mikebarrett

Mar 08

A Statement Win in Miami

By mikebarrett
The eyes of the nation were on the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night in Miami.  Okay, the amazing build up to this game had a lot more to do with the Heat than the Blazers. 

Most of the talk, all afternoon long, was about how this would be a get-well game for Miami, and how they would grind the Trail Blazers into dog meat.  How Portland was catching Miami at a bad time, how their win over the Magic was hollow because Dwight Howard didn't play, and how the big three would flex and impose their will.

If you got sick of hearing that over and over again, you're not alone.  The Blazer players listened to every bit of that talk, and took it upon themselves to do a little flexing of their own.  In a win that goes down as the game of the season so far, the Trail Blazers stood toe to toe with Miami, took the body blows, and lived to tell about it.

And, regardless of what you hear, the Heat didn't play a bad game.  They shot 51 percent and got a combined 69 points between Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, who were as determined as heck to snap their four-game losing skid.  Wade even said after the game that his team played well, and almost even gave the Trail Blazers a little credit.  Almost. 

Nationally (not that it should really matter), the only story being told is the one involving Miami's sudden struggles.  What we know, in our part of the country, is that Miami happened to run into a hot team, playing with a ton of confidence, and a new attitude.

Winning in Orlando and Miami, on back-to-back nights, is one heck of an accomplishment, and a big-time statement. 

The fear going into this one was that Miami would try and immediately blow Portland's doors off early in this game.  But, it was the Blazers who established their tempo, got into a quick flow offensively, and even early, were answering every Miami move.  You know what was glaring in this game?  The Blazer coaching staff put together one heck of a game plan.  That doesn't always leap out at you, but it did in this game.  More on Nate in a moment.

The Trail Blazers took a six-point lead to the locker room at halftime, and probably felt the lead should have been a little larger.  I know that's odd to say, considering Miami shot 58 percent from the field in the first half.  But, Portland just looked like the better team, and looked to be in control.  In fact, they did hold a lead through 98 percent of this game.

In the third quarter Miami continued to threaten to rip off huge runs.  But, every time they got momentum, and got the crowd in the game, the Blazers would answer.  They'd come up with a big shot, a big blocked shot, or force a turnover.

In the fourth, Heat fans were feeling like things had finally turned.  With 4:35 left, LeBron James threw down a monster jam, and the Heat got to within 91-89.  But, right after that, Gerald Wallace took LeBron to the rack and scored.  After the heat cut the lead to 93-91, Brandon Roy buried a deep three pointer to make it 96-91 with 3:25 left.  After a defensive stop, Andre Miller drove the lane and scored.  After Miller drew an offensive foul, LaMarcus Aldridge hit a baseline jumper, and that made it 100-91.

You knew the Heat wouldn't roll over, and they came right back with a Wade three pointer.  But, again, that was answered quickly by a Wesley Matthews deep three, at the shot-clock buzzer, that made the score 103-94.  It was the dagger, and the biggest shot of the night.  Perhaps one of the biggest shots of the year.  Remember, he hit the dagger three against Orlando on Monday night.

It was tough to pick a player of the game after this one.  Aldridge was his usual brilliant self, scoring 26 points.  Brandon was very clutch, once again, and hit his biggest shot of the season- the three pointer that pushed it back to a five-point lead.  Matthews was good, and Andre was fantastic.  But, folks, we've got something with Wallace.  He's a beast.  And, beastly attitudes are contagious.  He had 22 points, 9 rebounds, and countless hustle plays.  He also played solid defense on LeBron, when it was clear LeBron had decided to take over the game. 

That's seven-straight road wins.  It's the first time the Blazers have done that since 1991.  This team is different now, and it certainly appears that attitude is here to stay.  I interviewed Wallace after the game, and tried to get him to admit how good this felt.  All he could talk about was how the team had to stay focused, and how the goal here is a 4-0 road trip, not just a win in Miami.  Exactly what I, and I imagine you, wanted to hear.

That's also four-straight wins in Miami, and 8 of the last 10 in this building.  For whatever reason, the Blazers always seem to play well at American Airlines Center.  In this city, Portland is now 15-9 all time.

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

Congratulations to Nate, by the way, on his two-year contract extension.  It's very well deserved, and the Trail Blazers are in very good hands.  He was very happy, and looked very relaxed when we did our pre-game interview.  Perhaps it was the contract.  Or, perhaps he knew what was to come.  He was presented with an offer on Tuesday morning, and quickly accepted.

It was a great start to the day.  It didn't end badly either.


78 Comments

  1. Great post Mike. While Lebron and Wade played like they were determined to win this game, they were the only ones who were. The rest of the team didn't contribute enough to get it done. The Blazers, on the other hand, played as an entire unit. Every guy stepped up and hit big shot after big shot. The Heat didn't know who to key on. Now if they can avoid a letdown against Charlotte, they can focus on Atlanta for payback. Here's to half-way to a road sweep.

    by blazerdarren77 on 3/8/2011 10:04 PM
  2. I'm going to just ignore the fact that you called Roy's 3 tonight bigger than the game tying shot vs Denver. It's ok, we all like to exaggerate. Otherwise, good post.

    by AfricanProphet on 3/8/2011 10:29 PM
  3. This is was the game of the season. The game the Blazers know they can play and it finally all came together in Miami. Every single of our players played their level best and I was glued to the game, you Mike with Mike, the after game analysis. It was just all so good - and mainly because - and I'm not sorry about saying this, but we beat Miami when they were down. They're down because of their egos and it's their fault. LeBron actually said that they could lose every game left in this season and still make the play-offs. That's the spirit, LeB...Not! That's terrible and you're trying to make a mockery of the NBA.
    Miami = ego
    Portland = heart/guts/talent

    by kaemicha on 3/8/2011 10:37 PM
  4. Holy crap, RIP city. Did we all see that?! How about Dre showing some emotion....... his emphatic clapping at the end...... They are starting to believe, and so am I.
    RIP CITY!!!

    by Olallie on 3/8/2011 10:37 PM
  5. Love this post - and what a perfect title. Portland gets so little respect it's not even funny. Sadly, even tonight's win probably won't change that. But given a little time, and a substantial amount of highlight reel, it will. Many well known pundits and analysts in the NBA are stuck like glue on the notion of the "star player". The "superstar", like a LeBron James, or Michael Jordan, or Kobe Bryant, or whoever. It never seems to be about the "team". Too bad, because last time I checked, basketball is a team sport. And Portland, truly, has a TEAM. I'm so glad we DON'T have a James or a Bryant - personalities who perform well, but instead have good performers with great personalities. Rip City baby.

    by jglenncw on 3/8/2011 10:39 PM
  6. Great game, great team effort, and i love how the the blazers are finally starting to come together... After taking there talents to south beach its off to charlotte were i will be cheering them on in the crowd!... Lol its gonna be nice seeing gerald wallace play for the blazers side of the ball after watching him dunk on them for a couple of years haha... cant wait hoping to go 3-0 on friday night!...

    by david121 on 3/8/2011 10:44 PM
  7. I better feel this good on March 27th after beating OKC! I turn 21, and I badly wanted to open a victory bottle of champagne. What a win! Can't wait to tell you all, "I told you so" when I predicted 4-0 on this road trip! Great hustle by the team. Had a feeling that their sloppy play last night was because this game was the game they were eyeballing.

    Anyways, I'm an active NBA fan and, you know most the fans on the NBA.com website would be like "uh oh panic button time for the Heat!". Hell no! They'd beat most teams the way they played, but not a championship contender like PDX!!!

    Hopefully this win looks even more beautiful on Thursday night. Anyways, I propose that Blazer fans stand up and chant "Nate! Nate! Nate!" when he's introduced in the starting lineups. I also propose Blazer fans chant, "MVP MVP MVP!" when LMA is on the FT line. He is an MVP, he's even in the race. He's the MVP of this team and has changed this team from sellers to buyers and is the whole reason we have Miller, Camby, and Wallace still on this team.

    Also, if we go 4-0 in the next 4 games, Nate McMillan will be at .500 for his Portland coaching career. Congrats to Nate on the extension, and congrats to him on his accomplishments. That's an impressive record for having to dig the team out of the Jail Blazer era and make it a contender, which he certainly helped did.

    The only bad thing is that we have to wait until Friday to see another Blazer game. Man am I pumped!!!

    by Herr on 3/8/2011 11:05 PM
  8. Very impressive win! I said I'd be happy winning 2 games on this road trip, but I'm getting greedy now! Just please no let down against the Bobcats.

    Great bench play and on the road at that. Having both Crash and Roy off the bench is giving us so much depth. I just feel comfortable no matter which players are on the floor.

    I said I hoped we started to gel and it sure looks like we have. Wallace is showing why we got him and that he is going to be a plus not a minus.

    GO BLAZERS!!

    by mgb on 3/8/2011 11:10 PM
  9. @Herr - nice post... I echo your sentiments about Nate. He is the KEY reason why the Portland Trailblazers are what they are at this point in the season. Maybe not the only reason, but surely the KEY reason. Coach of the year? Damn right.

    by jglenncw on 3/8/2011 11:26 PM
  10. MB,

    I like your reaction when you said "Say hello to my little friend" That was funny stuff man cause it was like your voice changed or something and it made it sound even funnier! I loved this Game! I place this game up there in the top ten list for sure! Watch out! this Team is going to continue to be A Blazing which will make them too HoT to Touch! Blazers will Show in western conference Final's and take those Laker's to a seven game series. What do you think Big Guy MB? GO BLAZERS!! GO B_ROY

    by noah22 on 3/8/2011 11:30 PM
  11. OMG!!!
    This was bowling night and I had to miss the 2nd half. Wow, Mike you are right Gerald Wallace is a beast. He is exactly what we needed to make our run to the play-offs. He becomes BRoy's legs to the Basket. OhBTW, BRoy is playing great BB and he is not even up to par yet.

    I am stll all giggely, What a team we are becoming.

    Hg

    by Hg on 3/8/2011 11:58 PM
  12. I'm very happy for our guys and proud that WE BLAZERS are keeping 'em cryin' in South Beach! RIP CITY LIVES AND THRIVES!

    by Pamela Porter on 3/9/2011 12:11 AM
  13. This is the 3rd season in a row the Blazers wore their red uniforms for the Florida road trip. There must be something over there that makes who is in charge of which road uniform is chosen to think red. ;) Then there are cities like Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, etc... that we always wear black. Anyway, good win! :D

    by Shem on 3/9/2011 12:14 AM
  14. Ya, I like them in the Red unis! Which they would wear them on the road more often.

    by mgb on 3/9/2011 12:20 AM
  15. Thanks Mike, for posting quickly after each of the last two wins. When the news is this good, we fans need to vent some joy, so we don't O.D. Not much to add, except to note that in the categories I noticed last night, steals and turnovers, we again did very well at seven and nine. That's what is impressing me now, that we can ratchet up the energy to force mistakes without making too many of our own. I'm thrilled that the team is meshing, that Wallace is showing why we gave up some solid players to get him, and of course, that we spanked Lebron and his rich cronies and sent them away to cry in their beer. I was worried before we left town, and there's still a lot of work to be done, but we're already halfway to confirming Herr's crazy hunch.

    by Islander on 3/9/2011 1:09 AM
  16. Two and a half men! Ya can't beat the blazers with 2 1/2 men. Yep, Wade and James can score 60 or 70 points but that can't beat a team effort. BTW, Bosh is a toad... an this will be a constant for them for the remainder of this year.
    What is more important is what the blazers did tonight. I was not sure we could stay on the floor with the magic. I will be happy to eat crow with Janes tonight. What I witnessed was one of the best efforts against a determined team on a night when the world was waiting for a slaughter. How would you like to be the team that has to face the blazers in the playoffs?
    Oh...Barrett, great game calls the past two nights! You are a super play by play guy. Quite frankly, I don't know how you do it. Stay on top of this fevered action and never miss a beat...with color to boot. Keep up the good work! I am entertained!

    by bates8963 on 3/9/2011 1:41 AM
  17. You think that's crazy Islander. How about this - Portland is winning 50 games and sweeping the month of April. Believe and Uprise! (with exception to the last game @GS, it may not matter so our starters might not play like last time).

    PS: Nice Scarface reference on Wallace's block MB. That was awesome!

    by Herr on 3/9/2011 1:44 AM
  18. I'd also like to mention that Bosh had 7 points and 4 rebounds, shooting 3-11. And some say LMA can't play defense. SMH. They also say the Blazers are horrible in clutch. I had fun posting the picture of Wesley's 3 goggles. Made me smile!

    by Herr on 3/9/2011 1:47 AM
  19. I LOVE OUR BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAZERSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

    OK, I had an exam this morning (European time), and though it was around lunch, I did't want to distract myself and put on the computer to check the score, so in the last 30 min, I have come home after the exam (which went good, thanks) and got such a great piece of news!!! Checked out the highlights and boy, was i screaming and stomping my hands on my desk! Like Mike has said, GW is a BEAST!!! I love what he did vs. Miami (more years on the way for them, haha!). Love that Roy was once again, showing his clutch play and of course, LMA - he's just doin' his thing baby!!! Woohoo!

    What a great two games to start the road trip as well as the overall streak on the road.

    Yes, I was annoyed that the ESPN guys were saying that since they did well against earlier this year, that this could be a get-back-on-track win fo them, but something that we've been seeing, is that we step it up against those good teams (e.g. SAS among others) no matter our injury situation and as of late, we've been on the winning end of those. SO PROUD OF THIS TEAM!! The last two years especially
    and of course, thus far this year. I think we are going to be dangerous in the playoffs and as the guys on NBA.com said, not an easy out, but either way, no matter what happens, I would not want to be a fan of any other team in the league that our Blazers!! You can quote me on that! :-)
    Let's make it a 3-0 trip vs. Charlotte.

    GO BLAZERS!!!!!

    -Anees, from Prague

    by Anees on 3/9/2011 5:18 AM
  20. Mike:

    I think the team first concept over PT and starting vs Bench play is working great. We have a bench that can actually out produce our starting five.

    There is so many different options that Nate has the luxury to run now. Although I dream of a line-up with Greg in it this is working out for this year with the addition of Wallace, and having BRoy back.

    A line-up of Dre, BRoy, Wallace, LMA and Camby would be great. A line-up of Mills, Rudy, Batum, Wallace and LMA is great. Then any combination of the two line-ups would also be great.

    Can you imagine a line-up next year of Dre, BRoy, Wallace, LMA and Greg. Makes my head spin.

    by Hg on 3/9/2011 5:55 AM
  21. That was a total team effort and wow! I was impressed with our cohesiveness, movement, and hustle. We played great basketball against a sad team. You can't win with one, two, or three great players. This game shed light on the dramatic contrast between star oriented basketball and team basketball.

    This is the most focused I've seen this team be as a whole thus far. With Roy and Wallace coming off the bench it felt like we were never falling but instead adding punch. Roy and Rudy appear to read Wallace well and it's obvious he's feeling his way around on this team. He's tough.

    I believe we haven't seen us play our best ball yet and that makes me happy. I notice our guys running to help each other up when one falls down. It's a good sign. We are coming together at the right time!

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 3/9/2011 6:46 AM
  22. Well, the quarter and a half we saw while sitting in an Applebees in Boise, ID looked pretty sweet :) it's the ONLY Blazer ball I get to see until sometime after the 17th, so it was cool to get even a tiny piece of it.

    I am thrilled that we beat both teams in Florida, and quite frankly, rather surprised! I figured the Magic was a win, but felt as pessimistic as Dave @ Bedge and the national media about the Miami game. Still can't quite believe we beat them!

    I am so proud of LA. And BRoy. LA is maintaining his role, and Roy is allowing him to do so, while adding solid and clutch play when it's needed. I am also ecstatic that Blazer leadership did right by Nate, a d extremely relieved. Super glad to see Wallace getting comfortable. His offense is a much-needed aspect to compliment our shooters and especially LA. That's a 3-pronged attack btw: LA in the post and outside, shooters on the perimeter, and a guy who charges the hoop at any opportunity. Add in a smart, capable, crafty PG who relishes posting up....man!

    That said, the most encouraging sign in both games has been, aside from increasing compatibility, the tighter and more focused defense. And it's been TEAM defense, team effort. Though the national media called Miami's play sloppy, I think we all recognize that two games in a row with low turnovers and a relatively high number of steals reflects some solid defense and superior hustle.

    Nevertheless, I am reserving judgment on this new Blazer team until after the trip and the first game back home. If this is really it, than it sure does look GOOD! If not? Well, it is what it is :)

    Sorry for the length, but we are almost to the red rock desert and my opportunities to use my iPhone will soon disappear as the network vanishes, so I wanted to make the most of it :) Enjoy the games for me BlazerNation!

    Go BLAZERS!!

    by SisillaRiann on 3/9/2011 8:05 AM
  23. Simply Portland's best showing on both ends of the floor. Everybody excelled from the starters to the bench. LA and Wally were big battling with the big bodies of James and Bosh. Roy and Wesley stepped up when we needed a push. Andre Miller got the team hyped down the stretch. Great W

    by ShalamarClark on 3/9/2011 9:30 AM
  24. Welcome to PDX, Wallace! Look at the box scores from the last few games. As fun as it is to watch LA drop 40 points, I love seein' the entire Portland team get involved on the offensive end.

    Most of the questions we fans have had over the last month or so are emphatically being answered on a nightly basis. Yes, Wallace is a beast and he does fit in. Yes, Roy can still ball and he's worked back into the offense without disruption. Yes, Aldridge can still lead this team night after night. Yes, Nate is gonna' stick with the Blazers. I was nervous about a slew of unanswered questions coming out of the all star break and I am absolutely thrilled to see Portland matter of factly put all those questions to bed.

    Oh and that post game interview with Wallace was awesome. His steal and three point play had me crackin' up.

    by shynz0r on 3/9/2011 12:16 PM
  25. what an exceptional game! we answered everything, andstayed aggressive to the end! i was able to follow the game on mobile chat and listen to the sirius broadcast and i kept hearing Gerald's name over and over again. he was everywhere.

    from what i heard, Andre played really well, especially in the fourth quarter. LaMarcus had a day at the office (his new and improved office at that!). Brandon keeps showing signs that he still is a clutch player in this league and for this team. i like the second unit of Gerald, Brandon, Rudy and Patty. they bring a lot of energy and talent. we won the battle of the benches last night, which is no surprise since miami doesn't have much of one.

    I've got to say, though, the defensive job on Bosh was huge. LaMarcus and Gerald really took him out of the game the whole night. we turned the heat's big three into a big two and they couldn't compete wth that.

    this game and the atlanta game were the two on this trip which concerned me the most. we played miami so tough in portland, i knew we could match up with them. all the guys brought their A-games last night and we needed it.

    we can beat charlotte and we really should play the hawks pretty tough. i still see us winning at least one more on this trip; who knows, maybe both.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 3/9/2011 12:19 PM
  26. Miss Kassandra:

    Good post as usual; we can easily go 4-0 now with our three added players. We are much better now and we will get even better. Of course we will have our let downs and lose games we should win and win games we should lose, but all in all I think our short termed future looks much better. I am still on cloud Nine, Oh! is that old vocabulary to you how about Stroked?

    Great to read your post

    Hg

    by Hg on 3/9/2011 12:45 PM
  27. Hg,

    In your lineups you didn't even mention Wesley, are we deep or what?

    Ya, I think we can go 4-0, but hopefully the Blazers don't over look the Bobcats thinking about Atlanta. Atlanta really gave us a beating so I expect them to get up for that game, I just hope they take care of business against the Bobcats.

    by mgb on 3/9/2011 2:23 PM
  28. Thanks Mike,

    Excellent blog! Watched game from lobby bar at Jazen Beach hotel with 30 other patrons: loud cheers!! This team will only get better, while Heat's eyes get wetter (couldn't resist)! Best team win since win here vs. Shack - Kobe era Lakers.

    by CarCzarConsulting on 3/9/2011 2:40 PM
  29. Mike, I have been reading you blog for the past 3 years and I have to say I am a huge fan. Your passion for this team and the way you present it to us in this blog has often given me chills. Now, how about this win? I truly feel this has to be a top 5 win for us this season. No it was not against a division rival, but this team is still getting used to having Broy back, getting wallace used to coming off the bench and playing with a new team, and perhaps playing the most talented team in the league on their home floor. I saw Miami like a dog that had been pushed into a corner and was ready to leap and bite. It was easy to see the drive in james and wade but the rest of the team didn't come to play. Bosh is way overrated in my point of view. It's like james and wade are a couple and he is lagging along as the third wheel. He is pouting because he isn't getting touches in the paint, and many times last night just stood around and didn't even attempt to try to get into the offense. I am very impressed with wallace though.. If he keeps up this level of play, our second unit will continue to dominate the bench scoring column equaling more wins.. GREAT day to be a Blazer Fan!! Rip City

    by CGblazerFAN1 on 3/9/2011 3:23 PM
  30. MGB:

    I wasn't changing the starting line-up. We have been changing the starters all year and that is part of our problem. I was just thinking of line-ups beside the starting line-up that would be great. As long as the whole team is playing into the team concept, and they all get minutes as to how they are playing, there is no use starting a new starting line-up this year. Next year is soon enough.

    by Hg on 3/9/2011 3:52 PM
  31. Good feelings all around!

    Basketball is a beautiful TEAM game, and the Blazers play it that way. Two guys dropping 30+ don't count for much if they hog the ball and don't involve the others. Sure, they make for an eye-popping stat, but they don't win games.

    It's all about the W for our Blazers, and it's nice to say it to everyone who didn't believe: WE TOLD YOU SO. South Beach can have their stars and mega endorsers. We don't need them. We have a REAL TEAM.

    Go, RIP CITY! LET ER RIP!

    by Kap on 3/9/2011 4:31 PM
  32. Hg,

    I never said you were talking about a different starting lineup, I just thought it was strange you didn't mention Wesley in any of your lineups. That just shows us how deep we are. Just imagine if Oden stays healthy next year!!

    by mgb on 3/9/2011 5:39 PM
  33. Wow. I had hoped that going on the road would get rid of distractions and let the team focus. Whatever brought this out of this team I hope is part of a trend.

    by Ancientone on 3/9/2011 5:58 PM
  34. Very satisfying win! Huge props to the coaching staff for great strategies! And to the bench, you're all worthy of starting IMO, but your contributions off the bench are what makes this team so strong, so thank you for accepting your role as it is for now and being the best bench in the NBA! Truly an unselfish team effort all the way last night - RIP CITY BABY!!!

    by DPR Rip City on 3/9/2011 6:03 PM
  35. Is it true that in a pregame interview, LA said, "We are taking our talents to South Beach." -- don

    by dgpdx on 3/9/2011 7:17 PM
  36. My eyes were glued onto the TV screen, and I knew that I couldn't miss a second of the game. Blazer's clutch shots during the fourth quarter was phenomenal. Nate did an amazing job with the line-ups, and I think it should be kept that way. If the whole team did buy into Nate's concept of sacrificing minutes, the team shouldn't feel that there is any difference between the first and second unit. You guys may disagree with me on this one, but Wallace and Roy should come off the bench. There is so much fire power in the first unit already with Aldridge and Miller's ability to score and to set other players, but when you have both Wallace and Roy come off the bench, I think the blazers will be able to sustain or increase the energy of play. In the beginning, Blazers bench was really struggling. When the starters would have a lead, the bench didn't have enough fire power to build on the that lead. In my opinion, it would be detrimental to the second unit if Roy and Wallace didn't come off the bench. But during the fourth quarter, the players to finish the game would be Roy, Wallace, Aldridge, Miller, and the interchange of Batum, Mathews, and Fernandez (depending on match ups). Look at the stats, Blazer's have 7 players averaging in double figures: Roy, Aldridge, Wallace, Batum, Miller, Mathews ( I counted Rudy: 9.6 ppg). This would bring more balance in the team's scoring like it did last night against the Heat.

    One concern that I do have is the Blazer's ability to lock down on the defense in the fourth quarter and to sustain their shooting percentage above 48%. All year Blazers have been struggling to close out games. And last night those big time shots were going in. But with this new line-up, I think it would definitely improve the team's shooting percentage and defense.

    M.B., do you have any thoughts or anything to add?

    by Truthseeker Legend on 3/9/2011 8:07 PM
  37. Well im just so proud of this team. Just the way they play, and then you see Miami. Hahahaha. Team??? Wow...No. James and Wade........oh yeah Bosh sortof..not really. So anyways alittle off topic, but still valid.

    First off: Lebron James This guy is pure fail. I mean hes got incredible basketball talent, super athletic. I am talking about his personal traits. This year, he just seems to have very little respect for anyone else. The latest from James is that they could lose every game and still make playoffs...like so what if we lose type of attitude...and when asked about Bosh getting more chances at the ball, he smirks and is like yeah...Chris just needs to ask for it..What a sly piece of sh*%.....he wants all the glory. And then his comment on how him and Wade, the leaders on this team will be fine, and still confident after the Blazers win. Ummmmm..........Mr. James...you are on a team...not just you and Wade lol. I could go on and on..but I dislike him very much.

    And Kevin Love....every time I log into nba.com All I see is..headlines!! Kevin Love another double double!!!.....enough already..yeah hes good..but I think Aldridge is a more Talented athletic pf, and yet rarely hear anything about him. You guys remember the last game in Portland vs the wolves? Haha..It was getting to almost the end of the game and Love didnt have double figures in points, so he cherry picked down by the basket so he could get his 10 points. Who cares about defense...need to keep my streak going...well good for him..Im glad the media rolls down the red carpet for him, but when LA goes for 40 and 10+ boards, and leads his team to a win, it will barely be mentioned. Anyways figured it was time for a good rant.

    And Herr....Hopefully you have a good 21st b-day....cause that means the Blazers beat OKC...and that would be very nice :)

    by whitefeather21380 on 3/9/2011 10:38 PM
  38. Truthseeker Legend:
    I am not MB, but you said every thing pretty well and I couldn't add to it.

    I wouldn't want to change the starting line-up either. Part of our problem this year has been the rotation changing all the time because of injury. That may be the reason our defense also struggled at time.

    Good post.

    hg

    by Hg on 3/9/2011 11:41 PM
  39. So Herr, if I understand you correctly, you predict that the Blazers (who now have 37 wins) will win the next two road games, plus all seven games in April, and will finish with 50 wins? This means you expect us to hit a rough patch, and lose five of nine, between our return home and the end of March. I can see that happening, but the games we'd lose in late March would presumably be the road games against the Lakers, Spurs and Thunder, and then two from the group of New Orleans on their court or Dallas and San Antonio on ours. Unless you've got some reason to think we'd lose to Dallas at home in March, but win in the same situation in April, you must think we'll lose in New Orleans. And-- who knows?--it could happen. I'll wait to be awed by the success of your call on the road trip before I start wondering whether you have a mystical feel for the pattern down the stretch.

    by Islander on 3/9/2011 11:54 PM

  40. at risk of jinxing things, i ask. can the blazers bring out the broom and sweep their road trip?

    seeing g. wallace get some sideways superman dunks for the fans in charlotte will be nice.

    by reverse on 3/10/2011 1:24 AM
  41. travisd:

    They say thinking is as bad as saying, so if you jinxed us, so have I. I worry more about Charlotte more then I do Atlanta. Didn't we arrived in Charlotte yesterday. G. Wallace might be fat an lazy from to much home cooking LMAO.

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 5:45 AM
  42. Brandon's interview with JQ was great.http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/index.ssf/2011/03/trail_blazers_brandon_roy_begi.html
    LMA's interview on NBA TV. was just as powerful with his commitment to get better because his teammate was hurting and they are both staying humble. Can you find a better pair to lead a team to the promise land? I am really stroked. Adding Wallace and IMO Greg next year with more Batum and Wesley will all be more gravy then most teams could digest in a season.

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 6:08 AM
  43. I'll take the jinx away by saying we will lose to the Bobcats.

    by mgb on 3/10/2011 6:15 AM
  44. That was a good interview by LA, saying he looked at himself and saw what he had to change and worked all summer on his game to make the changes and it's really has paid off. Now if he can just start rebounding! :)

    by mgb on 3/10/2011 6:16 AM
  45. When we get GREG back there won't be any rebounds to get. and with Camby, Crash and Dre, the rebounds are getting thin. his putbacks off misses is good enough for me :).

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 6:42 AM
  46. The Miami announcers said that the dish to Crash from BRoy's drive was a broken play that just landed in Crashes hands, but replays shows it was definitely a pass. more of the wonders of the Trailblazers

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 6:46 AM
  47. Great Win,no wait ........best win of the year And we beat Lebron.
    I agree with many of the posters that Crash should start.He is a game changer.Plus,Nic has been up and down.
    3 goggles love from Wesleys Alma Mater-http://espn.go.com/

    by DowntownVinnie on 3/10/2011 7:30 AM
  48. Vinnie:

    Here we go again. The best players don't have to be in the starting line-up as long as he gets his minutes. IMO, Crash and BRoy needs to stay together Crash can be BRoy's legs. and BRoy will hit him with passes.

    Dre in the first unit will have Matthews and LMA to hit with passes. In the second unit Pepperment Patty will have BRoy and Crash to hit

    Have you read the team concept from BRoy and everybody has got to by into it. So quit being hard headed and join the team concept over ego's camp LOL.

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 7:39 AM
  49. They changed the front page at ESPN ,go to the Big East article about Marquette. Blazer Love,baybee.

    by DowntownVinnie on 3/10/2011 8:54 AM
  50. Hg,

    It was a pass, but I don't think it was to Crash, it was deflected and went to Crash thus a broken play.

    by mgb on 3/10/2011 9:38 AM
  51. Nice to see all the new posters and all the enthusiasm. I think it's well warranted.

    by Ancientone on 3/10/2011 9:41 AM
  52. MGB:

    OK, but it looked like a dish to Crash to me. but either way it was a heads up play because I think his shot since he can't elevate would have been blocked.

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 9:57 AM
  53. An unrelated Trailblazer question. I can't stand the thought of rooting for the Lakers tonight. I can't stand the thought of rooting for the heat that James puts on the heat. I can't stay neutral, that would take the fun out of it. I am a western conference fan and I more hate the heat more then I do the Celtics. It is a toss up between KG and the King of who I hate most in the NBA. Therefore I am almost to the point of rooting for the Lakers. I did that in the finals last year and have hated myself ever since.

    Lakers has won 8 in a row, Miami has lost 5 in a row, and both are do for a change of menu.

    What to do?

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 10:06 AM
  54. @islander: i have a mystical feel you're a mystical unicorn. herr, ignore the mystical unicorn, you're on target....... mystical......harry potter.

    by thedanman on 3/10/2011 10:41 AM
  55. crash is going to fit in nice around here and im looking forward to seeing one of his high fly dunks. Iv been calling the heats bluff all year and james is still just a tool. the big games are coming okc is where the statemants needs to be made but the fackers dallas S.A. would also be big games. GO blazers

    by Miller on 3/10/2011 1:26 PM
  56. I was impressed with the way the team closed out the game. My roommate always says if they play 48 minutes, they'll win. That's what happened against Miami and the Blazers came out with a win. I thought we might win two on this road trip, now I'm saying four.

    If you guys are talking about the play I'm thinking of then what I remember is Roy directing Wallace around and intentionally passing to him at the basket. That's what if looked like to me.

    Hg: My brother is rooting heavily for the Lakers tonight so of course I'll be pulling for Miami. I don't know if a Laker loss is going to help the Blazers, but I figure it can't hurt.

    by julianne on 3/10/2011 2:04 PM
  57. julianne:

    Of course your roommate is the one and only Kassandra, my special friend. She is right if we play for 48 minutes play hard and play right we could win most of our games.

    I was talking about the same play that you were, and that looks to me like it was a pass not a broken play.

    The Lakers losing, may position them different in the play-offs, but since we don't know where we will place (I am sure we will place), I don't know if it would help or not, there is no chance of us catching them. It is just that the Lakers has been our Achilles tendon for so many years that I can't hardly root for them and King James immature attitude really makes me ill, although he may very will be suffering from a emotional sickness like the true meaning of paranoia complete with delusions of Grander and a persecution complex. If that is the case he needs medical help and I should not be so rough on him.
    I more or less want Miami to continue losing because of the media hype. So, I wll probably join you in rooting for the Heat.

    Thank you for joining our blog.

    Hg

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 3:12 PM
  58. Hg,

    Roy was passing not shooting so I'm not sure where his shot might being block comes from, but it might have been a pass to Crash which still made it to him even though deflected.

    by mgb on 3/10/2011 3:29 PM
  59. Lakers are WC and are our Darth Vader so I would never cheer for them, though if it help us in seeding I might want them to win, but since it's a EC team that I really don't care about one way or another I have to go for the EC team.

    by mgb on 3/10/2011 3:31 PM
  60. Islander, I meant at least 50 wins. After that it won't matter. We could pass OKC. We have to beat them on the 27th though. I'll be turning 21 and be watching at a Sports bar. That win would be perfect, since I've been waiting for that day for ages! lol.

    It'll be interesting, and maybe I'm just a homer, because I certainly love this team, but I've got a feeling that I've never felt before, and that this team is elite and could potentially get to the Western Conference Finals this season if we place 5th. We'll smash the Thunder, maybe lose a game or two because officiating sucked in the game @ OKC this season and after watching the Suns play there.... blah... it was nasty. Almost a 40 FT advantage for the Thunder, and the game went to OT. After that it's the Spurs, and we've won like the last 5 games here in the Rose Garden. I am very excited to see how we play there again. It's possible.

    Heck, at the way I'm thinking, we could win every game for the rest of the season. Very possible, but also unrealistic. However, one thing we got to do is remember back early in this season when we were on a 6 game losing streak against some mediocre teams. We also thought the Blazer era was done with Oden and Roy going down and having their careers being pondered. Now, we're sitting here on a blog, looking at the second round and enjoying a nice win over the Heat.

    I'm not going to go here and pick which games we'll win and which games we'll lose, but our recent best season was 54-28. We're at 37-27. We have to go 13-5 to win 50. The Blazers have won 11 of their last 14 games. Those loses were, ironically, right when Roy returned and Wallace was getting minutes. Two of the guys that were very important in Tuesday's win. Also, being a "what if" guy here, if Batum didn't miss an alley oop that rimmed out against the Lakers (or someone made a wide open 3), we would be 38-26, and have won 12 of our last 14 games.

    This team is red hot and rolling. I'm saying at least 50. That's my main prediction. Winning the month of April is me just going overboard, but we did it in 2009 with a similar schedule. We can do it again, but this time, we're better.

    by Herr on 3/10/2011 3:59 PM
  61. MGB: I think we are saying the same thing, I just didn't see the reflextion. The Miami's announcers made it sound like his shot was blocked to Wallace. either way it was a heads up play and I loved it.

    You just can't imagine how much I love to see Miami lose. In this case it is too bad there has to be a winner LOL.

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 4:00 PM
  62. Hg: Well of course she's my roommate, and the reason I am now a Blazer fan! Ironically, I was the one at home watching the game while she was out on a date. Roy seems smooth enough that I think it was a very skillful play on his part to get the ball to Wallace. One way or another, it sure looked great.

    Hg and mgb: I don't know if my roommate told you, but I'm from just outside Los Angeles (Oxnard). Back home I'm inundated with Lakers this and Lakers that. It's overbearing. If it helps the Blazers in any way, I would love to see the Lakers lose. If that happens, just imagine the ribbing I could give my brother since Portland beat Miami two nights before.

    by julianne on 3/10/2011 4:06 PM
  63. @Hg, Good point about LMA's rebounding. I too wish he would rebound more, but I'll make an exception when you've got team balanced rebounding. Without LMA, the team got 31 rebounds against the Heat. I believe the Heat only got 30 or so rebounds total. So, that's a great stat. As long as LMA tries to get them. Also, Wallace fills in nicely in taking the role of the rebounder. Him and Camby combined for over half the rebounds I believe.

    by Herr on 3/10/2011 4:10 PM
  64. I don't care how many boards he actually gets as long as he blocks out his man. Miami isn't a big team. Against LA with Bynum and Gasol, it can become a big deal. Doing the basics become a habit and you either do it or you don't. It's hard to just turn it on for a specific opponent.

    by Ancientone on 3/10/2011 4:27 PM
  65. julianne:

    Kassandra told me quite a bit about you when she went down early. She said she was going to convert you over to being a Blazer fan. I knew you were from California, but didn't remember from just where. She also told me she was lucky to get a roommate as great as you because she was somewhat scared being her first time away from home. You helped her with her anxiety.

    I don't know how this game will come out but it is a pretty close game at the time being.

    Thank you for your reply.

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 5:28 PM
  66. LMA shot a lot from the perimeter. that is one reason.
    LMA usually runs out on a miss on a fast break.
    LMA plays tough Defense many times switched to a guard.
    As long as LMA is playing as hard as he can on both ends of the court then I will take what he gives us and that is a lot.

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 6:48 PM
  67. omg Hg, you remembered all that?! lol i've told her all that so it's all good. she's definitely a blazers fan now!

    Jules: loving you on this site!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 3/10/2011 7:22 PM
  68. Kassandra:

    Wow make my heart pound and make my day.

    Oh Why I got your attention. Has your view gone to 4 -0 or 3-1? Believe it or not I am more worried about Charlotte then I am Atlanta. Do you feel we have arrived and our W-L record will be increased to above Mike Rice's 47 win prediction? I know at the first of the year you were taunting him about his low prediction, but did not know if you had changed your mind.

    Are you coming home at spring break or going to the beaches?

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 7:33 PM
  69. i really don't want to predict, but i think we win at least one of these. i'm going to say we'll beat charlotte, but have a tougher time against atlanta. it's fun to razz Rice a little, but i have to say, he's going to end up pretty darn close.

    i'm coming home for about half of spring break; and Julie is coming with me. she's never been to portland.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 3/10/2011 8:36 PM
  70. Glad to hear you are coming home, I think Julie will love Portland, but if she wants to see Gods country she needs to come over the Cascades and see Central OR.

    I am like you, I don't know what all Wallace will bring on a constant basis, but so far I like what he brings. BRoy seems to be holding up good and Camby is coming back around. I can't make any predictions, but I sure am excited to see them play

    by Hg on 3/10/2011 9:01 PM
  71. yeah, i think she'll love it. i'm trying to decide what she'd like to see. probably multnomah falls and some other places. i'll see if we can get tickets to a blazers game. hopefully we can.

    can't wait until tomorrow's game!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 3/10/2011 9:32 PM
  72. Kass,

    Make sure you take the scenic route to see Multnomah Falls, don't just go out 84. Hit the Women's Forum, then Crown Point, and all the falls on the way to Multnomah Falls, then right after it is the tiny gorge in the gorge, one of my fav spots, and then Horse tail falls. Then you can go back to Portland by 84.

    I think Wahkeena Falls might be my fav falls. Here's a link for the route if you are not familiar with it:

    http://www.byways.org/explore/byways/2141/itinerary/53147

    It doesn't mention the gorge within the gorge, but it's right after Multnomah Falls, before Horse tail falls, on the right and runs perpendicular to the Columbia Gorge. It's one of my fav spots. It has a sign that says there is some plant life that is in that tiny gorge that isn't in any other place in the world.

    by mgb on 3/10/2011 11:12 PM
  73. MGB:

    I took my personal vows to VL at Multnomah Falls, and we was going back every year, but it is so popular now that you can't hardly walk to the top because of the traffic. (break my heart). So we changed it to Sahalie Falls en route to Eugene on the McKinsey river. We are fall lovers too, so we have been to many water falls. I have taken the route you discribed so many times and still never get over the majestic view of the Columbia Gorge. But I tell ya Prineville is the place to come with all the sage brush, lava rocks and cold nights and windy days. I can go out on my back porch and not see a neighbor anywhere, and not get a bit lonely LOL.

    by Hg on 3/11/2011 7:08 AM
  74. Kassandra: Boy seeing a Blazer game is fantastic if you can pull it off. I get so excited, I join King James in shedding a tear. OH! did I ever tell you I am very emotional about our Blazers :).

    by Hg on 3/11/2011 7:12 AM
  75. My prediction still stands. That was not a loss to the Blazers, that was a loss to basketball fans. Commie stern shows why the NBA is under a dictatorship (especially with his words about Van Gundy saying the same thing I am now). 13 more PFs. 14 less FTA. We would have won that game if called fairly. The Blazers played how I expected (terrible), but the refs came out knowing the outcome. That was just a pathetic performance of the game of basketball.

    I bet Wes and Patty are going to eat themselves alive. Gravity didn't follow logic. After watching the replay that ball was so far down it hit the net, but somehow bounced out. I don't blame Wesley all that much. The ball was spot on in the hoop.

    But these officials... SMH. Worse than last year's Dallas game.

    by Herr on 3/11/2011 6:55 PM
  76. Part of the difference in fouls were we settled for jumpers instead of taking it inside as much as we should have.

    by mgb on 3/11/2011 8:00 PM
  77. aldridge did not take his time when he got the ball. if he rushes his shots and settles for jumpers the opponent's defensive plan works. come on aldridge!

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 3/11/2011 9:50 PM
  78. @MGB, I agree the Blazers took too many jumpers. They suck at 3 pointers, which is why I get so frustrated when they miss them, but there were a lot of flops by the Bobcats (which surprise me, I thought they were a physical team) that were obvious even in real time. We also got hit a lot down under the hoop. And a lot of the "And-1s" and FTs they had were extremely weak calls. Had they called the "extremely weak" calls both ways, the Blazers would have won this game by 20.

    The Blazers SHOULD have won even with the poor officiating. It was obvious that they are looking at tomorrow rather than the game in front of them (the game everyone labeled as a W), but the officiating played a huge role in the outcome of this game. That's just my opinion though, and I am a Rose Glasses homer, but I hardly get this frustrated with officiating before dropping it.

    by Herr on 3/11/2011 11:21 PM
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