mikebarrett

Mar 27

Mt. Reggie Erupts in Portland

By mikebarrett
Among the positive things we've seen from this Portland team this season is the fact they've never really looked completely outmatched by a single player, or by a team.  They've had some losses by wide margins, as many teams do, but for a team that sits below the .500 mark, they've almost always held their own.  

The Blazers have fallen victim to some great team efforts, and we've seen single players have hot periods against them, but never this season had we seen an individual player turn in a totally-dominant effort like the one we saw Wednesday night.  Kobe hasn't done that to them, neither has Durant, or LeBron, or Duncan- the guys we know by just one name.  

Sure, some of the superstars have put together solid games against the Blazers this season, but no one has done to them what Reggie Evans did in this game.  Not to say Evans isn't a good rebounder, because he is. But, to think that he could take control of this game in the opening seconds, and keep it up the entire night, was pretty amazing.  

Even thinking back to past years, I can't remember a player ever having this big an effect from the opening possession on, as Evans had in this game.  He set the tone on the early possessions, his teammates fed off his energy, and the game was over.  Just like that.

By the time we got to the first timeout in the first quarter, Evans had five rebounds, three of them offensive.  By the end of the first quarter, he had 10 rebounds, 9 points, and his team had built a 20-point lead.  By the end of the night, Evans had posted a career-high 26 rebounds, and a career-high-tying 22 points to go along with them.  He was simply remarkable.

The Nets built a lead as big as 30, weathered a minor push back from Portland's second unit late, and won the game going away, 111-93.  A pretty amazing statement by the Nets, who have been playing well, and by Evans, who has never had a game like this.

There's something to be said in this league for knowing exactly what you are, and what you aren't.  Evans defines that characteristic.  He's always been a capable rebounder, but on this night evidently he thought he was an offensive threat as well.  And, he was.

The Blazers came into this game needing a win badly to keep pace with the teams ahead of them in this jumbled playoff race at the bottom of the conference.  You always worry about the first game following a long road trip, but because Portland's last game came on Sunday, it was thought that it perhaps wouldn't be as big a factor this time.  I'm still not sure it was a factor at all.  They were just whopped in the face in the first few seconds, put on their heels, and never had a chance.  Evans saw to that by himself.

LaMarcus Aldridge was terrific for the Blazers, as he scored 24 points, on 11 of 14 shooting, but also suffered a sprained ankle when he came down on the foot of Evans in the first half.  To his credit, Aldridge did his best to play through it.  He just didn't have enough help in this one.

Brooklyn did have a solid defensive game plan to deal with Damian Lillard, and we've seen a lot of teams scheme to take him out of the game.  The Nets just make Lillard uncomfortable from the very beginning, and Evans' dominance on the boards put the Blazers in hurry-up mode from the middle of the first quarter on.  Lillard still had 15 points, but all 15 came in the second half, when a blowout was already in the books.  So, credit to P.J. Carlesimo and his staff for a good defensive game plan.

And, it wasn't all Evans for Brooklyn in this game, even though it seemed like he'd be enough by himself.  Brook Lopez had 28 points, and with Evans out there Lopez only has to worry about scoring and can forget about having to rebound.  That certainly makes life easy on him. Deron Williams was a star in this game for his defense, and not his offense, as he had only 6 points.  Even former Blazer Gerald Wallace, who's been unimpressive throughout this season, got in on the act, scoring 12 points, grabbing 6 rebounds, and dishing out 5 assists.

Evans helped the Nets hold a 16-0 advantage in second-chance points through one quarter, and they ended up winning that category 34-19.  It got more respectable as the night wore on, but enough damage was done early.

The Blazers entered the night knowing that 8 of their final 12 games would be at home, and knowing their margin for error was razor-thin.  They also knew to be ready for Lopez, Williams, and Wallace.  What they apparently forgot about was Evans.  Now, they'll be seeing him in their nightmares.

So, we're down to 11 games for Portland, and their post-season hopes took another hit.  But, as the players echoed after the game, they're nowhere near raising the white flag.  It was good to hear, but it's tough to look at the remaining schedule.  

Utah is up next.

17 Comments

  1. This game rates more clothes pins than I have for the rebounding effort in the 1st 2 quarters. In fact this is a brown paper bag with eye holes cut in it. I have seldom seen such lack of effort and ineptitude. I'll stop there and hope that what we saw tonight is not the real character of this team.

    by Ancientone on 3/27/2013 10:36 PM
  2. Great Birthday present Blazers... great.... SMH. What I'd do for just one win on March 27th...

    by Herr on 3/27/2013 10:49 PM
  3. BOX OUT Blazers, is that simple... We need to acquire some inside presence during the summer break. Everyone is killing us in the paint.

    by RScz on 3/28/2013 4:40 AM
  4. Demoralizing loss!

    by dockaren on 3/28/2013 5:35 AM
  5. Hi Mike; Sad day in the Mangum household. I keep saying over and over, that we just need to play PDX ball, and not worry about winning enough to get into the play-offs, In fact, IMO, the Play-offs are a distraction from the task in front of them, and that is to learn and improve.

    I was at work most of the first half, but got to listen to Wheels and Tone. It didn't sound at all pretty coming from them.

    I wouldn't think they would over look any game in order to play better later, but it sure appeared that way. Of course I don't know how much credit to give to the Nets and how much lack of effort to give to PDX. Probably both.

    I wasn't ready for the clothes pins or paper sack as Ancientone has suggested, because the second unit did a great job of trying their best to make the game respectable. I can see that Mayer is still plenty green, but he was impressing me on his offensive game. I feel most of his work needs to be put on his defensive game as Anicientone says, he gets pushed under the basket a lot. Plus he is not aggressive enough gong after rebound, partly because he is pushed out of position and can't box out.

    I won't say it was an OK game, they just picked a bad, bad time to lay an egg, but because of the time, that may contribute to laying the egg.

    by Hg on 3/28/2013 6:27 AM
  6. Just another horrible reminder as to how much we desperately need a TRUE big to play the pivot for us.

    by commontongue on 3/28/2013 9:13 AM
  7. I have never seen a team play defense as poorly as the Blazers did last night. You can't refuse to defend the paint and win. I don't know if it was confusion in defensive assignments, lack of aggression or no hustle or a combination of all three. The bench defended better than the starting five. Ugh! The price of too many starter minutes and too few bench minutes, rookie curse or lack of maturity. One more year like this and we will be starting over yet again.

    by dguyer on 3/28/2013 11:13 AM
  8. @dguyer: hey, don't judge the year on one game, true it was rotten and we laid a big egg. Nevertheless, the whole team is new and one year is not a year to do it all. Dame, said in the beginning that the team was new and need to grow together, so this is not a do or die year.

    It is way to early to say what Leonard will be, you need to be patient. I don't know if he will be good enough to defend the paint, but it is way to early to say. In Fact, it is my belief that this is just the building block for next year, with a little weeding and tweaking and we should be a strong contender next year.

    by Hg on 3/28/2013 11:26 AM
  9. I felt sorry for this team . Everytime the blazers try to get back to .500 Like Mike B said not Kobe or Lebron Or Duncan or Duarnt but somebody from a team has to ruin and double team Lamarcus and Damian .... Now we got the Jazz at home that will be a win then off to golden sate and utah on the road tough game coming So good luck blazers

    by LA 2012 on 3/28/2013 11:30 AM
  10. Jersey came to play. Good road team. Somebody will have to deal with them in the eastern conference playoffs.
    Trapgame...
    Portland will bounce back.
    GO BLAZERS !!

    by Divotking on 3/28/2013 3:07 PM
  11. Lillard with 164 three-pointers now. Only needs two to tie Curry for rookie record with 11 games to go. :D

    by Shem on 3/28/2013 3:25 PM
  12. Got to agree with Ancientone on this so-called game. That first quarter was pretty much the worst defensive effort I've seen in years. Rebounding is as much mental as it is physical and the space between our bigs' ears must have been empty during that disaster. While Reggie Evans clearly thought every rebound was his, our guys were thinking ... what, about the beer after the game? A shameful 12 minutes for sure...
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 3/28/2013 7:16 PM
  13. To the NBA:
    In The NBA web page for Spain; in Spain; there is a kind of advertisement called "NBA España" which is a link to a particular spanish sport mewspaper called "Marca". Here is the link : http://www.marca.com/baloncesto/nba.html
    I have noticed, general spanish newspapers like "El Mundo" have to go through (under) the "Marca" logo if they want to inform and show the NBA videos. I have never said a particular sport newspaper should have the exclusivity in Spain. On the contrary i strongly believe in the plurality of the medias; of the newspapers; and radio and television channels in Spain and all over the world. Therefore, the NBA should prevent the sport newspaper "Marca" to represent them. We do believe in democracy; we want and support plural democracy, never a single and lonely and exclusive informative option.

    (Sorry, i know my words are not as accurate as i would have wished; English is my third language. But i still hope i have been perfectly clear).

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 3/29/2013 8:16 AM
  14. I have said this all season. We need some guys who will score and defend in the paint. We have too many players who want to hang back and shoot threes. At least Wes grabs steals and can change momentum. Batum just hangs in the background trying for three pointers and quitting all together when he isn't on. He acts as if he's afraid he will break his nails. Unload him and get someone who isn't afraid to drive to the basket. I happen to like JJ a lot. He is energy for our team and everyone knows we need that. If they trade him, i am going to be one very disappointed fan. We will pay next year. I agree we need a Big but lets not waist a draft pick. No more Oden debacles. Here's to a solid finish and next years playoffs.

    by allie-oop on 3/29/2013 7:44 AM
  15. @allie-oop: Go to your room LOL. When you are running down Batum, you are talking on the fighting side of me. Batum does much more then just scoring for the Blazers as we have all mentioned before. Nevertheless, all the players has things that you can tear into because of youth and inexperience. Plus Batum's wrist is still bothering him and although his shooting is bad, be still plays good D. Did you not see that come from behind block he did on Wallace?

    Anyway, Stotts Open court offense is designed to spread the floor with outside shooters and pick and roll with Dame and LaMarcus, so there is only one BB to go around and Batum and Matthews are the spot up shooters for Lillard to kick out to when he drives.

    This is just a friendly debate, I am not really a tough guy. You are entitled to your opinions, even if they are ridiculous LMAO.

    Peace.

    by Hg on 3/29/2013 9:59 AM
  16. Our closer out with an ankle. Our future closer is a rook.

    by Divotking on 3/30/2013 6:12 PM
  17. Maybe Meyers Leonard will turn out to be our version of Dirk Nowitski. He could be a great PF someday.
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 3/30/2013 10:11 PM
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