mikebarrett

Feb 21

Blazers Drop Spurs by 40

By mikebarrett
Weren't we just saying something 24 hours earlier about a "snowball effect" when it comes to this Portland team?  They follow each other up, and they follow each other down.  Monday's first quarter was way down.  Tuesday's first quarter was the exact opposite.  At least it's easier to swallow inconsistency when it comes in a 40-point blowout.

On Thursday night the Trail Blazers didn't score their 41st point of the game until the 7:54 mark of the third quarter.  On Tuesday, they scored 41 points in the first quarter, and that was just the beginning.  They scored 66 points in the first half, led 103-65 after the third, and won the game 137-97.  That's the most points any NBA team has scored this season.  It's also the largest margin of victory in the long history of this series.

So, going back to the first quarter of the Laker game, where they scored just 7 points, the Trail Blazers have put together quarters of 23, 36, 26, 41, 25, 37, and 34.  In those last seven quarters, that's an average of 32 points per.  So, even though this is a silly stat to contemplate, that's an average of 128 points per game.  

No, this won't continue, and yes, there were other factors at play in the victory over the Spurs, as you know.

Despite a chance at a 12th-consecutive win, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich decided before the game to rest Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.  That's what Pop does.  He's always been willing to lose a battle if it means a chance to win the war.  But, I'm sure he wasn't expecting this to be a 40-point loss.  That's not fun no matter who you are.

The Trail Blazers should get at least some credit in sticking to the task at hand, and not worrying about who was in uniform for the other team.  They were coming off a loss and badly wanted to go into the All-Star break with a win.

Nate McMillan also tweaked the starting lineup before the game.  He put Jamal Crawford with the first five, and brought Ray Felton off the bench.  Both played very, very well.  Crawford ended with 20 points, 8 assists, and just one turnover.  Felton didn't appear to hang his head, and responded with 16 points, including hitting 4 of 8 from behind the three-point line.

Seven Trail Blazers in all scored in double figures, and Elliot Williams even scored a career-high 17 points.  That included his usual batch of highlight dunks.

You can't control what the other team does, you just take care of your business and move on.  That was the challenge facing the Trail Blazers before this game, and even though the Spurs were shorthanded, it was an inspiring effort by the home team.  The Spurs hadn't suffered a loss of 40 points or more since March of 1997.

Now, it's break time.  The Trail Blazers take an 18-16 record into the break, but also take a good measure of momentum to the time off.  They've got a new starting lineup, and possibly new determination.  We'll see just how different they are when they resume action at Denver after the break.

  

 

45 Comments

  1. MB, any chance we see Elliot more and more in the rotation with LA? I have a feeling that could be dynamic!

    by Jaredtherebel2001 on 2/21/2012 11:29 PM
  2. A win against the second team. Still poor lazy passes, no blocking out, and poor defense that we got away with because we were playing a second string.

    by Ancientone on 2/21/2012 11:48 PM
  3. Another test will be Denver after the break ...time to start talking possible trades...whats everyone think the Blazers could do, should do, would do, will do...?

    by Jaredtherebel2001 on 2/21/2012 11:52 PM
  4. i read in the oregonian nate saying "play the game not the scoreboaha!d." i love that.

    what i would love more is to have my man pryz back in portland. we NEED him!

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 2/22/2012 12:03 AM
  5. haha...somehow I knew that was coming

    by Jaredtherebel2001 on 2/22/2012 12:09 AM
  6. Mr Mike:
    I predicted this win as I remember Pops, trend and many teams tanks it just before All-Star break.
    Therefore it is hard to gage this contest, although we won by 40, Portland tanked and showboated a little. I don't feel bad at all that we ran the score up as the Spurs either showed no respect for us or didn't care. Either way they deserved it.
    The greatest part of the game was seeing the bench play. Elliot Williams is definitely a keeper. You and that other Mike kept pointing out that it was the play of Nolan that made garbage time play so good.
    One more thing it was good to see those 3's falling, as you said at half time 3 pointers is fools gold, and not something to hang your hat on. Nic played another complete game at the 2. LaMarcus looked fresh and solid, and the new line-up with Crawford and Nic seemed to have a great positive effect and something to look forward to on the last day of the month.
    Have a great vacation. I hope the team gets some rest and some practice time in. We need both, Heck I need a break also, this up and down is making me feel Bipolar.

    by Hg on 2/22/2012 7:19 AM
  7. As long as they do not trade Batum, I don't care what they do. He is coming into his own and has yet to disappoint. I did like the new line up. Hopefully they can keep up this solid team play after the All-Star break. We need the team that came to play tonight, not that unprepared, unorganized, sloppy team we saw against the Lakers.

    by Niki C on 2/22/2012 1:22 AM
  8. Seems as though Nate has decided not to force the tempo as much as earlier in the season. That being the case, it makes sense to start Jamal at PG rather than Felton. If we're not going to run, that removes Felton's major impact on the offense. Jamal seems to have more of a steadying influence on the offense whereas Felton's effect is more frenetic.

    Hope the week long rest is a plus for us. Enjoy the break Mike, and everyone else too!
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 2/22/2012 2:43 AM
  9. this is very true about Felton. If we are not gonna run, leave him on the bench. Start Crawford. Mathews is already proven he is more effective coming off the bench. Start Camby at the Center, and move Elliot up in the rotation. LA at the 4 and Wallace at the 3....heard somewhere that Wallace does not like playing the 4 for some reason but havent heard why. In a perfect World Nic would actually be our 3, but he is our best bet as SG with the personell we got.

    I agree about Nic. This last week or so has convinced me that he is the next thing to untouchable as far as trades go. The only bad thing about that is any team is gonna want him now for any trade we may do that is substantial.

    by Jaredtherebel2001 on 2/22/2012 6:29 AM
  10. Jeez, that All-Star break came fast.

    Anyways, not much to say. I wasn't cheering at all, but I had a smile on my face. The inconsistency of this team is absolutely brutal, and scary. This team has the potential to be a dominant force in the West, and should be feared by all, but with how inconsistent this team is, folks can walk into either Portland or their building with a lot of confidence. Portland can beat anyone on any night, but can also lose to any team, on any night, as we've seen.

    One thing I'd like to say is wow, I appreciate the respect coach Gregg gives this team. He could have rested his team against Utah. Could have rested his team against whoever. But he's one of the few coaches who KNOW the Blazers are a dominant force. He KNOWS the Blazers lost embarrassingly last night. He KNOWS the Blazers have given the Spurs fits at home. He knows all this. I don't think Tim Duncan and Tony Parker needed rest, and probably didn't go to their coach say, "Pop, I'm tired". I highly doubt that was the case. But, he knew the Blazers would respond after being embarrassed last night. He knew that they were on an 11 game win streak, and the Blazers would respect that. He knew all this. So, he gave his team a rest, gave up an impressive win streak (that's being shadowed by Jeremy Lin, poor kid's hype is going to be the death of his career sooner than it should). He did all this, because he knew Portland would come out with fire, and didn't want anything to do with it. That is why the Spurs rested their guys. He didn't want an injury, and I believe they have a game tomorrow. He likely highlighted this as a potential loss, and said "the hell with it".

    Remember last season, he did the same thing. Spurs were rolling, but he changed a potential "Great victory" to a "Must-win" scenario. Because he respects the Blazers, and see them as a competitor. That is why I have much respect for him and the Spurs club. For sure a team I'd love to see win the Championship if Portland does not.

    by Herr on 2/22/2012 6:40 AM
  11. Last Nights game was not a good performance gage. We all know how streaky Jamal can be, so that in itself is fools gold. Nevertheless, it was great seeing some of our outside shots go in.
    Casey Holdyhl pointed out to me that Nic's play at the 2 is to early to judge, because teams will start adjusting to his play and will cut down his performance. I say that if teams are paying more attention to Nic, they can't pay as much attention to LaMarcus. So that is a great adjustment IMO.

    The bad start in the LAL game had to do with no outside shots and no answer for Pau and Bynum combination. We packed the lanes and the paint as others has done and we ourselves has done and that left to much space for the seldom hot hand of Steve Blake and of course Kobe. Once we got our shots to drop we played well against them on Offense, but still had no answer for them on the defensive end or on rebounding on both ends.
    Long short, it isn't so much that Nate doesn't want the fast pace, so much as we can't get turn overs with their guards out playing our guards; we can't get rebounds when Camby is out, our fast breaks are a work in progress with all the missed attempt. Therefore our fast pace has to be put more on the back burner then Nate giving up on it. It is still his desire to get down there and score before the defense can set up, but defenses is wise to that as many teams are better at transition defense this year with faster players and guards.

    One rumor that I read on Blazer Edge is, no matter how hurtful it is, the front office is thinking seriously about dropping Greg for roster space and once again perusing Joel Pryz. That would help our problems with the bigs and rebounding for this year. Of course as we all summarize that Felton will be on the trading block for what I do not know, and the rumor that I tried to start is to get Patty back by including Armon in some kind of two for one trade and leaving another roster spot open because IMO, Patty moves the team better then Felton.

    One thing for sure, we definitely looked better last night against an inferior opponent then we have in the past against said inferior opponents, and I can't speculate any further then that.

    by Hg on 2/22/2012 7:12 AM
  12. Despite the Spurs not having their star players on the court, I loved the energy and effort of the Blazers. I loved that it was a blowout so the entire bench could get some playing time. I'm excited that Joel might be back! Great win to head into the All Star break!

    by dockaren on 2/22/2012 7:55 AM
  13. Did anyone else notice how much the offense suddenly stagnated in the first quarter when Felton came into the game?

    I don't agree that pushing the tempo is a bad thing for the blazers, they did it a lot early in the season (despite the carelessness of Felton) and often got good results. The problem with offense has occured mainly when they stopped doing it, which really comes down to the overall unwillingness to work hard by this team.

    @Hg: Oden's career is done, even if he were to somehow come back tomorrow he hasn't played in such a long time he would only be a shadow of his former self. I don't agree that the Blazers can't rebound without Camby, its just a matter of getting position, getting physical and boxing out. That takes effort, and has been pointed out the team recently has more often than not refused to work hard. As I recall early in the season, back when the Blazers usually worked hard on both ends of the floor Portland was ranked as being one of the best rebounding teams in the league, now its down in the lower middle. What other explanation is there for such a decline?

    I called them lazy after that loss against OKC partly because I was quite annoyed with seeing an OKC player getting offensive rebound after offensive rebound while the Blazers stand around gawking and watching the ball get slammed in their faces again and again. Contrary to some people's opinions that is NOT excellent basketball, if OKC had even half the second chance points they did, the Blazers would have won without a doubt, and such a thing is not whimsical speculation, it was well within the Blazers capability. And we saw this pattern repeat itself in EVERY home loss since then.

    The Blazers collective refusal to work hard on both ends of the floor has killed this team's road record, and was directly responsible for the 4 game home skid and continueing lossess on the road. Let's be honest with ourselves, when the Blazers work hard for 40+ minutes on both ends, they usually win. When they don't they usually lose. No amount of talent will ever make up for hard work in this league. Period. My assessment stands.

    by outcast on 2/22/2012 10:15 AM
  14. Win is a win, I'll take. But yeah who knows where this team is really going to go. Herr pretty much nailed it. We can beat any team and lose to any team. We got the talent to push deep into the playoffs, maybe finals...and yet we got enough self destruction to not even come close to making the play offs...weird year.

    As good as LA is playing, I think he needs to notch it up alittle more, and Batum just needs to carry on. I have been so proud watching him play, specially now that he is starting :) Hes a keeper, and potential all star.

    Greg Oden? lol...wow...poor guy.. I must admit I am frustrated with him, I watch the Blazers pick him over Durant..can you imagine a KD&LA front court?=SCARY lol....But we needed a center and Oden was the best ouf of that draft at that position. unfortunatly he become a injury machine. Not his fault, but still is is what it is. He just got done with another surgery, an experts are saying that the chances of him playing in the nba anymore is quite slim, nevermind in a Blazer uniform.

    by whitefeather21380 on 2/22/2012 10:48 AM
  15. I ain't got the words, whitefeather21380 got 'em all! Haha! Well said sir!

    by Simpson on 2/22/2012 12:00 PM
  16. Outcast: I am not debating with you on Oden; regargless of the outcome, I still have the right to be saddened by his departure, just as I was with Brandon Roy's. I am not a moron to think we should keep playing them after they are hurt beyond repair; I am an emotional fan that cares about the players as people not machines that you throw in the garbage when they are through. That is the full meaning of my feelings of being hurtful.
    We may have gone from the top of the league in rebounding to mediocre for many reasons. Maybe the rest of the league was out of shape or lazy and couldn’t get job done, then they discovered that the only way to beat the Blazers is to out rebound them They double team LaMarcus more, so he is out of position and can’t help. We miss so many shots that our small forwards and guards has got to play out to try to prevent a run out from a miss. You can assess the Blazers as being lazy, refusal to work, or anything you want, but slamming them for what they are will not change what they are. IMO, they do play soft at times, I will not try to guess why, but being lazy is not what I think. But like you it really doesn’t matter what I think because it will not change what they are.
    I don’t think the team has the usable depth or the intestinal fortitude to play with nothing but energy every night they play; IMO, energy is what gives them the speed and advantage over others. When their energy goes their play goes.

    I don’t know of any Blazer fan other then you that expect excellent performance out of the Blazers every night. We can see the lack of rebounding, the lack of ball movement, the lack of body movement, but we are not BB Guru’s, we just want to see a good performance. I think we got that in the OKC game; we got that in the Dallas game; and some of the games that we didn’t close on. But I wouldn’t call that being lazy, not caring or not trying. But you call it what you like. We are just not as good yet as some fan’s thinks we are or want us to be.


    by Hg on 2/22/2012 12:36 PM
  17. @Hg: The Blazers were boo'ed out of the Rose Garden for getting blown out by one of the worst teams in the league (Washington), should we have stood by that instead of "slamming them for what they are"? I don't expect excellence, I expect people to play to the best of their abilities. Some losses were acceptable because of the schedule, but most were not. There is nothing to support the assumption that "they just aren't that good". Nate himself has said on several of these losses, and even some wins, that the team isn't putting its full effort in. Is he wrong too? People are getting tired of the Blazers throwing away winnable games. At this rate there if a very real possibility of them not making the playoffs at all.

    With regard to Oden I view it as a tragedy, simply because he had so much potential but was taken out by matters beyond his control. It isn't his fault, but the reason I said his career is over is just because if he tries to continue playing he'll just hurt himself even worse.

    by outcast on 2/22/2012 1:10 PM
  18. If the fan's choose to boo their team that is there business, as far as taking games off, I don't know. But booing them calling them out is not going to solve the problems. I too would love to see them play the best they can every night, but as a loyal fan I just accept what I get to watch and enjoy what I see, but too me wins are not the all or nothing to me.

    As far as Oden goes, I can't condemn him for trying to come back, I would do the same, until there was no hope. If all he is doing is hurting himself then it is not our business anyway, he is a grown man and has the rights to do as he wants, and has the intelligent enough to know the risk factor. I have two knee transplants, and was told I couldn't do many things. I keep doing everything I can do at 71 and don't feel crippled at all, but to say I can't do it because I would be injuring myself more, IMO, would be saying I am crippled. same as Greg.

    Look, I am not arguing with you on what is wrong with the Blazers or Greg's decision on how to run his life, I can see their problems, I just don't see how booing and calling them lazy will start a fire under them if playing against OKC didn't. I am sure if you pullled all your stakes out of the Blazer fandom and found another team to follow, you will find the same results. At times they just don't get the job done. Maybe they are just being rebellious of all the booing. I know I would be.

    by Hg on 2/22/2012 1:35 PM
  19. It's official. Joel's back guys! The query is who are they going to cut. I would think most likely Armon Johnson.

    by Shem on 2/22/2012 1:37 PM
  20. I think we all agree this team has talent we just don't use it.I'am starting to think Nate is part of the problem. When Nate first came to portland people called him mr defense this team dose'nt know dasic. I do love the blazers but the way they play at 70 I'll never see them win rings. Mike it's not called snowball IT's called pay it forward

    by carmenL on 2/22/2012 3:47 PM
  21. Shem wouldn't it most likely be Greg since he just had Micro fracture surgery again and is definitely out until next year and he would become a free agent this summer anyway. I don't know the bird rights or what Greg is going to do. He may not want to play BB anymore. but he surely would be the candidate to waiver.
    Joel has still got to pass his Physical on Sunday before it is official.

    I want to waiver Armon and get either Aaron Brooks or Patty back if the chinese league ever releases them. I don't think we would get Aaron to play here, but Patty would give us some help. Maybe more then Raymond. They then would probably put Babbitt on reserves and let Patty play some.
    But hey what do I know

    by Hg on 2/22/2012 4:04 PM
  22. @HG, if you want Aaron Brooks, then somehow you're going to need to trade Raymond Felton out of Portland because there will be a conflict of minutes if you don't. If you want to assume that you keep Felton anyway and get Brooks (assuming they cut Armon Johnson like you suggested in this case), that would move Crawford to more minutes at the 2 position and there would be a log jam there with Batum starting at the 2 now and Matthews backing up the position. There would be other factors I could list, but that should give you an idea. Anyway all that would lead to someone being unhappy and that could cause chemistry problems. Refer to the 2001 Blazers when they had too many players who deserved minutes and how the messed up the team the rest of the season. Oh, and it could be Greg that gets waived if Joel passes his physical. The most likely candidates in this situation ideally would be Armon Johnson, Chris Johnson, and Greg Oden. I suggested Armon Johnson as he basically the 15th guy on the roster and unless someone is hurt, he's always on the inactive list.

    by Shem on 2/22/2012 4:13 PM
  23. As I said what do I know.
    Getting Joel back came after Greg's surgery on Monday, so I was more or less assuming that was who we would waiver as he is the injured roster spot that can't play this year. My original campaign was to waiver Armon since he is on injured reserve, and get Patty back. then a poster on Blazers edge suggested Aaron Brooks. What you say about that makes a lot of since, but in my wildest dreams unless something happens between now and the end of the season we won't bring Raymond back that spot could go to Aaron. I don't think Jamal will sign the second year so that would take care of that log jam. I don't know what will happen with Camby, Gerald and Thomas, but my thinking was that when the chinese league releases those players it is already close to the end of the season, Trade deadline is coming fast and our guard situation sucks Therefore I was probably getting ahead of myself. If Aaron is actually better then Raymond, then it would be sad to let him get away since he is an OR brat. It would b e rough changing horses in the middle of the stream but changes seem to be in the makings.
    Maybe keeping Jamal at the starting PG, Batum at shooting guard will make it to the end of the season. Of course that leaves no time at all for Nolan, and he looks very promising. Oh did I ever tell you I ramble on and on a lot LMAO?

    by Hg on 2/22/2012 4:48 PM
  24. Shem, I would trade Raymond in a flash to get Aaron, but wouldn't have the foggiest idea of how to do it.

    by Hg on 2/22/2012 4:53 PM
  25. Crazy-crazy-crazy year of basketball. All around the league. For those of you who like to predict wins and losses, good luck with that. This year the trick is to get into playoffs. Low seeded teams better not be taken lightly.
    If Pryz is good, we are finally 2 deep in each position. The 3 appears to be a little slight. We can't play Gerald 48 a night. Luke no. Batum will have to go 2 and 3. Thats not all bad.
    The Blazers can make noise. It's on Nate. Getting players proper rest. Head to head coaching in the playoffs. Nate is yet unproven in that scenario.
    First order of business, get in. Be healthy. Roll the dice. Crazy-crazy-crazy year of basketball.

    by Divotking on 2/22/2012 5:17 PM
  26. @Shem...great reference you make to the 2001 blazers...what a sad and deflating scene those last couple months of the season that year....my parents had to get me a psychologist after the Game 7 collapse against the Lakers the year before in the WCF was followed by them going from the best record in the West to the 7th seed in like 6 weeks. It was like the game against the Lakers personified into a slower, death. Was weird, don't think we will see collapses like that again, at least in that manner.

    Anyway, It is not something I would wish on this present generation of Blazer fans, although, it is unlikely that this team or some of the proposed scenarios would even lead to the CHANCE to collapse in such a death defying manner.

    We need to learn from the past, or we are doomed to repeat it. I would even be fine with not making the playoffs this year, if we could build through the draft effectively and sign or free agent or two. But we need to make some tough decision; This current median we have been in for the past 2+ seasons only yields what we have seen the last 2+ seasons....low playoff seeding, first round exits, and low draft picks. Not a formula for success or progression!

    by Jaredtherebel2001 on 2/22/2012 6:17 PM
  27. Good time to pick up Joel with allstar week. If he passes the physical he still won't be in game shape.

    by Ancientone on 2/22/2012 7:06 PM
  28. yeah, i'm a tad late to the party, but that was fun to watch. forget the roster the spurs threw out there. forget what we did the previous night in l.a. forget that i've got one of the spurs' fans trolling me on twitter telling me this win means nothing. forget all that (though i'll get to the troll in a moment).

    that was an incredible game for us. when we needed a huge pick-me-up, we got it, and at the perfect time.

    i loved how Jamal AND Raymond stepped up in this one. i give them both credit for stepping up like they did given the circumstances. LaMarcus, Crash and Nicolas were all awesome. the rest of the guys did exactly what we could have asked about them.

    now ... how about E-Will!!! Elliot is making the most of the limited minutes he's getting. in the past three games, he's scored 27 points in about 23 minutes combined -- on 11-14 shooting! we've all heard about his athleticism, but ... wow!

    i know, i seem overly optimistic, and maybe so. given the spurs' roster, we should have won this game by 40. the point is, we did, and that's what is important. meanwhile, we got a pretty darn good look at the kids. i love that.

    was this a meaningless win for us? well that's what this kiddo tried to tell me on twitter. it's a game we should have won and we did, and by the amount we should have. this idiot called the spurs' lineup the "C" team. but what got me is that he kept trying to call it a "meaningless" win. i responded, there is no meaningless win in the nba, just a win. if he had the slightest basketball iq, he would know that.

    basically, my friends, you'll be happy to know that LeBrona the Prianha is more than able to defend our blazers -- 140 characters at a time!

    on the Joel news: this will make us better, period. we've needed more depth in the front court. Joel will be our tallest active player. i don't even have to tell you how much of a fighter and enforcer he can be. i hated to see him go, but i'm going to love having him back.

    of course, that means one guy will be released. that's the hard part of the business. you know something, the team has a policy of not releaseing details of a contract signing. well, you know something else, until we hear word, i'm not going to talk about which of our friends will be leaving. though, i may blog about it when it happens.

    speaking of my blogs, i'm going to post a link here to one i just wrote and published. i would apologize to MB here if it were not for the fact that it involves MB and the other television broadcast team. i'm talking about my blog about the Pick to Click. please check it out; it's really pretty cool:

    http://tinyurl.com/KassandrasBlog

    one last thing; can't wait to see the L-Train on sunday!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/22/2012 8:37 PM
  29. Go get him, LeBrona the Prianha, there is no meaningless win or ugly win in the NBA.

    by Hg on 2/22/2012 11:13 PM
  30. The Blazers need a simple plan. Win. The problem is the other guys have the same plan, so they need to get better. Some teams rest the key players before the All Star Break. So some teams may not give us that much respect for beating a good team by 40 points. I believe when the rubber hits the road, we will be there near the finish line. Joel isn't a done deal, but if he decides on Portland, he will add toughness and a wise old sage attitude for our younger guys, not by what he says, but what he does on the court. Still, it wouldn't hurt to have a really, really good point guard, and a 7' 11" center that runs like a gazelle, with knees of steel.

    by BlazerForever on 2/23/2012 12:01 AM
  31. @Hg: I don't agree that public pressure does nothing, that is what finally pushed Nate to bench Felton. I do wonder what will happen regarding him, it's still a lingering problem......

    by outcast on 2/23/2012 7:44 AM
  32. @OutCast: I know public pressure does lots; the main reason for getting out of the JailBlazers era; the Fan's boycotting the team. Peer Pressure from fans and Blazer players was the deciding factor for getting Jamal. Whether that was the reason Nate benched Felton in favor of Jamal, is not a proven fact. Nate isn't a moron, he knew that Felton wasn't getting the job done; he gave him 20 games to get in shape and adjust. So, I think it was more Nate coaching and Nate being Nate that caused the change. And that was only for one game to see if it was feasible. The small sample size makes it look great, but SAS had most of their rotation players out of the line-up. Nate had already said, that if he is going to go down, he will go down playing his way and not the medias, the fans or the even the front office way.
    But instead of booing the Blazers for letting Washington beat them is not a favorable fan pressure in my book. If the whole team is lazy, then what is Nate to do? Replace the whole team over night? Washington has some great talent, they are very young and has not learned to play well together yet, So the snobbish Blazer fan, yes you included, just looked at the record and decided that Washington was just a nobody and we could beat them easy, not giving the benefit of the doubt that talented players can get in the groove at times and can beat anybody in the NBA. That has been said and seen by the Blazers many times. I am not saying the team like you underestimated how good Washington was and didn’t bring their A game. Nate always preaches to play the team not the record, Now I say to you, look at the players on Washington’s team and block out their record and see what you come up with.
    As being a BB Guru, you should know that some teams match up better against us then others. Washington has two fast producing guards, Wall is going to be a premier player in the NBA, now look at GSW, with two fast Guards that regardless of how much better we are, they can take us to the cleaners with their guard play. OTOH, we do great against OKC, SAS, and even the Lakers, because they play a different style of ball.
    I just get turned off with the fan’s booing the whole team, but they pay the money and that gives them the right to boo.


    by Hg on 2/23/2012 8:51 AM
  33. It was a fun game to watch for 3 quarters...until the 4th when I saw the star players were on still on the court leading by 40+ points!!! I was upset (still am), lost a lot of respect for Nate's decision making. The first individual stat I want to see after every game (ALWAYS) is LA's PT; I am concerned Nate's killing him. Enough said from me. Fellas, the win was a gift for Pop.

    by anORinSing on 2/23/2012 9:12 AM
  34. While I do agree that there are times when were up huge and its time to get guys like LA out of the game, for the most part Nate has done a decent job at that. Aldridge is at 36 mpg. Last season he was at 40. So thats improvement right there, 36mpg for your star player is right around average.

    Cant wait for Joel to be back in Blazer uniform. Will he be healthy&in game shape...possibly not..but just to have him back is mentally nice for the Blazers..an old face can go along way in the locker room, and hell always add toughness to the lineup. Hopefully Armon gets cut. nothing personal, but hes just a turn over machine and I dont think we lose much with him gone IMHO.

    by whitefeather21380 on 2/23/2012 12:17 PM
  35. Hg: You gotta admit that we looked like the Washington Generals playing the Globe Trotters in the Washington and the LA game.

    by Ancientone on 2/23/2012 12:25 PM
  36. Ancientone: I am not saying that the Blazers are not guilty of playing bad. I just don't know if they have endurance to finish one game and start the next with out the chance to change their jocks and socks. I don't think that is a sign of being lazy. If getting rebounds is a sign of effort and height has little to do with it and the opponents put in a great effort, Portland puts in a big effort, then why is it automatically that Portland should be getting the rebound?

    by Hg on 2/23/2012 2:35 PM
  37. @Hg: the BlazerNation is safe when LTP is around. no one messes with our blazers!

    @anORinSing: i was puzzled that Nate didn't empty the bench at the beginning of the fourth. he seems to be overly conservative, thinkning we may lose a 40-point lead. odd. my only guess is that he was trying to give guys like Wesley and Raymond a few extra minutes.

    @all: guys: i understand we won't be able to put Joel in his first game and expect 36 productive minutes. as Whitefeather said, just having his presence will help at first. then, as his game comes along, we'll be a lot stronger than we are now. it will be absolutely wonderful to have him back in a blazers uniform!

    also: pardon the chocolate rush i was on in my earlier post!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/23/2012 2:40 PM
  38. @Kassandra: thanks, I get a little defensive of people calling our Blazers lazy. they most assuredly goof up a lot coast when they should be going all out, but I for one minute can't believe they are lazy. But as said I am not a BB Guru.
    On Joel, he said after spending the week-end in Miami having the red carpet rolled out for him by the Miami Heat, his mind said that Miami was the place, but he woke up Monday morning and knew his heart wanted Portland because he loves us so much. He woke up his wife and said lets go to Portland and she smiled so slightly and said OK. He said, he didn't know if he would get to play a minute for Portland, but he didn't care, he just wanted to be back with the Blazers.

    After reading your post, I am sure he knows the feeling is mutual.

    by Hg on 2/23/2012 4:31 PM
  39. @Jaredtherebel2001: I'm glad you understand. A lot of people don't see it that way. Every team has bench warmers and you have to have them. So when people say trade this guy, or cut that guy and most likely they want it to be for better player. That problem they don't see is the minutes distribution and it's on the coach when that happens. If you have too many players who deserve more minutes than they're getting, it can mess up the locker room and it will affect the way the team plays.

    That is why bench warmers like Babbitt, Chris Johnson, and Armon Johnson are important. They know they're not good enough to have big minutes. At least I think they believe that. And with players like that, you hope they're good locker room guys who accept that role. This is why I miss Patty Mills. He could be a 3rd string point guard and he'd be fine with it and be the good locker room guy he's shown he can be. I really like how he really cheers on his team when on the bench and is always in a cheerful mood. He's a guy I would like to get back just for that reason when it comes to filling up the rest of the roster of players who won't get much burn time on the floor during games.

    Right now, Craig Smith isn't getting enough minutes and it's only going to get worse because Joel is back and eventually he's going to crack the rotation, even if it's for 10-12 minutes a game. That may also mean Kurt Thomas will have some minutes cut. Now, I think that would be too much of a problem as Kurt Thomas is a true professional.

    by Shem on 2/23/2012 10:50 PM
  40. If we get 13 productive minutes from Joel by April, it would be a gift from the heavens.

    by Divotking on 2/23/2012 4:45 PM
  41. @Hg: i hadn't heard that story about Joel! omg that makes me want him here even more. that's totally Joel; can't wait to see him him uniform!

    - KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/23/2012 5:23 PM
  42. When Joel is able to give us 10-12 minutes it means LMA doesn't have to play out of position, Gerald doesn't have to play out of position, gaurds will be able to cut to the basket when he sets a pick it's set.

    by Ancientone on 2/23/2012 7:07 PM
  43. Ron Artest aka MWPeace and Rasheed in the same locker room. That's hilarious. Nobody light a match.
    Don't miss LaMarcus making his acting debut on Portlandia tonight. Penny Marshall is playing his girlfriend.

    by Divotking on 2/24/2012 2:22 PM
  44. The Thrilla.

    by Divotking on 2/27/2012 10:19 PM
  45. @ Shem...Thats why guys like Greg Anthony were so valuable back in the 1999 and 2000 playoff runs. I remember it seemed like the team just turned it up a notch or two every time GA was in the game....it was like an instant caffeine drip...but the point here is that he knew his role and accepted it, which was the key to those teams those two years, as opposed to the next 3 years teams.

    by Jaredtherebel2001 on 2/27/2012 11:20 PM
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