Trail Blazers/Raptors Post-Game Thoughts
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/15/2010 12:31 PM

    Trail Blazers/Raptors Post-Game Thoughts

     Post-Game Thoughts

    Portland got the memo, came out, and shot the lights out. In a total team effort, six Blazers scored in double figures lead by Aldridge and Batum with 22 a piece and Roy's 20. The Trail Blazers had multiple 15 point leads throughout the night, but could never put the Raptors away. Toronto, down 91-80, with approximately eight minutes left in the game was able to claw back within 93-91 before Portland decided to quit playing conservatively and attack the hoop to close the door on win #41 for good. While it's a tremendous sign to see us finally rip cord inside the Rose Garden, please do not expect to go 12-20 from I-5 on a nightly basis. Besides a half-quarter offensive lapse in aggression, the Blazers did a great job of getting to the line 23 times (not the 25+ I thought we needed), making 21 to cement themselves as one of the top 3 teams in shooting from the foul stripe. On a side note, I give the Rose Garden fan base a solid 6.5/10 for their booing efforts of Hedo Turkoglu. It wasn't even comparable to how loud Darius Miles was booed, but Hedo still got booed multiple times during the game. Maybe Blazer fans are just over the whole situation, because we got the better, cheaper free agent anyways? So Thanks Hedo for not coming here!

    All it took was one Rose Garden sign which read, "Mrs. Turkolgu, Thanks For Andre" to sum up all of our thoughts and feelings towards the entire Hedo free agency fiasco last summer. While still a sharp shooter at times, Turk's handling skills and court vision seem to be the first to go as he enters his declining years. On a night which saw him shoot 5-7 from the floor, including 4-5 from 3 for a total of 14 points, his impact was not felt anywhere else on the court. 5 rebounds from a 6'10" player along with 2 assists compared to 5 turnovers is not something you would want from your 50$ million man. I must admit, I thought Hedo would have been a nice fit here, but we dodged a huge bullet on that one and found an absolute bargain in Andre Miller, whom we found on clearance for only 2 years and $14 million total guaranteed. It was another typical stat sheet filler for Dre last night, going for 13 points (5-12), 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.

    Outside of the obvious Andre for Hedo swap we essentially made this off-season, there is another swap which inadvertently happened due to Hedo spurning us at the last moment. Nico for Hedo. Who knows if we are seeing Batum's star shine so brightly right now with Turkoglu hording up 30+ minutes a night at the small forward position. I'd go as far right now to saw Batum is the superior player and Nico proved it last night. He was ridiculously efficient, going 7-9 from the floor, 5-6 from downtown for 22 points and his usual 2 blocks. Brandon is our best shooter when we need it most as well as making the difficult shots, but right now, I wouldn't want anyone else taking wide open jump shots, because Batum has it stuck on automatic.

    "Nic played really good tonight," Portland's Brandon Roy said. "He was knocking down his open looks, and defensively, speeding Hedo up and making his job tougher."

    "Nic got back to focusing on the defensive end of the floor, and he allowed the offense to come to him," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "He's going to get open shots just because of who he's on the floor with. It's a matter of knocking down the shots. Tonight he did that. If he can continue, which we think he can, he's going to help us."

    "My focus is on defense," Batum said. "That is my first job. Even in the fourth quarter, I just tried to stop Hedo first. But I try to take my open shots, too. Roy drives, and I am open."

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again, LaMarcus has the ability to turn this team from good to elite all by himself. Roy has brought us back into the playoff picture, seemingly being the only star on the team, but when LA is on his "A" game, we are damn near impossible to beat; a true dynamic duo for opponents to deal with. Tonight, he came out like few times I have witnessed him before, in full on "beast mode". 22 points (9-21), 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block and quite possibly the best alley-oops I've seen LMA throw down courtesy of Rudy (seen below) propelled Aldridge into outplaying fellow Dallas-native Chris Bosh. He attacked the glass with a renewed sense of pride and purpose. If there was a rebound to be had, he made it clear it was his. His first few attempts at the basket were strong drives to the hoop or post-up moves which further fueled the L-Train. I'm not sure he can play with this type of aggression on a consistent basis (the $64 million question), but if he wants his jumper to flow better, I suggest he works inside-out instead of vice-versa. It seems when he gets a couple easy buckets inside, seeing the ball going through the hoop puts his jump shot stuck on automatic.

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  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 03/15/2010 1:50 PM

    Rudy continues to be the biggest enigma on the team. The first half was a beautifully played game by Rudy in all aspects of the game. He shot the spot up 3, made fabulous decisions in the passing game, and played under control.In the 2nd half the passing was gone, replaced by one on one dribbling between the legs for 5 seconds followed by awkward bricked jumper.

    We are such a different team when he is flowing. The offense gets those easy buckets we desperately need when he stays within his boundaries of skill.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. Napoleon7
    Posts: 118

    Posted 03/15/2010 10:23 PM

    Good to see Aldridge strong and aggressive out of the gate in this one.
    I am a fan of
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/17/2010 10:45 AM

    That was one of the nastiest alley-oops ever..didn't think he had a prayer of finishing that dunk!
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