to this win! First time in several games our guys were actually digging in on defense and not backing down. We play defense like that, we're in every game...

    by dgpdx on 12/8/2010 6:18 PM
  26. great blog once again; it's nice to see them come together and bring able to score down the stretch/ let's this can turn into a long winning streak

    by blazerdarren77 on 12/8/2010 7:31 PM
  27. I enjoyed this one. I think part of the reason it was more fun was because it was fast breaking basketball which means the players are playing the Nate isn't calling all of the shots.

    Patty Mills played great. I'm glad to see him make the most of his chances.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 12/8/2010 8:58 PM
  28. EowynAmarie: i agree that Wesley will get stronger as the season progresses. i also agree on the scouting issues with Patty and Armon. hopefully, Patty will continue to bring the enthusiasm and energy we need. i think that's what helped us fight through the drought last night..

    500Dogs: i noted to myself when i read your post that you highlighted the +/- of Patty and Armon last night. i think it should be further noted that for the season, according to nba-dot-com, Patty's is +3.71 and Armon's is +3.67. i hope that provides a wider perspective.

    Vinnie: you're not supposed to be talking about my twitter dips! ssshhhhhh!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/8/2010 9:30 PM
  29. Kassandra,

    Sample size. Patty has played 71 minutes, compared to Armon's 195. You'll see the drop off soon enough.

    by 500Dogs on 12/8/2010 11:52 PM
  30. Oh, and just to comment about it:

    Both Patty and Rudy are, arguably, legends of basketball in their nations. We should at least respect and remember that.

    It's like the Arroyo thing in Miami, with everybody saying he's a below average PG (I disagree), and he's just the best of his country.

    Why am I saying that? Coz players with that caliber, with that pride, are stars, not role players *within theirselves*. Of course they have to adapt to be role players, in a strong NBA team (and NBA league), but still, I guess theyr production would be better given more court time, and more confidence, more liberty, you know?

    It's just my point of view, but I really believe in that, and of course that FIBA basketball isn't like the NBA, and tha Blazers don't have the chemestry of national teams, but STARS are STARS, and have to get the opportunity to shine.

    I saw the "Once Brothers" documentary, and that was (long ago) the situation that Drazen Petrovic faced in the Blazers, with coach George Karl. Then, he was traded to Knicks, with a important role, and became a legend in the NBA.

    It's not like it's 100% like that, but it's just an example... and it's not just coz I'm brazillian that I stand in this opinion that foreign players on NBA should be given a lil bit more magnitude. But I guess the NBA is in the right way right now.

    The same goes for Batum, of course.

    Oh, and sorry for the long post, I hope you enjoy it ^^

    Let's go Blazers!
    And give some more time for the foreign "stars" XD

    by Tiago Torigoe on 12/9/2010 2:57 AM
  31. Nice post 500dogs (from earlier). I was wondering why Armon, who the Suns broadcasters continuously were praising, didn't get many minutes.

    However, one thing I noticed, even when the game was fairly boring with no scoring, is that simply Patty's presence on the court provided fuel to the crowd. As you said, many people here like Patty because of his personality (hell, even I like the kid), but I too would like to see Armon Johnson play more, especially when he's performing very well.

    But, I HOPE Nate was thinking what I was thinking, and that's the energy. That's one thing Patty brings so well. You could have lost your puppy today, but Patty will still make you smile and cheer.

    I say we win tomorrow, and win against Dallas as well. San Antonio is a maybe, but I say we beat Dallas, and hear me out.

    If both teams bring their all...

    Dre > Kidd
    Batum > Dirk
    Mathews > Terry
    Camby > Chandler.

    The reason the Mavs are doing so well is Chandler. He opens up Dirk. Batum is a known Dirk killer. I think we've got this one in the bag, as long as Rudy keeps up the energy. I lost a lot of faith in Rudy, but last game he surprised me with how aggressive and confident he looked. He didn't just settle for the 3 point shot and pass it away. He looked to attack. Bring that every game Rudy!

    Against Orlando... well.... It really just depends. Only way to beat Orlando is to have them beat themselves. If this team is nailing 3's, they win. If they miss them, they'll lose. They live and die by their 3 point shot. This team is a great team to practice your perimeter D... And it'll give Joel a good reason to use his 6 fouls.

    3-2 at worse on this road trip. The teams I'm mainly worried about are SAS and PHX.

    by Herr on 12/9/2010 3:03 AM
  32. Herr:

    I too would like to see more of Armon, because he needs the PT. But like you, I like the spark and energy that Patty brings, plus the energy that Rudy played with really came from Patty's energy and friendship with Rudy. It brought back the old Rudy as when he had Sergio as a side kick. Therefore that is another reason to play Patty.

    Maybe we should play Armon when we need the defence and Patty when we need the offense.

    You are saying that Orlando lives and dies by the three and usually beats themselves. Are you sure you are not describing the Blazers LOL? Where do you figure Wesley or BRoy in the Dallas line-up? I don't know if Wesley can handle Kirk. It may be with those two that we use Wesley for teams we need offense and Batum for teams we need defense.

    I guess the bottom line is I just don't know, but if one is hot and one is cold, play the one that is lighting it up.

    Hg

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/9/2010 6:38 AM
  33. Kassandra...don't you know by now,I'm like the town crier,if I hear news ,it,s posted,even if it's erroneous or rumor.Thus my many retractions:)
    At Least I didn't post the YouTube video link to it:)

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/9/2010 8:24 AM
  34. LB scored 18 points and had 5 rebies,1 block off the bench to lead the team and propelled the Stampede to their first victory.Guess it's The Luke and Luke show.(Luke Jackson)

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/9/2010 8:33 AM
  35. i agree with andre

    it would have been one thing if griffin had bodied up and overpowered him. shoving in the back twice is garbage. the refs should have gotten a handle on it during the game. as we all know from the first clippers game this season, blake griffin is the real winner, even when his team loses. the n.b.a. wants big stars in big markets, and 10 year vets that are sub all-star level stars be damned. they did what was, at this point, probably the most damaging thing possible to andre's legacy as a basketball player. the penalty was too harsh.

    by reverse on 12/9/2010 12:25 PM
  36. Travisd:

    As much as it was wrong for what Dre did, it was just as bad for what Griffin did and what the refs did. It is illigal for a player to haunt the crowd or the bench of the opposite team, it should be just as illigal to bait a player into a violent act.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/9/2010 1:17 PM
  37. Oh,oh! I love the debate but in spite of my metabolism I've gained 2 lbs.. I think Wes has proven himself to be amazingly versatile and increasingly consistant.

    by Ancientone on 12/9/2010 3:26 PM
  38. Vinnie: there is not, nor ever will be any such video on youtube or any similar sites! the last thing i need is for something like that to come back and haunt me later!

    500Dog: i don't know we'll see a drop off soon in the +/- for the players any more than you do. just because you may want it to happen, doesn't mean it will. i'd rather support my team, and all the players than be concerned that one is not getting the minutes he's lost to another player due to performance and consistency.

    by Kassandra on 12/9/2010 7:11 PM
  39. Okay, I love that our Blazers are beating my Magic right now. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Dwight play in the first half, but while the TNT guys were wondering why Nate wasn't doubling him, I knew (and perhaps Nate knew) that Dwight just couldn't and wouldn't keep it up all night. At this point (still a minute or so left), he hasn't disappointed me :) I feel so satisafied, even if we hand the game away in the last minute. I got to see my 2nd fav player do really well for half the game (which I missed last season when he was here and sat on the bench in foul trouble), and got to see the Blazers play better basketball in the SECOND HALF than in the FIRST since.......what seems like FOREVER!! Now, let's all knock on wood, lol!

    by EowynAmarie on 12/9/2010 10:17 PM
  40. Eowyn Amarie:

    Dwight played OK in the second half, but our Joel gave him a few fits that wouldn't let him stay in his rhythm. I am much like you, even if we had lost, I was so proud and happy for the Blazers.

    I got smart and picked us to lose, I haven't been right very often this year. I did pick both Phoenix wins though.

    Let's keep it going

    Hg.

    by Hg on 12/9/2010 10:54 PM
  41. Hg: Your right, when Joel was in there nothing was as easy for Dwight and he lost his rhythm and his productiivity.

    by Ancientone on 12/10/2010 8:16 AM
  42. Very impressive win!

    Miller's the man! :)

    Surprise MB hasn't had a new blog. Come on, get to work!!

    by mgb on 12/10/2010 8:31 AM
  43. MGB:

    I have been waiting too. Maybe because MB didn't broadcast and we are going on a road trip, he took extra time to give his wife a bigger goodbye KISS. He is faithful and will catch up.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/10/2010 8:56 AM
  44. Step off my man MB,girls:)
    We just got a 3.4 million dollar trade exception for Greg Oden .exactly how we use that..well that's a whole other question.

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/10/2010 3:23 PM
  45. Ok ,clarification on that.
    The DPE does not create a roster spot that can be used to sign a free agent, so the Blazers, who have a full 15-man roster right now, would need to waive or trade a player(s) to free up a roster spot before using the exception. This is an important difference from the hardship exemptions the Blazers used last season, which allowed them to carry more than 15 players briefly.

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/10/2010 3:26 PM
  46. i'm surprised, as well, that MB hasn't written a new blog for this game (and no, Vinnie, i had not mentioned it earlier!), but i suppose we can wait.

    well, what can i say; our scoring drought in this game came early -- very early. i must admit that when it was 28-14, i started to become concerned. as previously mentioned here, Howard played very well in the first half; the opening quarter in particular. he was bound to have either a monster night, or to cool off. he did the latter and the blazers started hittin shots and playing with the energy they had during the phoenix game.

    this was Andre's game, and he didn't disappoint. he looked angry from the start and wanted to get going. perhaps he needed a game off to rest (no, i don't really buy that!), but having been suspended certainly lit a fire under him.

    Nicolas played one of the better games i've seen him play. he was all over the court; tenacious on defense, rebounding like Marcus and making some nice offensive moves. we need Nicolas to be like this every game, as he led the second unit.

    speaking of the second unit, is it just me or is Joel actually tougher than he was before the injury. he's not backing down from anyone, and i absolutely loved when he was peeling Howard off of Rudy. i can't read lips, but you could tell he was ready to take out Howard if need be. of course, that all came after Barkley called for the vanilla gorilla to get more playing time because he "likes his game." i guess it just goes to prove that even Barkley isn't so inanely stupid as to ignore the contributions of the van-gor!

    Wesley seems to have impressed the tnt guys; he turned in a very nice game, as did Marcus with his rebounding. if we keep playing like this, there's no reason we can't climb back into the thick of things in the west. currently, and this is prior to tonight's game at phoenix, we are tied with the suns for the 8th spot (of course, we would win that spot with the tiebreaker over phoenix ... unless we drop tonight's game).

    i'm hoping we see what we've seen of this team over the past couple of games. we figured out how to win, so we should have a good shot at winning tonight.

    GO BLAZERS! ECLIPSE THE SUNS!!!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/10/2010 4:12 PM
  47. It's gotta be official now, this is Andre Miller's team to run.

    BRoy can still be a productive player, but now more as one cog in the offense rather than its focus. He can be a dangerous spot-up shooter and pull off the occasional post-up job. Since Roy is such an intelligent player, some of Miller's guile may wear off on him too.

    When we play with that much energy and movement, we can be a dangerous team for anyone in this league. And when we stand around, we can be as bad as anyone in this league.

    Let's hope energetic Dr. Jeckyl shows up a lot more from now on than lackadaisical Mr Hyde...
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 12/10/2010 4:24 PM
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