Apr 04

Blazer Run Sinks Nets

By mikebarrett
We had the intriguing Deron Williams topic set to go in our TV broadcast, and Blazer fans were ready to begin the courting process with signs and cheers.  Then, with the teams warming up and the clock winding down came the news that Williams would miss the game due to a stomach virus.

That part of the show was over.  Then, the worry came about the Trail Blazers losing their edge and intensity knowing New Jersey's best player wouldn't be on the floor.  That is what often happens in the NBA, and it can be dangerous.

The Nets, who had won three of their last four, came in with designs on picking up just their sixth win ever in the city of Portland, and to their credit, seemed to almost feed off the news that Williams wouldn't play.

The Trail Blazers, who were going up against former teammate Gerald Wallace, appeared to get over the early emotional hump, and grabbed a 10-point lead.  But, by halftime that lead was down to just two points, and the start of the third quarter went New Jersey's way, as they showed they weren't about to go quietly.  

Still, the Blazers showed they had plenty to deal with a desperate, hungry team in the third quarter and build a 16-point lead.  Then came the let down that was feared early, and the Nets climbed right back into the game.  They used a 19-4 run to take a lead at 83-80.  

Portland then decided to get serious and put together a 16-1 run to take the suspense out of the building.  They seized control and won the game 101-88.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 24 points and nine rebounds, and had plenty of help.  J.J. Hickson, who continues to show that he may be here to stay, had 18 points and eight rebounds off the bench.  He was also 7-10 from the field.  Nic Batum put together his second-straight double-double (first time in his career he's done that), with 20 points and 10 rebounds.  And, Raymond Felton, who suffered through a nightmarish end to Monday's game against Utah, rebounded well, and scored 14 points (on 5-8 shooting), and also dished out 9 assists and grabbed 8 rebounds.

Say what you want about Felton (and I know fans have said plenty), to be able to put aside all that went wrong Monday, and bounce back and have an efficient and effective game on Wednesday, was impressive.  He played under control, ran the break well, and made good decisions all night.

Wallace was greeted, as expected, very warmly by the Portland fans.  But, the night didn't go the way he expected it would.  Wallace had three shots rejected by the Blazers, struggled from the field, shooting just 3 of 12, and was dunked on hard by Aldridge in the second half. Wallace ended with 8 points and 9 rebounds.

So, instead of Williams leading the Nets to another impressive showing, guys like Gerald Green, Anthony Morrow, and Kris Humphries kept them within shouting distance most of the night. Green and Morrow had 20 apiece, and Humphries ended with 21 and 11.

This is probably a too-little-too-late situation for the Trail Blazers, but they're not wanting to hear that just yet.  The many close losses, including Friday's against the Clippers in L.A., and the freakish end to the Utah game, seemed like crippling blows at the time, and probably will prove to be in the end.  But, they did they only thing they could do on this night- concentrated on getting a home win, and got one.

Now, it's off on the road, and nothing is easy about this trip.  Friday night the Blazers take on the defending champs in Dallas, and then Saturday play the Bucks in Milwaukee.  If that seems like a strange back-to-back set, it is.  Blame the lockout for this one.  

The Trail Blazers know that even if they continue to play well, and come up short of their re-set goals, they've got no one to blame but themselves.


  1. Mike: I am glad the Blazers are still giving the games their all. I listened to the game while working, I missed lots of it, but didn't the Nets make their come back while we had our second 10 players in. It sounded like they stayed in the game for quite some time and I loved it.
    I am glad that Babbitt is starting to get over his stage fright. Surely glad for JJ. And I think Flynn is coming around. Does that change the way we draft and go after FA. D Williams coming to Portland would scare the league into submission with Aldridge, Nic and E. Williams. And Maybe Freeland for center. Wow

    by Hg on 4/4/2012 11:05 PM
  2. LOVED the star wars theme after Babbitt's 3..... awesome. And how about that J.J.? Great win.

    by Olallie on 4/4/2012 11:36 PM
  3. It is funny that last night and this morning we are not hearing the Felton jokes we heard after monday night's game. I am not saying we should plan to keep him but the truth is he has played pretty well after the trade deadline and coaching change. I thought he played well last night.

    We should have really blown out the Nets from the start and never looked back. We made runs when we needed to and that is good. We really should have beaten them more handily than we did.

    I did not like the Star Wars music after Babbitt's three pointer. Didn't that movie come out 35 or 40 years ago? I think Luke deserves something more recent.

    by Angi on 4/5/2012 6:00 AM
  4. It has been so awesome watching this new found energy. Where ever it has come from, I hope it remains. I am loving the rebounds.

    by allie-oop on 4/5/2012 7:21 AM
  5. Hey Angi:
    As your sister can tell you, I love friendly debates, that is my way of learning. I am not disagreeing with you, as you are more then likely right;
    On Felton, I don't go for the awful jokes either, It isn't that he goofed up on purpose; it isn't that he plays good or bad at times, it is that he has lost the trust of the fans, and the fans pays the bills. If you bought a six pac of your favorite beverage, and when drinking them two of them made you sick; the other four may be good as always, but would you really really trust drinking them. Another example, if your boyfriend went out and cheated on you, and regardless of showing remorse and giving you the famous snow-job, would you ever fully trust him again; you are thoughtful and give your relationship a second chance, then the two of you end up where there is no competition from anybody else and he did OK, would that be reason's to forgive all? last night, Daran Williams drank one of you beverages and got sick; therefore Raymond had no competition at the PG and he shined. Now realistically, is he that good, or did he take advantage of a poor situation?

    The big thing is he has the BlazerFandom divided and that will cause mayham down the road. I have read that some fans would refuse to buy tickets if the FO, resigns him.

    BTW, I only listened to the game as I was working, but it sounded like coach K left his bench players in for the long periods that the Nets caught up again. that to me is a good thing; the bench got experience and the starters had enough zap to keep the upper hand without their star player.

    As stated, Kassandra would give me all kinds of rebuttal with my assessment, and could make me completely humble whether I agreed or not, do you suppose she has a lawyers mind LOL. All in all it is just the different in opinions.

    by Hg on 4/5/2012 7:22 AM
  6. @Angi: At least they didn't play A hot rod Ford and a two dollar bill, which only hg and I would probably remember.

    I was glad to see Gerald didn't learn to hit a layin since he left us.

    by Ancientone on 4/5/2012 7:28 AM
  7. Ancientone: Ya give me some Hank Williams.
    @Angi: he was referring to "hey,hey good looking, what ya got cooking how about cooking something up with me" Ya gotta watch us old fools, Ask Kassandra, LMAO.

    by Hg on 4/5/2012 8:14 AM
  8. Batum played real nice. I hope we can keep him. Hopefully teams dont offer 10 mil/year at him. Hes only worth that to the Blazers if he can be a 20/10 guy every night, but he certainly is worth a good chunk of dough and would love to see him back next year. LA played another strong game, and JJ just brings so much energy, gotta love that...A must to resign if he keeps playing like this.

    Yeah Felton had a good game..Im not going to deny the guy when he does have "good" games. But still he tries to force passes that turn into easy turn overs, and that is not what a everyday solid pg does. Can he play well? sure.. But I dont think hes a team leader..a team captain pg that this team would succeed with, just my opinion.

    Flynn is doing alright, have not made a final judgement on him, he does play pretty crafty at times. I cant say too much on Thabeet, rarely gets played. But when he does get played he does not impress me. I mean hes not a scorer but at 7"3 I would expect atleast some decent D a hand in guys's faces chase down rebounds, and he does not do that, he seems to do rather nothing except breathe and run up and down the floor.

    Miss Elliot Williams out there, and its nice to see Babbit play much more comfortable. His long distance 3's are a welcome changed to this not to amazing outside shooting team of ours. As for the star wars music, I liked it..yeah its old...but its classic..everyone knows what it is..that doom and danger theme, so I think at that very moment it was quite appropriate :)

    Play offs is more of a pipe dream now...but if we can go out with a small bang, get some good draft picks this summer...Maybe a D will and who knows a good center, Id be happy. Of course will still have the Blazers front office, with Paul&gang, and IMO, that is the biggest obstacle to future Blazers success.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/5/2012 12:35 PM
  9. @Ancientone: Hold on there ol' buddy, you and Hg aren't the only fossils on this blog ;-)

    by dgpdx on 4/5/2012 1:38 PM
  10. Sorry dgpdx. I didn't know if you would be offended being included with the geezers.

    by Ancientone on 4/5/2012 2:01 PM
  11. Mike you mentioned Felton's "bounce back". I question if he is putting out effort for the team or himself. Why now after everything that has happened this season. Where was the effort from day one. Only now since he knows his days are numbered here. He is looking out for Raymond. Contract. I could go on and on about Feltdown but I won't. He is not a winner. He doesn't care about the Blazer family which is all of us.
    With age comes wisdom. We try to convince ourselves of it anyway.
    I was a NBA fan before Portland had a team.
    Never had a hot rod lincoln but the telephone poles do look like a picket fence.

    by Divotking on 4/5/2012 4:50 PM
  12. I think Felton plays better due to the inside toughness of J.J. I don't hate felton but I think he is lazy just judging by the way he came into the season (overweight) and the lack of consistent defense (if he is so quick why does he have so few steals?) Personally I can't wait till the draft and free agency (sign hickson, batum and flynn) I hope we get Beal in the draft.

    by mbmurr1 on 4/6/2012 6:40 AM
  13. LMA wanted the shot. LMA took the shot. LMA made the shot.
    A really nice win for the Blazers. Amazing what happens when you rebound the ball. It looked like we had 5 guys rebounding.
    Batum is averaging 10 rebounds in the last 3 games.
    Mike Rice you looked presidential.

    by Divotking on 4/6/2012 7:22 PM
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