mikebarrett

Dec 27

L.A. Closes Out Jazz in Utah

By mikebarrett

Savor this one, because it doesn’t happen very often.  This one certainly came at a good time.

As you well know, this Trail Blazers team hasn’t exactly been nails in the fourth quarter this season.  In past years you could just about slam the door shut when the Blazers led after three quarters.  But, already this season the Blazers have lost 7 games when coming to the 4th with a lead (see previous post).  That’s put a serious dent in this team’s confidence, obviously.

Perhaps the key in this game was that Portland didn’t actually come to the fourth quarter with a lead.  The game was tied.  But, soon enough, the Blazers did edge in front and that set in motion the hand wringing and worry that’s accompanied every fourth-quarter lead this season.  Add to that the fact that Utah has been brilliant in fourth quarters this season (14-1 when leading after 3).  If you were nervous until the clock struck zero in this game, you weren’t alone.

As I’ve said before, sometimes it’s very, very simple in this game.  Most games it comes down to a big shot or two.  Brandon Roy has been Portland’s closer, and main man in crunch time.  That explains the lack of success in fourth quarters this season.

At Golden State on Christmas Day, the Warriors had their closer, Monta Ellis, and the Blazers couldn’t come up with the key bucket in the final three minutes.  In this game, against Utah, the Blazers got the big shot.  Simple science, big-time win.

There were a lot of clutch plays for the Blazers in this game, but the big shot, as we’re talking about in this context, came courtesy of LaMarcus Aldridge.  He put together a huge fourth quarter, and did it against a physical Utah defense.  With Portland leading by 6, and those familiar fourth-quarter worries creeping in, Aldridge hit a fade-away jumper over Al Jefferson that put the Blazers up 87-79 with just 1:14 left.

If you get the big shot, that helps you maintain the lead, then it becomes a free-throw shooting contest.  Portland was good there too.  They hit 9 of their 10 free throws in the final 30 seconds, scored on their final 9 possessions, and 96-91 win.  Aldridge ended with 26 points, on 10-19 shooting, and badly outplayed both Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.

Aldridge wasn’t the only Blazer who came through in the second half, however.  Andre Miller was clutch from the field, and rock solid at the line.  He ended with 17 points and 6 assists.  Wesley Matthews, who got a huge ovation from Utah’s crowd during the starting lineups, struggled from the field, but had 14 points and 8 rebounds.  As always, he added countless hustle plays to his stat line.

Of course, Portland wouldn’t have been in this game if it hadn’t been for the bench, led by Rudy Fernandez.  The Jazz took control early in this game and threatened to turn it into a one-sided affair before halftime.  But, Rudy had 11 points in the second quarter, was active at both ends, and provided the big-time support he’s been giving the team as of late.

The Blazers outrebounded the Jazz 41-31, and won despite Utah getting 31 from Deron Williams.  The Jazz also hit 10 of their 20 three-point attempts.

 The Trail Blazers were 2-16 in Salt Lake City since 2002.  This was just the 15th win, all time, in this city.  For whatever reason, this has been a brutal place to play.  And, that’s not just Portland.  Utah has always been a great home-court team. 

Not to get on this soap box again, but what we’ve been seeing is a team playing well, and not closing games out.  They don’t have their three-time all-star, and are shorthanded in other places as well.  Here’s the scary part.  We’ve talked about all of the games Portland has lost after holding leads going in the fourth quarter..  if they win just half of those games (not asking too much), they’d be 20-11 right now, instead of 16-15.  That’s just to illustrate that it’s a fine line, and can be simple.

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

We’re in Denver now, and Tuesday night step foot in another building that has been a house of horrors for this franchise- The Pepsi Center.  Portland has lost four in a row, and 13 out of 14 in that joint.  If the Blazers can do it again, and get that big shot down the stretch like they got Monday, it would be a very impressive back to back.

 

 

 

 

43 Comments

  1. Hey I said we'd get a rare win in Utah! :)

    Bench played great on the road and that is what we really need to have a chance on the road.

    by mgb on 12/28/2010 1:49 AM
  2. I think Mathews deserves more credit. He was on Williams a majority of the game, and held him to 6 assists. When Williams doesn't get at least 10 assists, the Jazz have a fairly bad record. He was held to only 6. That's impressive since many, including myself, think he might be the best point guard in todays league. I can live with 31 as long as we're not allowing the rest of the team to play.

    Big win, and I'm shocked. However, I hate to be the party pooper here. We got a game tomorrow, in a place we never win, as you said.

    The Denver Nuggets are 7th seed and have lost 3 straight. They'll be wanting a win.

    So far, even though we're only 1-1 on this trip, I'm very satisfied with the Blazers. They have been playing with great effort and everyone seems to be clicking together. In Golden State, I said I just wanted to see effort, and winning is just a bonus. Sadly we didn't the bonus, but it was a very positive game as much as people look so negatively towards it.

    In Utah, Golden State, and Denver, we never seemed to bring energy into the arenas. So far, in 2 of the places, we've kept the games close, and in our favor. Only problem is we went ice cold, but at least in this game we played defense and kept ourselves confident.

    Just for the hell of it, I say we win tomorrow. Nuggets are struggling. I don't think Melo will be playing (but best wishes to him and his family), so that might be good news for the Blazers. Marcus Camby (who you forgot to mention MB) said "Thx for da luv tweeps ankle should b good,should b back soon" on his twitter. Don't know if that means tomorrow, but good to see he should be okay.

    Let's raise our glasses to Dante and Rudy while we're at it as well.

    Losing Marcus Camby, having no official center, and having no Brandon Roy and winning in Utah? That's impressive. Best game of the season if you ask me, especially since we've struggled with Utah, especially in Utah.

    Go Blazers. Nice to have the faith back again after the horrible start in which we played like we had excuses (even though we did have excuses).

    by Herr on 12/28/2010 2:06 AM
  3. Mike:

    Very impressive win. I know every game is a new game, but like you I was at the edge of my seat until they missed that last shot because the fourth quarter losses does creep into a fan's mind.

    I have heard you say countless times that some of the teams we play isn't as bad as there record shows because lots of the games were very close and could go either way. We can put Portland in that group now. Although we are still having fourth quarter melt downs because all teams crank up at the end of games and we were somewhat left without a kick to match their kick. Plus lady luck has her hand in many games.

    OTOH, Utah came from behind to win many, many games and that makes them seem better then they really are. Of course they have their closer in place with Williams at the control and you have to admit he was awesome at the end tonight.

    I thought the GSW game was a very well played game, and although it ended the same, I thought our offense and defense was more one throughout the game and we just had to continue to push it like that and eventually we would get the big push at the end like other teams does, or as the Jazz does. Now let's keep it up in Denver.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/28/2010 5:12 AM
  4. Great Win! Solid defense! No Jazz, other than Williams, scored more than 11 points. We Killed them on points in the paint, rebounds, assists. Great job by LMA! Took over the game in the 4th. This has to be a real confidence builder for this team. You gotta hand it to Rudy, he's finding other ways to make a difference when his shot isn't hitting. Solid effort by Dante! Patty is becoming, a Blake like, 3 point threat that is really making a difference for that second unit. Great team victory! Lets keep it going in Denver!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Gavinfan on 12/28/2010 5:54 AM
  5. Huge win for this team, especially with all the 4th quarter troubles this year. Let's hope they can use this as a confidence builder for the rest of the season.

    by blazerdarren77 on 12/28/2010 6:44 AM
  6. Good to see us get this win in Utah. Really loved seeing us make those big shots in the 4th, given our recent history as you pointed out Mike. Tonight's game will be tough for sure. Let's hope LA can have another big game and keep us in it and see what we can come up with down the stretch - we should at least give ourselves a chance to win the last 5 minutes.
    -Anees, from Portland :-)

    by Anees on 12/28/2010 7:35 AM
  7. It was not only a great win, but yet another confidence booster for our current roster. Great blog Mike!

    by Kraydayz on 12/28/2010 8:17 AM
  8. want to know why we won this game? we played 48 minutes. not 24; not 36; not 42. we played an entire game and fended off the pesky rally at the end. that's what successful teams to and, unfortunately, it's been a bit rare for us this year. i was impressed with all the efforts -- those which show up on the statline, and those which don't.

    LaMarcus was tremendous -- again. it seemed to be like he got a little extra rest in the first half when Dante was so effective. as things turned out with Marcus' injury, we really needed LaMarcus to have those couple extra minutes so he'd be fresher in the third, and especially fourth, quarters. the jazz were defending him well, but he was attacking better.

    Rudy, Dante and Patrick were great off the bench. i remember a time not so long ago when i would almost cringe when the second unit came on ... now i look forward to it. we're getting a lot of productivity from the bench guys right now and i think the change of pace from the slow-down starting unit to the fast-paced second unit is causing opposing defenses some fits. of course, when Rudy and Patty pack their goggles, anything can happen! i even think Sean battled tough when he was in there.

    Andre is steady and performances like he's had the past couple games make me wonder why he seems to come up in a lot of fan's trade proposals. Wesley (or "WessyWes" as Dante refers to him!) made up for some missed shots by hustling, going after the ball and even snagging eight rebounds. for a guy who only scored seven points, i sure saw Nicolas involved in a lot of plays. his hustle and defense were invaluable in this game. he helped to make sure that other than Williams, no one else really could hurt us.

    i did a double take when i looked at the boxscore and realized Marcus had 12 rebounds in 22 minutes before going down. he really set the rebounding tone which the rest of the team collectively picked up in the second half. last night, he reported he is day-to-day. i'm hoping he can rebound from the injury and play tonight (pun totally intended)!

    i mentioned yesterday that i think we can win on any given night. last night's game was a great win for us. denver tonight will be a tall order, but if we play 48 minutes, we can win there as well.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/28/2010 8:49 AM
  9. There used to be a board game called "Masterpiece" I played as a kid. Observing the blazers this year and comparing their play with an oil painting, I'd say many of their games looked like a Polluck, or a Picasso. You could stare at it all day long until drool started to unconsciously escape from the side of your mouth, and make no sense out of it. But this was truly a work of art. Even if the team failed to pull out the W, I was impressed by the fire and determination that I have been waiting all season to see from them. Rudy has rediscovered himself and is having fun out there. IMO best game of the season.

    by Phi Slamma on 12/28/2010 8:59 AM
  10. Phi Slamma:

    To withdraw from my cantankerous ways, I have to agree completely with your post. I have often wondered just how superior or how putrid our team was. Some nights we have a masterpiece other nights a junk drawer. And I agree this is the best game they played over-all this year.

    by Hg on 12/28/2010 9:25 AM
  11. I can't really say much more then has already been said except for this was an excellent example of playing very good basketball and there are alot of positives we can take from this game and build on. As Kass said, we played all 48 and we made made "smart plays" instead of turning the ball over or trying to play the clock. Oh yeah...and we MADE shots tonight...that helps!!! LOL

    peace out,
    daddy

    by daddylogan on 12/28/2010 9:36 AM
  12. My 20-20 hindsight would say I agreed with Kassandra and Herr on the prediction of the win, but I told EA that from now on I would predict the opposite of her and Kassandra, because they always win over me. Damn it is wonderful to be wrong sometimes. In fact, our business cleaning is on our schedule as long as we get it done before the business starts the next morning, so I postponed our starting time pending on the Blazers game. I told my wife if we weren’t behind by 21 points at half time, the Blazers would be successful and I would stay for the second half. Needless to say I watched the whole game and was excited until the last shot. Wow, what a game. I sure wasn't disappointed.

    hg


    by Hg on 12/28/2010 9:37 AM
  13. Fun game to watch, once I actually starting watching it late in the 3rd quarter :) I followed the play-by-play and in-game chat for most of the game, cause I am a coward. When it started to feel like we might actually win, I decided to see it for myself, in real time, rather than via the DVR. I was really glad I did because it was definitely the best W of the season. I am not sure about it being the best game, but the W is #1 in my book, so far.

    I feel terrible for Melo's loss and am not sure what to think about him playing tonight. Personally, it seems too soon, but I suppose the three straight losses, with the last being at home, put on pressure to return asap. I just read that he has averaged 29 a game against us in Denver, so that is a tad intimidating. However, D-Will just had a 31 point night and we survived it, so.....anything could happen! My guess is that Melo will come out flat, but I could be totally wrong of course (I have been wrong A LOT lately). I agree with Herr though, the Nuggets are going to be hungry for a Win, very hungry.

    I think it is now safe to say that LMA is our guy. Question now is: who can we/do we keep to build around him? I guess time will tell.

    by EowynAmarie on 12/28/2010 10:09 AM
  14. hg: i didn't exactly predict a win, though i said we could win. i've love to boast that i predicted it, but i want to keep it real. with us hustling the way we are, i really think we're in a good mindset and winning four of five games shows that. i think it ironic that we beat the "good" team, and lost previously to the "bad" team. life is funny sometimes. i'm glad you were able to arrange your work schedule around the blazers!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/28/2010 10:12 AM
  15. Can we bottle this game? Kassandra is right about the 48 minutes.
    Hope Camby's ankle is a go tonight. 12 rebounds in 22 min., can you believe it?

    by Ancientone on 12/28/2010 10:24 AM
  16. Eowyn Amarie:

    I definitely agree with you that our go to guy has changed regardless of what happens with BRoy. Do you think BRoy can or would concede the number one option to LMA if he comes back strong? Of course my perfect scenario, would be BRoy-LMA duo.

    I know you didn’t watch the whole game as you said, but to me LMA best game wasn’t in his scoring but in his patience and making the right choice. Three times in a row almost, (correct me if I am wrong) When D. Williams would leave Dre to dbl on LMA; Dre would cut down the middle for an open shot. They had to foul him all three times to prevent a lay-in (they only called the last foul), but that was enough to prevent D.W. from leaving Dre. When they left Rudy to double on LMA he would drive to the rim and either dunk or hit LMA.

    Long short, I don’t know if we need to trade anybody, or let who we have develop their game more and hope that BRoy develops a new role.

    I agree with you on Melo’s sorrow, but sometimes it is better to get yourself back in the yoke to help keep your mind off the grief. You are right though, he will probably be somewhat flat, but will still be a tough game. I would rather beat teams when they are full strength, because there is more honor in it, but we haven’t ever been at full strength so if we can beat Denver in Denver without Melo’s strength then great and it is their tough luck.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/28/2010 10:42 AM
  17. Kassandra:

    I know you said that we could win, and normally I am the same way, so instead of agreeing with you I was going to post that I disagreed and again, I would be proven wrong. I did say you predicted a win so I stand corrected. Herr predicted the win and you said we could win.

    I can’t watch the game tonight, because I am the secretary of our bowling league and my presence is needed, but I do feel a pain in my getta long coming. I can’t watch the game Thursday because Friday is my Birthday, so we have a party planned for Thursday because that is our day off. We have to work Friday. So I don’t get to watch all the games, but most of them.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/28/2010 10:53 AM
  18. Mike:

    I am not predicting a win at home against the Jazz, but I am planning on a birthday present from the Blazers in a win. So, give the message to the team to end the year with a win, give me my day early birthday present and make the whole Blazer nation happy. that isn't asking too much is it? OK, well what if they kept up the play of the last five games and hopefully the return of BRoy, Joel, and Camby, as I don't think Camby will play tonight. That would also be a great, great birthday present.

    Thank you for all your blogs and your input at games, I will not be able to watch another game before the year ends.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/28/2010 11:23 AM
  19. coastblaze, completely and absolutely disagree. if anybody has been accused of being somewhat of a homer and painting it to rosy, it's actually mike barett. sometimes i even think he's overly positive.

    the post game interview was great and he even made lamarcus laugh. it had a happy vibe to it.

    also, what do you expect the them to say? to say we've been dreadful at the end of games is an understatement. we all felt it and they feel it along with us.

    mike and mike love their blazers and i think i can safely say 99.9% of us here love mike and mike!

    it's good that he brought the gs game up! these guys need to know we're watching and we want them to succeed. plus he brought it up in a way that wasn't accusatory. it was used to illustrate the point of how awesome it is to finish games out. i mean we just beat utah! in utah!!!!!

    mike, keep up the phenomenal work that you do.

    amazing win!

    by sudelander on 12/28/2010 11:36 AM
  20. Great win ! I hope LA and Miller still have gas in the tank tonight.
    My take :
    the biggest difference in Nate and Sloan, and their teams records :
    Sloan coaches to go straight for the throat and attack mismatches.( Karl may do the same tonight ).
    Nate sticks to his own game plan.

    Defense 101: stop the ball. I'm still not seeing how Mills has the body size to chest up the likes of De-Ron. Or the length to stop the likes of Westbrook.
    Both of whom the Blazers have to go through for rings.
    Free AJ !!
    Mr Cho: Marks is NOT the answer to back up LA. Dante is a trooper, but he needs some help.

    Bring on the Nuggets !!
    Go Blazers !!!!

    by Kim~ on 12/28/2010 11:40 AM
  21. Great Blog and great win!

    What a difference playing hard the whole game makes!

    Hope they can repeat tonight in Denver!!

    by RedRudy5 on 12/28/2010 12:42 PM
  22. I agree with PS and others that this was our best win so far this season. We not only beat a good team we beat them on the road where we seldom win.

    Hg,
    I was the one that predicted a rare win in Utah so I get to boast! :)

    by mgb on 12/28/2010 1:14 PM
  23. Nice blog Mike

    Keisha

    by Lkiki503 on 12/28/2010 2:56 PM
  24. hg: honor, smhoner! denver has beaten us plenty of times recently when we've been shorthanded, including being without Brandon. since the nba doesn't apply asterisks to the win column, i don't care if we win when the nuggets are minus-Anthony!

    all kidding aside, my heart goes out to he and his family on the loss of his sister. i have seven siblings, and i can't even imagine how i'd handle the loss of any one of them, nor how long it would take me to get back to a any kind of rhythm in my life. if Anthony is one of those guys who needs to get back into the flow of things, then he should play. if he's one of those who needs a little more time to heal and grieve, then he should take it. beyond that, i really have nothing further to add.

    finally, i'll chime in as well; the utah win was the best win of the season thus far, and would be even more special if we have a repeat of it on thursday ... oh, wait, denver first!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/28/2010 2:58 PM
  25. note to previous blog: according to nba-dot-com, Al Harrington will sit out the next two games (including tonight) with a dislocated right thumb.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/28/2010 3:01 PM
  26. Brand new to this site but I couldn't help but add that we need to give some props to Nate McM and staff. They did a fantastic job of managing another difficult set of circumstances. They seem to have a good handle on the rotation right now and perhaps the biggest thing I notice is that they are playing as a team. Our team defense was stellar last night.

    by Just Tim on 12/28/2010 4:39 PM
  27. Of course I meant that the team is playing together well, not the coaching staff.

    by Just Tim on 12/28/2010 4:42 PM
  28. Dang, we lost. Oh well, we knew Denver wanted it and they certainly did. Our defense fell flat around the 1 minute mark in the 2nd quarter and it was lights out from then. Oh well, pretty hard when the height advantages clearly favor Denver, and my favorite ref was officiating the game!

    We all know how much I love Monty! Who gave us our first FTs in the fourth quarter while Denver already had twelve! He did a fantastic job kicking us out of the first round in 2009 and was so amazing in giving us no fouls against the physical Denver lineup.

    by Herr on 12/28/2010 11:52 PM
  29. Too bad we can't play 2 games in a row. Explain to me why Rudy , who scored 8 points in 7 min., shooting and playing well, gets pulled and doesn't return until the game is out of reach.

    by Ancientone on 12/29/2010 9:39 AM
  30. Ankle rolled, now it makes sense.

    by Ancientone on 12/29/2010 9:43 AM
  31. Anybody have any news on Joel?

    by Pamela Porter on 12/29/2010 1:57 PM
  32. Ancientone,

    We won 4 out of 5 before the loss against the nuggets, so it's not like we haven't played 2 good games in a row. Now on the road that's a different matter. :)

    After the performance against the Jazz and being so short handed I'm not real surprise with the result against the Nuggets in a back to back on the road. Hopefully we'll bounce back from this loss now that we are back home, but the Jazz game is going to be pretty tough because I'm sure they'll want revenge.

    by mgb on 12/29/2010 3:16 PM
  33. mgb : Your right.
    Hope we have Camby back for Utah. Anyone heard anything on Joel?

    by Ancientone on 12/29/2010 6:00 PM
  34. in just a couple of months we've gone from talk of the big 3 of roy, oden & aldridge taking portland on a deep playoff run to talk of rebuilding around aldridge, batum & matthews.

    i wouldn't want the front office to limit their options, but my "secret" wish is that they extend pryzbilla. doing so would be a huge nod to faithful amongst blazer fans.

    trading andre and/or camby would not be popular since they are respected players, but trading joel would have a VERY different meaning to many.

    my non-expert opinion would be that the vanilla gorilla could be extended at a figure that could be palatable even with a new/different bargaining agreement.

    unlike some others, i do not believe a championship should be the only goal. i would support a team that had a chance to play .600 ball year after year.

    if our 16-16 team comes out and plays well tomorrow, i'll be really happy with that. i'd be even happier if doing so gives them a shot to win.

    by reverse on 12/29/2010 10:57 PM
  35. LaMarcus played a solid game through-and-through. he's been playing at such a high level lately that i continue to be pleasantly astounded at how he's raised his level of play over the past three weeks. that's why we've won four of the last six he's been acting like a leader. i'm pleasantly surprised that, as of late, most of his game has been inside (and some of you doubted he could do it!). i just thought i'd mention this from the following from the denver game. in my starting 5 on this site, i had LaMarcus, Nicolas, Rudy, Wesley and Andre. of the 186 points i received for the game, 84 of those came from LaMarcus. what a statline!

    we know how to beat utah, and this time they'll be in our house. hopefully, Marcus will be back for somewhere around 22 minutes (the same he played last game against the jazz), and that can take some of the inside pressure off LaMarcus. i've been disappointed the past couple games with Wesley. i know in the utah game he was hustling, but he seemed very inactive against denver. if we're to win, he needs to show up.

    Nate and the coaching staff have to show up. i find i'm having mixed feelings on Nate this year. some games he'll look like a genious, and other games it looks like he's going through the motions. i realize there is a lot going on with player availability and such, but he needs to be less concerned with his planned rotation and more concerned with leaving players on the floor when they're making a strong impact on the game.

    having won monday's game in utah, i am pretty excited about tonight's game at home. we can do this.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/30/2010 9:10 AM
  36. Wow travis.....your first sentence really hit me hard in the face. That is just.....sad. How did we go from Championship hopes to rebuilding in such a short amount of time?

    I think what has happened to this team makes a strong argument against building around any one or two players in particular. Obviously, you need talent, but it seems like spreading that talent out among as many "pillars" as possible and building upon that is the best bet. Especially for us, who are having such crazy injury problems (this is not all that uncommon either, though we seem to think it is here in Portland these days). Boston, who has been winning and winning with a bevy of talent regardless of their injuries should be a lesson to every single organization in the league, as should our team. Even with losing Rondo, who if anyone, is the most important guy on their team, they have been winning (yes, I know they lost last night, but only for the 6th time all season).

    I think rebuilding to some degree is a necessity. I remain uncertain Batum is a pillar, but do think Aldridge and Matthews are. I agree that trading Joel would be a certain type of betrayl, but also think trading Camby would be. Both of them have made it clear they want to play here. It was a really tough decision for Camby to accept our extention and move his family up here. He did that believing this is where he would stay. His contract and his age are probably less valuable than Joel's though. Joel loves us, has been our warrior, and I do not want to see him go. Unfortunately, from a business standpoint, his expiring contract is really attractive as a trading piece, along with the fact he is probably one of the very best back-up centers in the entire league (which would be my argument for KEEPING him!).

    I agree a championship shouldn't be the only goal, but it is something we should always be moving toward. The question really is, "how aggressively do we move toward it?"

    Some think, "very" and some think, "not very". It will be interesting to see what the organization does do. So far, they haven't done much. I am not convinced that is because they haven not WANTED to do things, but rather that the trades being offered do not make up for what we would be giving up in return, or that they did not do much for us down the road. It was surprising we couldn't find a way to use the exception we had, but I think that just may show how few real options there are out there.

    I personally am somewhat torn between trading for new pieces now and probably giving up any chance of the playoffs, and hanging on to what we have just to keep doing what we are doing (which has no guarantee of making the playoffs anyway).

    The recent Orlando trade did wonders for Orlando. They have won 4 in a row. Phoenix? Not so much. They have lost 4 in a row. That's the risk of making big trades like that. As usual, I am very glad to not have the responsibility Cho and Larry Miller have these days. There are just too many issues that don't have a clear resolution (Brandon's knees and Oden's knees) that make it hard to see which route to take for the long term.

    by EowynAmarie on 12/30/2010 9:23 AM
  37. this is too funny:)Go B's.
    http://www.portlandroundballsociety.com/home/2010/12/29/trail-maintenance.html

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/30/2010 9:34 AM
  38. Kassandra my admired friend:

    Every thing you are saying, I have to agree. I wrote on BE that with these games being so close together that it is like the first two games of a play-off series and just about as much intensity. We won the first game so it is up to Utah to adjust. My concern is were they just Off because of the long lay-off syndrome that you suggested before our GSW game? Were we more fired up because of the lost to GS? Will we be capable of keeping the intensity?

    I feel we are better then our record shows, and I think Utah isn't as good as their record shows, but since our Blazers seem to play against teams they think are better at a higher intensity, It would be ok with me if they felt Utah was the better team because I think it will take that intensity to win the game

    I think Nate is doing OK, not always perfect and not always horrible, Maybe he is just like the team 50-50. I guess that is more or less what you are saying so I will have to agree with you on that too.

    Great post: I hope your Dad is doing OK, and I hope you are not making him eat yogart {:>}.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/30/2010 10:11 AM
  39. Vinnie: very funny! do you think the league would go for kneebrace kickstands? makes perfect sense to me!

    hg: if the guys were fired up after the loss to the warriors, maybe they'll be fired up after the loss to the nuggets. it's unscientific and it works for me. i think it would be a very good thing if we had a couple of games this week where utah was the beneficiary of our rebound wins! basically i suppose you could say the 50-50 thing applies to Nate. i just can't explain it. i just hope he becomes more motivated in the upcoming games and adjust is rotation more to the flow of the game.

    dad is doing very well; going sir crazy at home (he's not a guy who can just sit around), but things appear to be going as they should be. actually, with the exception of dad and my oldest brother's fiance, we're all working at our business today doing inventory (yes, i am on a break!).

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/30/2010 12:33 PM
  40. http://www.blazersedge.com/2010/12/30/1905067/trail-blazers-official-release-brandon-roy-sidelined-indefinitely
    I think this is the logical course of action considering how well the team is playing without him.If he can't go,then it is better to let him get better. Let's go B's ,let's beat Utah again.

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/30/2010 5:03 PM
  41. Sad, sad news for Blazer Nation today. I for one will never be happy in any way that Brandon may be done for good, which is how I interpret this new information. That he has not experienced any improvement over the time he has been out is incredibly discouraging and is perhaps indicative of a looming medical retirement. It is possible the organization is not being completely forthcoming, but I have had a tendency to be fairly pessimistic regarding Brandon since the problem first emerged this season. Yes, I do believe that if he can somehow manage the pain and the swelling, he could contribute significantly to our re-tooled team. Unfortunately, today's news seems to make that far more unlikely, imo.

    I hate to say this, but I really don't care if we win or lose today. I am just too sad.

    by EowynAmarie on 12/30/2010 6:06 PM
  42. EA: The problem with Brandon's knee did not emerge this season. Perhaps you have forgotten the playoffs last year. Who could blame you though ? I also suspect that Greg Oden's joints are as stable as balsa wood. They're great for making model airplanes out of, but expect a horrible crash landing if used in real life. As far as I'm concerned you can keep LA, Miller, Mathews, and Camby, and everyone else is trade bait. I can see in my mind's eye, Kathy Bates delivering a hobbling blow to Roy's knee such as she did in the movie, "Misery". After which a lame star is worth about as much as a bench-warmer on crack. Speaking of which, I've got to get back to my pipe. I thought I just saw Elvis goosing my dead Grandma.

    by Phi Slamma on 12/30/2010 10:48 PM
  43. I seem to remember Roy had a small piece of the cushion in his knee, can't think of the name, cut and he was able to return for some of the playoffs since he couldn't injure it any more. Now he doesn't even have that cushion?

    I thought this was interesting:

    """"“We’ve talked about (ending his season) and it’s a possibility, but we want to explore a couple of other things first,’’ Cho said.

    Cho said the team is still in the information-gathering stages of those other options, but he hopes to have more answers and a direction by next week."""""

    They are just now gathering info about that now? I would think they would have done any info gathering about his knee long ago if that is what he means.

    by mgb on 12/30/2010 11:24 PM
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