caseyholdahl

Jan 17

Wesley Matthews Feeds Off Of Your Ridicule

By caseyholdahl Posted in: WesleyMatthews
Wesley Matthews did a little bit of everything during Saturday night's 96-89 victory against the Nets at the Rose Garden. The line: 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in 38 minutes played on a bad ankle, the same ankle he played 40 minutes on the night before. A gutsy performance. But sometimes guts aren't enough, at least for the fans at the Rose Garden who have seen the Trail Blazers struggle in fourth quarters.

That wasn't so much the case on Saturday, as Portland outscored New Jersey 22-13 in the final frame to seal the game, but when you've got a 13-9 record after taking a lead into the fourth quarter, the worst such mark in the league, folks tend to get a little nervous. That's probably the reason one fan in the Rose Garden felt it necessary to call Wesley out late in Saturday night's game.

With 28 seconds to play and with the Trail Blazers up 95-89, Matthews, who had just drawn a charge on Devin Harris the previous possession, stepped to the line to shoot two free throws. One make would make it a three possession game, all but ensuring Portland's first win in four games. And one would assume that Matthews, who is shooting 83 percent from the line this season, would be good for at least a 1-of-2 trip to the line.

Even so, one fellow in the lower bowl made a point of reminding Wesley what he's supposed to do in those particular situations.

"Matthews, make your free throws!" came the call from behind the basket, after which Wesley promptly missed his first shot. He then collected himself, set up at the line, and hit the second. But after his follow through, he pointed to the fan who yelled the instructions, twice. Matthews wanted to make sure he was paying attention.

"That guy, he told me to make my free throws," said Matthews after the game. "I missed the first one. I didn't try to miss it. Sorry. So I wanted him to see me (after making the second). It's all in good fun."

Matthews is used to being doubted, as anyone who is familiar with his rise from undrafted rookie to prized free agent signing will tell you, so he wasn't bothered much by the mini-razzing he received from at least one man in the crowd. Quite the contrary. For a guy like Wesley, a guy who plays with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, a little bit of taunting, even when it's from the home crowd, was welcomed.

Said Matthews: "Whoever it was, I appreciate him for it."

8 Comments

  1. very rare to see a player fuel criticism in a positive manner. sounds like fans need to be on wesley more often so he can consistently perform at a high level.

    by blazerdarren77 on 1/17/2011 6:18 PM
  2. I'm up in the 300 level and do not hear negative comments to Matthews, but I hear praise and enthusiasm when he is put in the game. I see him as a future "Brandon Roy in the making."
    'Glad he is a Blazer!

    by Tiger28 on 1/18/2011 9:53 AM
  3. I wouldn't call him the next BRoy in the making, but I do see a great player in his own image and his own game. He needs to learn to create for himself, which is what he could learn from BRoy, He needs to improve his handles, which he could learn from BRoy, and he could learn court vision which he could learn from Andre Miller, and Camby (fooled you didn't I.)

    All in all we all forget that Matthews is just a sophomore learning the ropes and has came in his own by facing adversity and doubt.

    by Hg on 1/18/2011 10:37 AM
  4. There were Mineesota fans behind me at the game last night, and they were sniping off random comments left and right, alllll night. thats what i expect from the other team's fans. but when our own blazer fans find it necessary to boo or taunt one of our own players, oh man.... i get PISSED. if i heard that guy yellin at welsey, i woulda had something to yell to HIM. how about you go down there in cluth seconds and make some free throws??? probably wouldnt even hit the rim.

    and whats with people booing greg oden when they put him on the jumbotron? thats about enough to get me to slap someone in the face.

    by Cristi on 1/18/2011 11:19 AM
  5. I totally agree with the lady above me how can we as fans boo our team they're getting paid to play and were paying to go see them were not the ones on the court under the pressure they're under were not in practice with them we don't play back to back games and travel with them so how can we dare boo them at THEIR GAME if you don't like it don't come to the game or watch nobody's forcing you to be a FAN a Fan is a Fan WIN OR LOSE Everybody has an off night he's playing injured while everybody else that's gets bumped is running to the locker room cuz they hurt but he's out there playing and having good defense

    by Amy Morris on 1/18/2011 12:04 PM
  6. I agree fans should not boo our players but I don't see saying make your free throws as a bad thing, I see it as more encouragement and the way we have been shooting free throws (the whole team) lately I think a reminder was in order.

    I love Wesley's game and especially his desire to improve and do the little things. Keep it up wesley!

    by RedRudy5 on 1/19/2011 5:48 AM
  7. On that same topic, I sit in the 300 level, and a few games ago against Utah, it was the final couple mins left in the fourth and it was clear we were winning, nate subbed in Marks. This guy behind me four rows back yelled out " Sean Marks you suck!" I immediately cupped my hands to my mouth and yelled "Go Sean Marks!"
    Of course said "fan" felt he HAD to confront my wife and I after the game. I know I know, I should have had better restraint, but....... Anyway, Here is what I told him. And this is my point.

    Whether ANY player is good, bad, or mediocre, last I checked it still says Blazers on his chest. Show a little class.

    The same thing happened the last year Sergio was with us.
    Just ticks me off. If they're on the team, and you support the team, then support the team. The entire team.

    by Olallie on 1/20/2011 5:40 PM
  8. That was more directed to thegloryofcristi, in agreement and commiseration, than anything. Not saying people are dogging on Wes. Just had to vent as well. :)

    by Olallie on 1/20/2011 5:42 PM
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