mikebarrett

Feb 11

Aldridge Does it Again

By mikebarrett
How do you back up a 42-point game on Monday?  How about 37 points and 10 rebounds on the first game of a road trip on Friday?

LaMarcus Aldridge has said that not making the Western Conference All-Star team was no big deal, and that he wasn't that bothered by it.  If that's true, he's got a funny way of showing it.  He continued his barrage on NBA opponents on Friday night, when he helped the Trail Blazers shoot down the Toronto Raptors 102-96. 

Aldridge, who just wrapped up the best week of his NBA career (and should be the leading candidate for Western Conference Player of the Week honors, again), scored 37 points, on 14 of 25 shooting, and grabbed 10 rebounds.  He scored 14 of his 37 in the fourth quarter, going 4 of 5 from the field. 

Portland, who led by as many as 15, struggled through the third quarter and trailed Toronto 85-78 in the fourth quarter.  Fomer Blazer Jerryd Bayless went nuts in the fourth, hitting four three pointers, and scoring 14 points.  But, the Blazers calmly outscored the Raptors 24-11 the rest of the way, hitting eight-straight shots at one point, and put the game on ice.

The Trail Blazers, who are 27th in the NBA in field-goal percentage, shot over 50 percent from the field for the third-consecutive game, and scored over 100 points yet again.  They are now 18-5 when scoring 100 or more.  Portland shot 54 percent against the Raptors.

While Aldridge was brilliant in the second half, and fourth quarter, Rudy Fernandez was the star of the first half.  At halftime, the Blazers held an eight-point lead, despite the fact that Andre Miller, Wesley Matthews, and Nicolas Batum were a combined 3 for 9 shooting, and had just 6 points combined.

Fernandez, who came off the bench, saved the starters by going 8 for 8 from the field, 6 for 6 from behind the three-point line, and had 23 points in the first two quarters.  It was the most amazing stretch of basketball in Rudy's pro career.  And, because Aldridge was so good late, we can forget about the fact that Rudy went 0 for 3 in the second half and didn't score.

Because of the play of Aldridge, Rudy has been overshadowed lately.  But, Friday night marked the first time in Rudy's career that he has scored at least 17 points in four-straight games.  He's totaled 77 points in the last four games.  His previous best was 68 points over a four-game span in his rookie season.

Andre Miller was also clutch, once again, on Friday against the Raptors.  He had two clutch buckets in the final two minutes, and ended with 13 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds.  Batum, who only took 7 shots, helped the team in other ways.  He had 7 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocked shots, and 4 assists.  

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

This was one of those games the Blazers just needed to get through, and move on.  In the past couple of years there have been some road trips that have served to define the team.  They've always started with the team winning the first game on the trip.  Following several disappointing trips this season, the Blazers have talked about the desire to use this three-game trip as a springboard to the rest of the season. 

This was a good start.

There are only three games left before the all-star break, and Sunday will be a chance for them to get their 30th win of the season and continue to build momentum.

   

49 Comments

  1. NIce road win. Great play by LA and Rudy and Miller was his normal steady self.

    by mgb on 2/11/2011 9:18 PM
  2. Another great night for the Blazers!! HERE's to keepin Dre thru the trade!!


    GO BLAZERS!!

    by Blazermaniak on 2/11/2011 9:28 PM
  3. Let's hope they can take better care of the ball (16 turnovers) the rest of the road trip. If they do, there's a great chance they'll sweep this trip. Keep up the good job guys!

    by blazerdarren77 on 2/11/2011 9:37 PM
  4. Dang, Jerry B Good went off tonight. I wonder what he had to say to Nate. It'd be hard to blame the fella for being bitter; this has been a rough season in Baylessville.

    by 500Dogs on 2/11/2011 10:00 PM
  5. As viewers via leaguepass, the wife and I are getting very critical of the non-Mike-and=Mike announcers. The guys tonight were terrific; the couple of idiots who did the previous game should be shot.

    by paulpease on 2/11/2011 10:56 PM
  6. L.A - do da man! Good win, let's keep it going!

    by Anees on 2/11/2011 11:55 PM
  7. It wasn't a great played game. Maybe too much rust. I was like paulpease, I had to listen to the Toronto's announcers, they weren't bad.

    JBay was sure tickled about all those threes. All wins are great.

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/11/2011 11:58 PM
  8. For a minute there I actually thought we might lose it. Thank goodness we got back to basics: play D, and feed Aldridge. Terrible string of turnovers in the first half, way too many offensive boards given up, poor games from Wes and Patty, a 15-point lead squandered, and the team in a hole in the fourth. As Patty would say: "No worries." Interesting view of Rudy's mindset, that after his lights-out first half he refused to force shots in the second, to the point of passing up some halfway decent opportunities. How many NBA second-team players who are still trying to prove themselves would casually shrug off the chance to have a thirty-point game?

    by Islander on 2/12/2011 12:06 AM
  9. MB! Alwyas quick to the ol' typewriter after a win... lol

    I think my favorite part about the Blazers performance this year is watchin' dudes smile in post-game interviews. Seein' the guys pleased with themselves after a game magnifies the impact of a win for me by about ten times.

    I'm not havin' fun if they aren't!

    by shynz0r on 2/12/2011 12:22 AM
  10. Didn't Bayless get 18 points in the 4th instead of 14, Mike?

    by Shem on 2/12/2011 12:23 AM
  11. As a new poster to this blog, here are a few of my thoughts...
    To those who doubted Aldridge's heart and ability i.e. he is soft, can't rebound, can't play defense, has no post game.....simply,...eat crow (or more properly, eat s*#%t) .....what a beautiful game he has shown! Up there with the best of the NBA. I love to watch a power forward with his skills and heart. What did it take to free up this man? Well...
    To those who think Brandon's return is a good thing for the team... sorry.... If you like the offense to be....dribble the ball up court, pass it to Roy.... hold the ball until the shot clock runs down, then....... Don't know about you, but I wold rather see high energy, player rotation, pick and roll, high-low... through LA...then boom.
    What Roy brings to the team is stagnation..... erases the energy and power of the team and the flow of the game. Portland's future rides through LA and an offense that runs through him. Roy has no skills to fit this offense. Gonna be difficult to find a better point guard with the assist abilities of Miller (as most players in the NBA have said about him)....or the inside feed's from Camby from the high post....or the run and shoot energy of Rudy and others. While I will concede the chances of a title run with this team is weak, as a fan, I love to watch them play. This has been true over the past year and half and I never miss a game. Cho may choose to break up this team for some instant gratification, but in the end the process may loose fans like me......

    by bates8963 on 2/12/2011 1:10 AM
  12. bates8963:

    I won't get into a drawn out debate with you because as you said this is just your thoughts, and everybody is intitled to their oppinions. My words to you may very well be the same words you gave the LMA doubters. "simply,...eat crow (or more properly, eat s*#%t)"

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/12/2011 5:36 AM
  13. Raptors haven't been that close in 3 weeks.
    Good thing they quit passin' the ball to Bayless for a couple minutes in the 4th.

    by Tobyus Sanchezo on 2/12/2011 5:51 AM
  14. A Little side Note:

    It was nice to see Cleveland stop their losing streak by beating the Clippers and Griffin.

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/12/2011 6:27 AM
  15. Hg, you might mention what you won't get a drawn out debate about,,,I know you well enough to know you mean Roy, but bates8963 is new to the board. heh

    by mgb on 2/12/2011 7:09 AM
  16. MGB:

    I was answering his attack on BRoy as he was answering attackers on LMA. I love them both BRoy and LMA as Blazers and I feel we need both. As in not one or the other as he implied.

    by Hg on 2/12/2011 7:45 AM
  17. How quickly y'all forget greatness! The return of Roy and Canby have got us all excited down here in southern Oregon. BRoy - consider becoming the greatest 3pt shooter the game has ever seen. MCanby - we need you man, heal and play here till pasture time comes. Let's go with 3 All Stars next year ... and let's beat LA (lakers).

    by Fan From Talent on 2/12/2011 7:52 AM
  18. Fan From Talent:

    I am most definitely in your camp from Central OR. LET'S BRING IT ON

    by Hg on 2/12/2011 8:03 AM
  19. it seems like the first thing we blazer fans talk about after a game -- and rightfully so these days -- is LaMarcus. he continues to impress night in and night out. thirty-seven points and a win ... i'll take that every day. i've never considered him soft; just that he didn't have as much an inside game as he has now. i've been talking lately with some about LaMarcus the first player i've really seen from the draft to step up his game to the elite level (yes, he is there). it's different than with Brandon, who really pretty much sprung on the scene during his rookie season, then made the all-star team in his second. it's been very remarkable to see in LaMarcus.

    i was unable to listen to the game as i had a dinner to go to in san jose, but i checked the score and stats at halftime and just stared at Rudy's shooting. first i saw that he had 23 points and that was impressive enough, but to not have missed a shot in the first half was great.

    i'm not too sure what happened in the third-fourth quarter, but i think we had about seven points over eight minutes of game time. yes, we were able to recover against toronto, but that's not going to cut it against the better teams in this league. we've seen what it takes to beat the san antonios and chicagos of this league -- 48 minutes.

    some notes: in the past two games LaMarcus is averaging 27.5 points -- in the second half. he's averaging 33.0 points in his last three games (all wins). he ranks seventh in the league in double-doubles with 26. Nicolas four blocks were a career high.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 2/12/2011 10:21 AM
  20. I was a LMA doubter, and I'm proud of it. I always doubted his drive (not his physical abilities) and I was right. He could have started this transformation years ago, but lacked the passion to step it up. It took all of his coaches telling him he could do better, a good chunk of the fanbase telling him he could do better, and finally, a family emergency to get his head out of his butt.

    Anybody that says they saw this current LMA coming is full of crap. The "I always knew he was gonna bust out" folks are full of it. I knew he had an opportunity this season with Boozer going east and Yao out for another season, but I had no idea this is what we'd get. All evidence pointed to another season of our jump-shooting, contact-averse, power(less) forward.

    All the same, I've seen countless posts around here from chumps that want credit for always having believed in him and are out to rub it in the face of doubters like me. I'm always going to doubt that a player experiences a transformation like Aldridge's because it's so very rare. Setting realistic expectations is part of being a Blazer fan.

    by 500Dogs on 2/12/2011 10:25 AM
  21. bates8963: as i mentioned in my previous entry, many fans didn't consider LaMarcus soft; they just had hoped he'd use his inside game more often. simply put, there is no need to eat crow or anything else. we're just seeing LaMarcus expand his game. as for Brandon's return ... a team is always better when it has experienced, intelligent players added to the rotation. his own comments stating he should "come off the bench" show that he's not intending to come in and take over as the number one option. the truth is that Brandon beings a lot to the table, and we're only going to be better -- and deeper -- with him.

    Fan from Talent: i can certainly get behind your comments. think about it this way: when Brandon and Marcus return, just two of portland's three players on the disabled list will actually be disabled. whatever push we make toward and into the playoffs, it's nice to see we'll have sone of our depth. this should make things interesting.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 2/12/2011 10:40 AM
  22. Having B Roy out has forced the rest of the players to trust each other. The silver lining has been transforming the team from a jump shooting one to looking for its offense closer to the basket. LA has flourished because of a focus on scoring in the paint combined with not having to defer to Brandon. Some of you people are getting a little hostile so I'm going to have to ask you to calm down. I really thought for a moment that the blazers might succumb to adversity last night after giving away their 15 point lead. Matthews has a tendency to not be aware of the shot clock, as does Rudy. You don't pass the ball with 3 or 4 seconds left damn it! It was good to see them hold their composure down the stretch. Did I think LA would come this far this fast? Please, ...... be real.

    by Phi Slamma on 2/12/2011 10:51 AM
  23. Great blog and great win! Glad to see LA continues to dominate and everyone else looking good too.

    by RedRudy5 on 2/12/2011 11:02 AM
  24. One thing I noticed from watching tape of last nights game is that Aldridge is getting quicker with his moves in the post. It's like every game his jukes and pumpfakes get faster and faster.

    I also LOVE that he's poppin' for twenty footers. How the hell do you guard this man? Those last three years of fadeaways and jumpshots were so worth it. He's developed his post game IN ADDITION to his outside shooting instead of as a replacement. It's so hard to imagine where Aldridge could be a couple years from now talent-wise because he's already grown by leaps and bounds this season. It's like ok...is he going to average 35 PPG next season? How does this man continue to evolve when he's already playing at such a high level? The only thing he really needs to work on anymore is positioning for DEF boards. I mean he has solid numbers on the boards but they seem to come mostly from his length and not from fighting for it. I wanna' see LA following the ball after every shot on the floor the same way Griffin does. I'm not talkin' over-the-back of teammates K-Love style but you know what I mean.

    And LOL at Rudy when he doesn't quite get his legs under himself for a three. I crack up every time he kicks them out to the sides to get that extra little bump in elevation on jumpers.

    Solid performances from everybody on the floor. WM struggled but if there's one thing we know more than how streaky he is it's how much time he puts into getting better and more consistant on the floor. Once Wesley is able to maintain his rhythm there's no reason he won't be a 20+PPG player.

    Oh and somebody tell Comcast to go to hell! Only two games this month on KGW...I hate being poor and living on the coast! I actually I love it but I miss the pre "Blazer Cable" era.

    by shynz0r on 2/12/2011 11:15 AM
  25. 500Dogs,

    Really what has been the difference is Roy being injured and LA being ask to be the team leader instead of being a team player and playing second fiddle to Roy. He did play a little more inside at the start of the season, but it wasn't until Roy went out that he really showed what he could do when asked to.

    by mgb on 2/12/2011 11:19 AM
  26. 500dogs:

    I wasn't a believer or a disbeliever in LMA because as you know, I am not a BB Whiz. I just accepted him as he was. Also, I asked way back when, questions about it and at was stated that he didn't want to plug up the middle like ZBO did so at that time, BRoy could do his shake and bake, then later, Greg was supposed to be the deep post up person.

    I never disliked what he didn't bring, just liked what he did bring and that was bringing his game every night and working his butt off in every game.

    Also in the department of doubting, it was partly due to the fact that his body wasn't ready for the banging and he didn't have the knowledge to do more. In fact, it was Camby that taught him how to slip the pick. BRoy wanted him to pick and pop to leave the lanes open, so he was more or less just doing what was asked of him. Also, I think he is a little bull headed like me; he was going to do it his way and that was that.

    According to his summer story, it took the play-offs against the Suns to wake him up; he realized that he was doing the same thing his whole career with the same results; opponents knew how to take him out of his game easily because he was so predictable. At that time was when he went to body strengthening and got help with inside moves.

    You are right, I didn't see this coming, but I wasn't a disbeliever either, I just thought his game complimented a healthy BRoy and the powerful Greg, but let me tell you I am not only amazed, but also ecstatic about his transformation. So, he becomes like the rest of the Blazers; he stepped up his game in time of adversity.

    I guess using the word thanks, for BRoy's injury, his family crises, getting personally beat down by Amore, and embarrassed by the whole Suns team is really the wrong word, but it took adversity to transform him and I am thankful for that.

    by Hg on 2/12/2011 11:20 AM
  27. In other news, another 22pt performance from AJ in the DL...

    http://www.nba.com/dleague/games/20110211/IDASXF/gameinfo.html

    Pretty impressive for playing out of position (they're putting him at SG) and coming off the bench on a talentless team. Still, is he doesn't get his TOs under control (4 last night, averaging 2.3) he'd better get an apartment in Boise. You gotta wonder how much of that can be chalked up to poor receivers.

    In other almost Blazer news, Victor Claver is looking average in Spain.

    http://acbtv.acb.com/video/3573-crey-20102011-copa_del_rey-001-la_exhibicion_de_batman_claver

    They're calling him "Batman" and playing him at the SF. Don't look now, Batum...

    by 500Dogs on 2/12/2011 11:38 AM
  28. AJ did get 6 assists and 2 steals so the 4 TOs doesn't look as bad compare to that. If he's playing SG that 6 assists is pretty impressive.

    by mgb on 2/12/2011 12:39 PM
  29. mgb,
    Boggles the mind why AJ's coming off the bench and playing out of position. I'd think the Blazers sent him to the DL with the understanding that he'd be working on his PG skills (limiting TOs, working on his handle), rather than his 6th man skills (high energy, scoring punch).

    by 500Dogs on 2/12/2011 12:45 PM
  30. hey so i'm thinking all Batum needs to make a similar jump like LA did is a little confidence i'm silently hoping there will be some situation (not injuries please) that forces him to realize his potential, his post game is a little rough but i see glimpses of it and i really want him to be the best he can be while he is still this athletic, he could be like a more athletic KD I swear.

    by Lapinnoir on 2/12/2011 12:58 PM
  31. lapinoir,
    I see some of the KD too, and we might see an increase in production if Nico had anywhere near the number of shots KD jacks up in a game. He actually is getting more shots (hence his drop in FG% this season), but I don't think we're ever going to see Nico enjoy the cart blanche that KD has in OKC. Still, I truly think the Franco Kid can get up to 18 and 8.

    by 500Dogs on 2/12/2011 1:20 PM
  32. Roy is not only a talented, highly skilled player. He is also very intelligent. I think that when he's able to play again that he will work to compliment the newly emergent LMA. I would very surprised and disappointed if he resumed the 18 seconds of checking tightness of the floor with the ball dribbeling. The threat that he could bring could pull some of the attention of defenses allowing our new monster on the inside even more freedom. Roy has been a consistant outside shooter and able to break down defenses.

    Portlands rebounding right now could be challenged by PS#9. Marcus where are you?

    When Rudy shoots 40% or better I wonder what our winning percentage is?

    by Ancientone on 2/12/2011 1:58 PM
  33. Wow MB, we just keep winning. With what we have, I'd say we are a little better than above average. You gotta love how Aldridge has picked things up to be an All-Star and how all his role players are feeding off his game and who he is.

    That All-Star mumbo jumbo is overrated. Hey NBA, David Stern in particular, GET SOME GLASSES!!! I think you missed one over here.

    Go Blazers

    by Bull Frog on 2/12/2011 2:11 PM
  34. HG



    Eat crow? Really?! That's how you welcome a new blogger?

    Classy.. really Glad we have a good mix of Kassandra's out there to balance the scales.. otherwise this could definitely be nothing more than a trash talk blog..

    btw, i thought bates had some valid "thoughts".. I don't agree with some of them, like... "Roy has no skills to fit this offense." That's obviously an overstatement..

    I'm willing to bet had he replied to ya, you very well WOULD have been drawn into debate... as I'm sure I could you... but like you attempted.. I too will take the high road, and suggest a discussion point over insulting newcomers.

    Your's truly... a recent newcomer.


    GO BLAZERS!

    by Blazermaniak on 2/12/2011 6:18 PM
  35. Blazermaniak: I only copied and pasted what bates wrote above me, and it was meant that if he doubted BRoy, he could also be eating crow for doubting BRoy.

    My apology for not putting my thoughts down properly. I wasn't insulting him, as I said he was surely entitled to his opinion.

    None of us can debate what BRoy may be able to still bring, we can only speculate. I just have a lot of faith in LMA and BRoy, and they had a pretty good 2 man game before and I am sure they will find ways to add the new arsenal of LMA's to BRoy's skills to double the action and double the fun LOL.

    by Hg on 2/12/2011 7:56 PM
  36. Blazermaniak: oh great, bring me into this! lol. the truth is, i don't have trouble with opinions. it's when those opinions are accompanied by attacks and insults, or when someone tries to tell me what i think (i mean, seriously?) is when i take issue. there are probably as many theories on LaMarcus as points he scored last night. i know where have stood and where i stand now, and i've mentioned them here before. overall, however, the L-Train is moving fast and smooth ... and i'm loving the ride.

    Hg: it seems as though people are misunderstanding what you're saying. i, for one, get your drift. the way i see it, you were referring to the original post, and deriving your comments from it. that's a great way to go, and i'm confident you weren't trying to slam a new poster. that would be out of character for you.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 2/12/2011 9:33 PM
  37. Thank you Miss Kassandra: I wouldn't go as far as calling you a peace maker LOL!!!, but you do use your wisdom to clearify situations. Thank you.

    by Hg on 2/12/2011 10:01 PM
  38. I guess the light hearted way of responding would be

    My bad? I suppose we should hang more so I can read between
    The lines a lil better..

    And Kass!!! Way to prove my point! Lol!

    Group hug!

    Go Blazers!!!

    by Blazermaniak on 2/12/2011 10:54 PM
  39. HG: I also got your post, but I also detected some defensiveness, albeit for BRoy, which I understood, since I "know" you. However, the post from the newcomer also seemed a bit antagonistic, so I can see why you got your dander up :) I am also of the opinion that the surprisingly large numbers of Roy doubters and downright haters will be forced to eat some crow in the next few weeks.

    This game was weird, from Rudy's total domination of the first half, to Bayless' multiple 3s, to the massive amount of TOs in the first few minutes of play. That we won without either Nicolas or Wesley having significant offensive nights is encouraging. Rudy's FOURTH straight high-scoring game is also encouraging. And that we beat a team we were supposed to beat on the ROAD finally was just one more element that makes me more hopeful than not for this team right now. Oh, and they are doing it without rebounding juggernaut Camby and our future spot-up shooter, Brandon Roy :)

    I expect a big game from Wesley tomorrow, and a really solid game from Nicolas. It would be an extra special treat if Rudy continued his sparky ways off the bench, too. I really hope we get this one, cause the Hornets, Lakers, and Nuggies won't be easy!

    by SisillaRiann on 2/12/2011 11:17 PM
  40. I love Rudy, but I wonder if he might not be our best trading commodity right now with his play of late?

    by mgb on 2/13/2011 12:19 AM
  41. Yikes, forgot to post.

    The Raptor's broadcasters said "this is what elite players do, they take their team on their back, keep them in the game during opponent runs, and win the game". Guess who they were talking about.

    Is LaMarcus Elite? The other blog, I said LaMarcus is the best powerforward in the west and I dared anyone to prove me wrong. Well, being the busy man I have become, I wasn't able to read any other posts afterwards (Now might be a good time eh?).

    LaMarcus is an elite player in this league, and I agree with posters like EA that think he should be our number 1 option from now on, even with Roy returning.

    Do I think Roy will hurt this team? Short term yes, long term no. It takes players time to get back into the game, and often they try to overdo it and they make mistakes (watch all the previous Roy fans cuss him out because they're bandwagoners and don't remember that it's game - team - player). However, all I can say is that in 2008-2009, we had a young team. Batum, Aldridge, Miller, and Mathews weren't on the team or weren't near as good as players as they are today. We had 54 wins that season, and should have beat the Rockets, but we were soft, and the aggressors got the calls. Lots of horrible calls, that I do believe costed us the series, but in the end, we weren't ready to advance in the playoffs.

    Now, if we get Roy, Oden, Camby, LaMarcus, Miller, Mathews, and Batum in the playoffs as a whole, we've got the ability to win a championship. Those players, to me, are the keepers.

    Those that doubt Roy's ability to play his heart out and try his best to win for this TEAM, is a hater, an idiot, and not a true Blazer fan. Same with Oden and LaMarcus, and every single one of those players on the Blazer roster. We are a team.

    by Herr on 2/13/2011 2:57 AM
  42. I guess first I had best say welcome aboard bates. I did not mean my comment to you as malice. I too, as Eowyn Amarie said get my dandruff up about LMA haters, but also get my dandruff up for BRoy haters or doubters. That is because as Kassandra said, they are both Blazers with different talents and a want to win. It also seems that some posters has a need to show up or make one player look bad in order to make their player look better, Much like mud slinging politicians. If you look, you can find what you think as fault in any individual on earth. I try to look at the good in people. It is just hard to find good in some LOL.

    Eowyn Amarie:

    It was a strange game; I have the NBA package so I listened to the Raptors announcers. Their coach at half time said, they were mostly geared up to shut down LMA in the first half and let Rudy get his rhythm going, so they would keep a man out on him in the second half which plays right into the Blazers hands and that was to open up the game for LMA. It was similar to the game that Wesley shot so great on in the first half and they shut him down the second half only to give LMA more room to do his thing. I don’t know about JBay, do you supposed a little revenge was at hand, but it was nice to see all those threes drop for him as they did for Rudy, only not against us.

    You must feel like I do that Wesley is an every other game player. He is up and down like a yo-yo on offense, but he does a mean job on defense along with Nickli. I too hope that Rudy continues his flair, but not as trade bait, I am selfish and want to keep all our good players.

    by Hg on 2/13/2011 3:22 AM
  43. I have to add to the LMA and BRoy discussion. I think BRoy has always been a team player, He has in many games laid back offensively to get his team mates involved and scoring, that is where the nickname sandman came from. He would loll you to sleep then spring on you.

    IMO, it is like Herr says, the rest of the team wasn't scoring so he took the team on his back and won the game, much as LMA is doing now. Rudy wasn't trying to be the number one option in the first half of the game; he was just taking advantage of what the defense gave him. When that ended he differed to LMA. I look for the same with BRoy. If our shooters were more consistent, the Defenses couldn't sag on LMA and prevent entry passes, again that is what we have hope in a healthy BRoy.

    If all we had was transition offense, other teams could shut us down much like we did the Raptors. They proved that if you let them get the rebound and get out in transition they can score big, but if you take that away from them and their outside shot isn't falling they are very beatable.

    Long short we need both, the fast pace and the half court. Matthews, Nickli, and LMA can get down the court with the best of them and that is all you really need in a transition game, of course with The Camby man getting rebounds and a fast outlet pass is important. If that is taken away we need, Dre, Camby, BRoy, Rudy and LMA type players that can set up the offense or create their own shot. BRoy is the best in the business for that. Dre can set up the offense better then BRoy, but he is not a reliable out side shooter, although he is also proving doubters wrong about him.

    At any rate, it seems that many fans want all of one, but none of the other, and I want both. A fast pace to score before the defense can set up, and a half court game in case the defense can get down to prevent you from a quick score.

    LMA has a mean game now and it will be hard to stop a run away train. So I am sure we will continue the inside out side game, either with a pass to LMA or a drive and a kick, or OUR FAMOUS ALLEY-OOP. BRoy will compliment that type of game regardless of his health.

    by Hg on 2/13/2011 4:30 AM
  44. I disagree with Roy's nickname being sandman because he let his teammates have the ball and suddenly he would take off, I believe it was because he'd lull his defender to sleep and suddenly be pass him with a lay up.

    Another thing about the Roy debate is one problem when he had the ball is his teammates would a lot of time stop moving and watch him play. He was so good even his teammates liked watching him. That's not his fault. The other players just have to remember to still move without the ball.

    by mgb on 2/13/2011 5:51 AM
  45. HG makes A LOT of good points about the game being one with multiple facets. Very few teams can win consistently with the fast, high-scoring offense that is so much fun to watch, and that type of offense just doesn't pan out in the playoffs, when defense takes over and dominates the style of play. If you go look at the stats for pace, you will see that Boston, New Orleans, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, Miami, Utah, Chicago, Orlando, the Lakers, and the Spurs are all in the bottom half. There's a reason the best teams in the league (aside from New York and Denver) are the ones that have slower paces. They put more emphasis on the half-court game and work hard on defense. Taking teams off their game is EASY to do when they play only one style. That's why it was so important for Portland to develop a faster game. We were often taken easily out of our half-court sets by the better teams and had little to fight back with (part of that was our reliance on Roy's ISOs, Roy himself, and the jumpshot). This was really obvious during the playoffs. So now, we have developed that uptempo game that was missing, along with a dominant inside game. The key isn't to play ONLY that new game now, but to utilize both together, when the situation calls for it. We will be extremely hard to beat if we can actually do that. Roy has just recently said that one of the most important things for his teammates to do will be to keep feeding LA the ball, and not just let him (BRoy) take over again. He's already thinking about that, putting that out there. It's been awhile, but if memory serves correctly, the dribble-dribble at the top of the key ISO ball made its appearance most frequently at the end of quarters and games. And guess what? It was EFFECTIVE most of the time, as long as Roy could move. That play is just another weapon to add to the Blazer's new arsenal. Let's be honest...we are still losing games we should win! It's not as if this team is streaking hot and sitting at the #3 spot. They are doing great, playing well, but we need a consistent shooter, another body for the rotation, and BRoy likely fits the bill :) I mean, have a little faith in Nate, LA, Cho, and Roy to be smart about this game. It should be encouraging to everyone that both Nate and Cho reigned Roy in, reminded him that THEY are in charge. Sometimes, I just smh at the perspective that somehow Roy's ego is soooo big that he would willingly try to disrupt what is working.

    by SisillaRiann on 2/13/2011 9:15 AM
  46. EowynAmarie:

    Wow, reading your post was almost like you being my stenographer. That is almost exactly as I feel with a little more wisdom of the game added in from you. I actually got my thoughts from an analysis about the world games. He said that most players from playground play and college play is experts at fast tempo play, it is when that is taken away from them in the NBA is when some players can’t adjust because they refuse to learn the half court game.

    I was reading all the time that Nate refused to play the style of his players and was determined to play half court BB. He preached continuously about up-tempo play starts with defense and rebounding then you push the ball and if a good shot does develop early in the clock you take it, or you set up and move the ball and players around to make the defense work harder before you score. That makes a lot of sense to me. Now with you stating the same thing makes me more determined that Nate knows what he is talking about. Therefore my only worry is BRoy being able to have enough lateral movement left to play good enough D to get by. He was getting beat badly with the bad legs. That again is when Nate preaches team D.

    All in all, I love debating because that is my way of learning, but it is also more fun to read an article well written and one that I agree with entirely.

    I thank you Miss EowynAmarie, a very educational post

    by Hg on 2/13/2011 9:49 AM

  47. my guess about how things will work with b-roy back, is as follows:

    the first unit will be:
    andre
    wesley
    nic
    lamarcus
    marcus
    the second unit will be:
    patty
    rudy
    brandon
    dante
    joel
    brandon will be in the manu ginobili role from the spurs teams of the 2000s; bench scoring and leadership. also, you put him in a line-up with shooters around him, and maybe you do see some iso-ball offense. against opposing second units, this is like having a wrecking ball to knock down bowling pins.

    the real wrinkle here is that if he's anywhere near his old form, you now have the potential to finish a game with the following line-ups depending on match-ups:
    wesley
    brandon
    nic
    lamarcus
    marcus
    or you could try a small line-up:
    andre
    wesley
    nic
    brandon
    lamarcus
    b-roy is strong enough to finish a game playing a few minutes closer to the hoop, rebounding and boxing-out, especially against smaller teams.

    when you look at the standings and see utah 1 game ahead, denver 1.5 ahead, and n.o. 2.5 ahead of the blazers; all of whom are struggling, things start to look real good.

    if brandon is coming off the bench to defend & attack lazar hayward, marcus thornton, luke walton, or al harrington in the coming weeks, the blazer bench has a big time advantage. opposing coaches have to alter their game plan, and they have to account for b-roy and the L-train at the end of games. this version of the blazers featuring LaMarcus 2.0 complimented by b-roy 2.2 will make the blazers a tough match-up for EVERY other western conference club. over the last 2 months of the regular season, this group could do some serious damage.

    sign me up to watch some of that!

    by reverse on 2/13/2011 10:39 AM
  48. It's really simple, take a fast break when it's available, and usually good D makes it available, otherwise play the half court. Nate said it even simpler, first 3 or last 3 secs.

    I don't think we'll have a problem with Roy as long as his knees are improve. That I think is the only question.

    by mgb on 2/13/2011 10:46 AM
  49. End game smaller line-ups work. If we were to do that, the line-up could change dependent on our needs.. O or D?

    I could see the smaller Lin-up referenced above
    Along with

    LA
    Batum

    by Blazermaniak on 2/13/2011 11:20 AM
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