Jan 05

Blazers Too Much for Lakers

By mikebarrett
The Lakers came into Portland on a roll Thursday night.  Kobe Bryant led his team to an impressive win on Tuesday night, Andrew Bynum has been on a tear since returning from his suspension, and the national experts were starting to let everyone know that these are the real Lakers and not the team we saw fall at Sacramento on opening night.

If they were trying to convince everyone inside the Rose Garden that they meant business against the Blazers in the first quarter, they did a pretty good job of it.  They hit 13 of their first 15 shots, and shot 68 percent in the quarter.  By halftime, they were still shooting 62 percent.  But, despite their hot play and determination to exorcise their past demons in Portland, they only led by 4 at halftime.

That’s when the Trail Blazers decided to turn up the notch on the defensive end of the floor, get physical, and step on the gas.  They exploded on a 22-6 run, and the Rose Garden started rocking, as it has so many times in the past when these teams have done battle.

The Blazers put a 32 spot on the Laker defense in the third quarter, built a 14-point lead, and slammed the door shut late to win it 107-96.  After dropping their only game of the season so far, to the Clippers in L.A., the Blazers have now followed that up with wins over Oklahoma City, and the Lakers, and are looking more and more impressive with each passing game.

Could this have been that “complete” game we’ve been searching for during this young season?

The Blazer backcourt really struggled with the outside shot in the opener against Philly (a good team), yet Portland won.  They continued to sputter against Sacramento, but recorded a blowout win.  Portland turned the ball over an amazing 25 times against Denver, but won.  Then, they turned it over 21 times against the Clippers, played really only one good quarter, and lost a game that became tight late.

After turning it over a combined 46 times in those two games, the Blazers have followed that up by turning it over exactly 13 combined in the wins over the Thunder and Lakers.  The contributions have come from both the frontcourt, backcourt, and the bench.  Roles are being defined, and confidence is on the rise.

Okay, we’re still just six games into the season, and that’s what Nate McMillan keeps preaching.  There was no celebrating on the flight to Phoenix following the win over the Lakers, just like there were no high-fives on the plane after the win at OKC.  Nate didn’t wire these guys that way.  This is an experienced, poised, and humble group.  But, this is also an extremely confident group.  As I’ve said since training camp, this team has an “it” factor that you can feel.  It’s not a swagger, or a cockiness, it’s simply a strong belief and a comfort level with one another.  It feels good.

Against the Lakers, Gerald Wallace was simply a beast.  As good as he was in the opening two wins, he was better in this game.  As active as he was in the win over the Thunder, he was better against the Lakers.  Wallace scored 31 “will” points, on 13 of 19 shooting, and once again set the tone for everything Portland was trying to accomplish.  His first full season as a Blazer is off to a torrid start.

Portland’s other forward, LaMarcus Aldridge, put together a very solid game as well, scoring 28 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.  Raymond Felton, who’s been making an effort to run, yet take better care of the ball, had 10 assists and just one turnover.  He’s the engine that makes this machine go.

Then, there’s the sixth man.  Something Portland was missing the last few seasons- the sparkplug off the bench.  They’ve so badly needed a guy who could jump into a game, strike a match, and get hot.  Jamal Crawford seemed to be the perfect fit for Portland when they signed him.  He’s been exactly that so far.

Crawford played just 23 minutes, but scored 17 points, and did most of his heavy damage in the second half.  When the game starts to turn into a grind, you’ve got to have someone who can get his own shot.  Crawford doesn’t disappoint, and can carry the team offensive if he has to.  He gives McMillan the luxury of giving extra rest to his workhorses, in Wallace and Aldridge.

With Crawford up to his usual tricks early in the fourth quarter, the Blazers were able to leave Wallace and Aldridge down, conserving fuel for the stretch run.  That’ll be vital this season.

Credit also goes to Wesley Matthews, who helped Portland weather that early Laker storm.  Matthews was 4 for 5 shooting in the first, and hit both of his three-point attempts.  If he doesn’t get off to a start like that, L.A. would have been able to build a pretty significant early lead, which could have carried them through a rough stretch in the second half.  As it turned out, when Portland went on its 22-6 third-quarter run, the Blazers were able to seize control of the game.

No time for celebrating, as we’ll arrive in Phoenix in the wee small hours.  Friday night, the Blazers will to improve upon their Western-Conference leading 5-1 record when they take on the Suns.

Random thoughts-

-Kobe has usually had good games in Portland, but his regular-season record at the Rose Garden is now 6-24.  A remarkable stat.

-The artist formerly known as Ron Artest was beyond a non factor in this game.  That could be the worst first half I’ve ever seen him play.  He didn’t come close on his three shot attempts, and was moving around like he was walking in maple syrup.  He didn’t get any better in the second half.  When his spot in the rotation rolled around in the third quarter, Mike Brown went with Devin Ebanks instead.  Gerald Wallace’s eyes lit up, McMillan spotted the mismatch, and Portland exploited it.

-Craig Smith is looking like a better acquisition all the time.  He’s able to give quality minutes against bigger front lines, and really hold his own.  He had five rebounds and an assist in his 11 minutes.  He’s a nice asset to have, especially when there are going to be nights where everyone else is worn down.

-We commented about this several times during the Oklahoma City game, but the Rose Garden is by far the loudest arena in the NBA.  I know I’m biased, but ask the players- and not just Portland’s players.  Jamal Crawford and Marcus Camby were discussing that loudly as they boarded the team plane after the win over the Lakers.  And, the Portland fans were the first reason Kurt Thomas gave when he was asked why he chose the Blazers over some other very attractive suitors during the free agent period.  Well done fans, as always.

Talk to you from Phoenix on Friday night.


  1. Hey Mike,

    As you may have heard, we missed the entire first half due to the length of the MIA/ATL and I was able to catch just about the entire 4th quarter til just about the end of the game (studying still, but at least I'm home in PDX, rather than Prague).

    So great to see us get off to this great start, best since 98-99 apparently. Love seeing GW contribute right where he left off from last year and as you alluded to, he is just doing better every game.

    Should be interesting to see if we can bounce right back and give PHX all they can handle and hopefully take it to 6-1.


    by Anees on 1/6/2012 1:33 AM
  2. Great win. Unfortunately I missed the first half because I watching a game that would have been thrilling and exciting if the Hawks actually had a chance to beat the Heat in the playoffs, but it appears they instead blow their chances... again.

    Either way, I was scratching my head wondering why the Blazers were down as TNT kept an up-to-date scoreboard on the bottom of the screen. It made me ponder, and it still does since I didn't get to watch it. But, when I tuned in, all I saw was the Blazer team I've been seeing, except better. Gerald Wallace, my god this guy can play. He looked 10x better than Kobe and Kobe was having a great night. But, I guess about half of that is because of Kobe's silly foul on Wallace with the and-1 that hurt his wrist.

    I also thought Bynum was overrated, especially when people thought he was better than Howard for a day when he got a 20-20 against a terrible defensive team. Then he came to Portland. Looked better than I thought and I've seen every game he's been in except the one in Denver, but still, he's got nothing on Portland, and looked like Kurt Thomas' pet in the 4th quarter.

    The thing that surprised me so much was that I was cocky, arrogant, and acting like a Laker fan (more so to annoy them since I talk with Laker fans everyday). Normally when I'm like that, the Blazers tell me to stop and play poorly. Today, it paid off. Not that I'm going to act that way, it's not me, but it's nice to finally not look stupid after a game.

    We all keep saying it's only 6 games, but someone please tell me which team looks better than the Blazers so far this season? There isn't any in my book except the Heat, but we've proven we can beat them.

    But, as I told you on Twitter Mike. We feel the same as a win and move on, but it's an emphasis on the "move on" part if we lose. All this will mean little to us hardcore Blazer fans if they can't win tomorrow night. I expect another W. After that, it gets a bit easier for a few games, and then on the road for a big east trip.

    BTW, it appears Rice recognizes me on Twitter after asking Casey if it was me asking a question. It was an amazing feeling getting some love from him. I was wondering if you could tweet the next time you and the broadcast crew are at the Tualatin Buffalo Wild Wings after the Mike and Mike shirts come out. I'd love to get one and have both you sign it. And it'd be a pleasure to finally meet he man in person who has been writing blogs I've been reading for over 3 years now.

    Go Blazers! living the good life. Best in the West.

    by Herr on 1/6/2012 1:38 AM
  3. Oh btw, to any Laker fans thinking of coming on here talking some trash. I've got two things to say to you.

    You're popular line of "Haters gonna hate"

    And... nice road record.

    by Herr on 1/6/2012 1:41 AM
  4. Mike what else is there to say, A great game or as said above, great second half. When I read the score with the Blazers being down only by 4 at half time, I said ya just like the OKC game, it is time to put the screws tighter on defense and push the over-drive button. Different names pop up the two games, but look at the similarity. In fact the lost to LAC was similar, except CP3, put some screws to us.

    We are not a complete team yet, but we are a great team because as you and Oh that other Mike, LOL, keeps saying a great team keeps finding ways to win. Well?

    The TNT crew had nothing but praise for the Trailblazers, especially our friend Steve "wonder" Kerr. They have all said that we are the best team they have seen in the West, but warned that it is only 6 games into the season.

    My schedule sheet says tonight's game is televised on ESPN and KGW, so I will see you tonight, I really miss Mike and Mike, but love the fact that I can watch all the Blazer games from my burns home away from home away from home.

    by Hg on 1/6/2012 7:48 AM
  5. @Herr,
    If we don't win tonight's game, it will not take anything away from the giddiness of winning this game. Winning the championship is a process, sometimes it is two steps forward and one back or one forward and two back; we will stumble; up on occasion, we will have heavy legs and not be able to function properly, but a great team will get right back up and keep moving past and forward to their goal. I think the teams goal is as high as yours.

    by Hg on 1/6/2012 7:49 AM
  6. Mike:
    Steve Kerr, you and that other Mike, and the vets of this team keeps eluding to the fact that this team is special; it is not something that stands out, something that you can point a finger at, according to Steve, but just something that you can feel. He said the Mavs had that special effect last year. Is that the catalyst that this team needs to continue to grow together? If so, I love it.

    by Hg on 1/6/2012 7:47 AM
  7. TNT sucks! They schedule these double headers only 2-1/2 hours apart when they must know the second game will almost never start on time due to the length of their commercial breaks and the possibility of overtime. They should schedule the first game earlier -- but we don't want to inconvenience east coast viewers, do we?

    Anyway, we got to see a great second half effort and another win for the black and red. Steve Kerr is clearly impressed!

    by dgpdx on 1/6/2012 2:55 AM
  8. The swarming team defense that Portland played in the 2nd half was the best I've seen us play under Nate. I didn't realize that Kurt Thomas was so strong on individual low-post defense. His defense reminds me of Chuck Hayes', who has that strong lower base. Bynum really struggled to back Kurt down underneath the basket. Portland seems to find a new way to win each night; we were able to neutralize their rebounding advantage by having less turnovers, and thereby getting more shot attempts. It was good to see LaMarcus hit double-digits in rebounding. I don't believe the Lakers will be a major threat in the West unless they make a big-time trade. There is a significant talent drop-off after Kobe, Bynum, and Gasol. It was good to hear Charles Barkley finally jumping on the Blazers bandwagon when he said it would be tough for anybody to beat us in a 7-game series. Now we have to prove our mental toughness by giving a strong effort against Phoenix, a team we should have little trouble beating.

    by C. Larry on 1/6/2012 3:07 AM
  9. Nice blog Mike, thanks for posting this so fast.

    Nice W. As I said in my preseason post, Crash was going to be awesome this season. And he's being awesome, uplifting the team. Let's just hope that, when Crash has his off-nights (there aren't so many, but there will be some), the team can carry the load and the intensivity without him (we've seen one game that Crash was not THAT intense, and all fellow Blazers turned out less intense too...).

    Well, now that the media believes a little more in Portland too, we can say "we told you" :D

    And nice jog, Portland fans. I hope someday I can travel to USA and visit RIP City, because you Portland guys rock. Being a factor in bringing JCross and Kurt Thomas is big deal, and we're going to need all that loudness when we go to Playoffs, because we're going to have home court advantage, oh yeah we will.

    Cheers from Brazil
    Go Blazers!!!

    by Tiago Torigoe on 1/6/2012 4:16 AM
  10. And sorry the double-post, but some random toughts:

    - I don't need to comment on or usual bench contributors (batum and jcross), but we have the luxury to have Kurt Thomas tearing on the center, even at his age, and Craig Smith contributing and another big on Chris Johson (who I always liked). Some reserve guards that are ok and can relieve some load off the starters too... All in all, great bench and great contributions, nice done bench players \o/

    - I expect us to win next game, for sure. It'll disapoint me if we lose to this Phoenix team. Not because they're bad (they're OK), but because we've done very very nice games versus Lakers and Thunder, we need to keep this momentum and defeat ALL the lesser teams that we know we can.

    - And how's that for a Forward tandem in our team, huh? GW and LA can outmatch any (and I mean ANY) forward double in the NBA. Having solid PF backups, and Batum at SF from bench is just too much. Batum would be a starter in 90% of the league's teams. Oh, and just not to forget: LA and GW @All Star ballot (ok, they probably won't enter the starter team, but..), and hopes that the Wast coach picks at least one of them. Oh well, probably picking both if the West coach is Nate McMillan ;D

    by Tiago Torigoe on 1/6/2012 4:28 AM
  11. @Hg, oh don't worry, I know that this team can pick it up. I mean believe me, I had no idea we'd walk into OKC and beat them so convincingly after how terrible we played on Sunday against the Clippers.

    But I'm a hardcore fan. I mean, I'm up at 5am and writing long blogs about the Blazers, and haven't slept yet! (I also have nothing to do tomorrow but watch the blazers game in 14 hours). But, being a hardcore fan, for me it's the past is the past, and the future is the future. I'm not going to be all giddy and happy if the Blazers lose to Phoenix tonight. I'm going to be disappointed (unless Phoenix simply is the better team, which ugh... I doubt is at this point). Fans make the best critics at times, and I'm for sure a critic. It what helps me become a real fan of basketball, and makes me understand the game better, and respect the team more.

    I'm not going to take back anything and I will always believe and praise this team, but for hardcore fans like myself, it'll be hard to remember that we beat OKC and LAL if we lose to Phoenix.

    I got to ask though, to everyone. Is this an elite team? Can this team compete for a championship? I know it's early, but this is a team that hasn't had any injuries except to Oden and occasionally Camby (who has 3 bigs to back him up if he gets injured). This is also a team that is just defining themselves. Other teams keep mentioning that they're still learning to play together, but the Blazers are too.

    I just think this team has the correct amount of experience, and the correct amount of talent to win a championship. Its why I ranked the game against the Heat as number 2 in my top 20 games of the season. We'll be seeing them in June.

    by Herr on 1/6/2012 5:16 AM
  12. I loved everything about yesterday! Because the world finally got to really got a first taste from this team. I was a little upset that we couldn't get the first half and i kept pondering on the idea that TNT should do better with scheduled programming. That ATL vs MIA game started at 5:17 and ended late with a triple overtime finish which overlapped the first half of our game. I really wanted that game to end. (i'll admit i'm a heat hater, only because their so over-rated by the world) and TNT should have aired it on another channel for the time being. But wait.... FORGET those few sentences because i'm sure glad we skipped the first half and only watched the 2nd half! Because it was all rip-city in that half! :)

    Speaking of TNT, those commentators (marv is always marvelous) did a great job filling in for Mike & Mike. LOL. It's like Steve never left being a part of the team. (remember he was a blazer, the only non-jail blazer during that time) And so, the media finally realizes!

    Moving on. MB i think we did get our complete game here. If not, pretty darn close to it. Everything you described in this blog sure says it was. Our role players being role players.. LMA getting at least 22/10. G.W. being the BEAST he is and dominating the laker team he's been dominating his whole career! Felton reaching his balance. AND the "banana bunch" tallied up by Mr. Jamal Crawford! When he gets hot, look out. All of that i just described i'm sure is what we've all been waiting for. If that ain't complete, i don't know what is...

    What more can i say?? Well i can say that yes it is only 6 games in but Blazers are the best team by far right now in the west. I hope they make up for those last few years and reach the finals this year. Their really lookin good right now. And it's really reminding me of that 98-99 season we had. When we didn't have any real superstars but had so many role players and over-whelmed teams with our depth. Next up, lets beat the suns up! Rip city baby!!!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 1/6/2012 6:01 AM
  13. Redhot and Rolling. How long has it been since you heard that? Great win Thur. night. Super defensive effort. Nate made some nice adjustments and the players put it on the floor.
    One thing I've noticed about this team is they play the same whether leading or behind. Super aggressive and super loose at the same time. If that's possible. Nate always called it "playing the right way".
    This team is magical. That's the beauty of sports. Sometimes all the planets are aligned for a team. They have everything they need. Good coaching, players, depth, mix of size and speed, ect. They have something else that is truly magical.

    by Divotking on 1/6/2012 7:53 AM
  14. To give this win a full technical evaluation-Wow.

    hg: Did you break your post into 3 parts so I would know when to head to the fridge?

    by Ancientone on 1/6/2012 8:50 AM
  15. @Divotking: That is more or less what I was trying to say and Steve Kerr said last night. Thanks for putting it into words. And that is Magic

    @ Ancientone: That wasn't my original thought, but it is a good idea. Actually, I was so giddy I had trouble with sane thoughts, OK, watch your mouth LOL.

    by Hg on 1/6/2012 9:07 AM
  16. MB, i think this is the closest we're going to get to playing 48 minutes; the closest to a complete game this season. even when the lakers held their slim halftime lead, we had played them well, and weathered the storm of their torrid shooting.

    Crash was really amazing last night. when he plays like he did, we win. pure and simple. they say defense and rebounding lead to transition. with that in mind, Crash was the definition within the definition of that.

    LaMarcus' 28 and 10 were quiet to me, as was Wesley's 16 points (of course, i didn't have a chance to watch the first quarter when he did his most offensive damage. Jamal ... well, i think we see why we signed him. Nicolas had one of those nights which isn't readily reflected in the boxscore. not to dismiss Marcus either, but he battled in there against Bynum really well.

    this all brings me back to the two most unsung heroes of the game. i'm talking a couple of guys whom i believe will always be linked; our two backup big men, Kurt and Craig.

    i think Kurt played the most effective defense on Bynum in the second half. the lakers' center was 7-7 shooting fg in the first half, but a paltry 2-9 in the second. Kurt had a lot to do with that.

    and don't sleep on the Rhino! if you were wondering, that's a phrase i never thought i'd utter in my lifetime. Craig just comes in and works. that's all there is to it. you got to love those 5 boards in 11 minutes (that's a per 48 of 22). love Craig's contributions.

    due to the league/tnt's ridiculous scheduling of games, and the triple overtime of the first game, we missed the entire first half, but were able to listen to the radio. as usual, Wheels and Tone filled us in with the action. i swear the nba really must hate portland fans; their audio stream from portland apparently wasn't working. if you were outside of oregon & southwest washington, you missed any and all of the first half.

    two simple solutions; 1. tnt should use their sister station, tbs when games overlap (espn does this with espn2 on some sporting events). 2. start the first game at 4:30 instead of 5 as to not bump the end of the first game into the beginning of the second. seriously, easterners can't handle a 7:30 start time? oh, and by the way, if this these decisions are up to the league, then the league should allow it and/or make it happen.

    phoenix tonight. this is a game i could easily overlook. i hope we come in focused and ready. i feel good about our chances tonight. time to eclipse the suns!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 1/6/2012 9:27 AM
  17. You see i think the blazers knew the t.v. fans could not watch the game and save the best for last. I didnt mind watching the other game although i wish Heat would have lost. I love the fact that we beat LA and OKC but i am with Herr if we lose to a lesser team in Phoenix It will be disappointing. I just cant see us though coming off theses two huge wins and back it up with a poor performance so tonight i hope we blow out the suns. I know We played last night but instead of letting your legs feel heavy push trough it and turn out the lights on the suns.
    Go Blazers

    by Avgjoe28 on 1/6/2012 9:51 AM
  18. Wow, so this is what it feels like to have a healthy team! When Bynum tweaked his ankle I'm sure the LA fans were beside themselves and everytime Kobe winced because of his wrist it was headline news. I then realized that it is a great feeling to have all of our guys available (with one tall exception). It also points out what a great job the coaching staff has done the past few years to even have us where we were. I know it's early in the season, but how fun and exciting to be a Blazer fan right now.

    by Msblazerfan on 1/6/2012 10:42 AM
  19. Nothing i like to see more then the lakers getting beat by the Blazers with an exclamation point. GO blazers!!!!

    by Miller on 1/6/2012 11:44 AM
  20. there is nothing better than being in the Rose Garden for ANY game.. Last night was awsome as ususal and the crowd was ready to rock. I can't talk today because I have no voice left after last night.. Go Blazers...

    by Marty Moose on 1/6/2012 11:55 AM
  21. Mike, you keep alluding to a "complete" game. Could you be more specific with this? Like, could you list the elements of what a complete game by this year's Blazer team is? Obviously, this was a Great Win. Notice that GW stands for great win and Gerald Wallace. I know there has been some talk about the trade of Pryzbilla, I loved the Pryz too. but Wallace is proving to be the best move the Blazers made last year. GW has brought some of that "crash" mentallity to the team.

    by T on 1/6/2012 12:13 PM
  22. mike - Thanks for the recap. I'll gladly relive this game day after day.
    How can I buy a poster of Wallace's windmill dunk?

    by caseman on 1/6/2012 1:05 PM
  23. It was nice to watch such a successful half of basketball, almost enough to compensate for the hour I spent swearing at TNT for the schedule decisions that cost us the first half. Not much to say, except to note how blessed we are to have a player as good as Aldridge, who can go 28 and 10 and have that called a "solid" game. My favorite, Nic, didn't get many touches--Crawford doesn't pass to him as often as he might--but I expect he'll play a bigger role tonight. I do hope I get a glimpse of the deeper bench tonight. Craig and Kurt and Jamaal and Nicolas are a quality crew, but everyone on that list except Nic is a veteran, and in a couple of years they'll be gone or in decline. That's when we'll need Elliot, Nolan and Chris, but they need more experience if they're going to help us in the future. I like the current team a lot, but I think we should defer championship hopes until we've got a team that can actually advance in the play-offs. But there's enough decline among the Western Conference powers that I can see us winning the West. And Hallelujah, it has been six whole games without a player having to sit because of injury. If the injury gods have finally gotten tired of bashing the Blazers, and turned their wrath elsewhere--to Lakers, Spurs etc.-- I think we'll be able to keep the good results rolling.

    by Islander on 1/6/2012 2:30 PM
  24. How long has it been since we have had a Windmill dunk at the Rose Garden by one of our players? It was a beauty and so was the game, Great team effort

    by Bull Frog on 1/6/2012 3:33 PM
  25. Loved yelling my lungs out at that game last night. It is extra special to watch the guys beat up on the Lakers. Glad we've got a whole team and not just a couple of players. Love the speed. Gerald must be glad to have Felton on board. In it to win it!

    by allie-oop on 1/6/2012 4:53 PM
  26. NO arena is as electric as the Rose Garden!The players feed off it and they step their game up. Huge win for the guys in red and black on national TV! Memo to ABC: get these guys on your network. You will NOT be disappointed.

    by blazerdarren77 on 1/6/2012 4:54 PM
  27. it's funny what an exciting and winning team can do to a guy. yes i broke. i broke down and bought nba league pass. after reading how fun and how great this team looks i couldn't take it any more. and now, after having watched us dismantle the lakers the way we did, i can believe the reports were accurate.

    this team has the "it" factor, a "vibe", a "flow", chemistry, balance, depth, experience, speed, unselfishness, and talent. as i was watching it appeared that even the players seem surprised how well things were clicking, like wow, i dished it, screened, cut back, and you found me!

    i don't care who you are, that brand of basketball is fun to watch. and we have the BEST fans in the league hands down. on league pass i had to suffer listening to the laker commentators but i did take pleasure in their complaints about how amped up our fans are when LA is in town. they said something about how the fans treat every meeting like it's the superbowl and complained how portland writers mentioned a game 12 years ago. they said "let it go!" it obviously got under their skin and i'm the sure the laker players were feeling the same thing.

    anyway, great game, great team, great everything!

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 1/6/2012 6:01 PM
  28. wow, that was a stinker. i wonder if some coaches will start strategically put emphasis on some games and play their regulars more and on other games play the reserves more and hope for the best. this season is far too compact for us to bring our A game on a nightly basis. and our regulars can't be expected to play the same minutes they do during a regular season. we are already seeing a huge number of injuries in the league and i believe they'll keep piling up as the season progresses and fatigue becomes more of an issue. this condensed season is dangerous.

    i'm not concerned about the loss to pheonix one bit and i'm prepared to see many similar games just like it. it has more to do with the schedule than the team's effort.

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 1/7/2012 2:11 AM
  29. @thedanman; We are definitely on the same page, in fact I was almost predicting a lost to Phoenix.
    I think you are right about which teams the Blazers are up for. Phoenix just played a better game then they were supposed to. But if a mail it in game keeps fatigue down and injuries down than it is worth the sacrifice.

    On the bright side, I like what I see from the two Smith, Chris Johnson and Williams; as the season goes on all our players will get better.

    by Hg on 1/7/2012 5:59 AM
  30. The Suns had no grand scheme, secret strategy. They don't have Portland's "number". The Blazers just played like crap. No excuses. They failed to put the ball in the hole. Didn't rebound well. Defense had holes. Turnovers. All adds up to a loss. Nothing more nothing less. Move on. Another game right around the corner.
    No excuses. Every team will have fatigue issues this year. Playing through fatigue will be key to a win here and there. Important for playoff positioning. Once the playoffs start, scheduling will go back to normal. Days off between games, travel days ect.
    A win here, a loss there will be huge at the end.

    by Divotking on 1/7/2012 7:58 AM
  31. The Suns had no grand scheme, secret strategy. They don't have Portland's "number". The Blazers just played like crap. No excuses. They failed to put the ball in the hole. Didn't rebound well. Defense had holes. Turnovers. All adds up to a loss. Nothing more nothing less. Move on. Another game right around the corner.
    No excuses. Every team will have fatigue issues this year. Playing through fatigue will be key to a win here and there. Important for playoff positioning. Once the playoffs start, scheduling will go back to normal. Days off between games, travel days ect.
    A win here, a loss there will be huge at the end.

    by Divotking on 1/7/2012 7:58 AM
  32. Put a clothspin on our nose and go forward. We unfortunately have all seen this before. We can play up to any good team but we can also play down to any poor team.

    by Ancientone on 1/7/2012 3:46 PM
  33. Ancientone that is the Blazers worst mistake, not taking all teams serious

    by Hg on 1/7/2012 6:27 PM
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