Trail Blazers/Hornets Post-Game: Game 73
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/27/2010 9:57 PM

     Post-Game Thoughts

    Only a quick 2-3 deficit in the opening moments of the game kept Portland from a wire to wire victory over New Orleans. In the end, the Trail Blazers jumped on the Hornets early, always maintaining at least a 5 point lead, and with 2:44 left in the half, Portland went for the kill. Knowing they could knock N.O. out of the playoff race with a win, the Blazers ended up outscoring the Hornets by 11 to take a commanding 57-41 lead into the half. Every player played their role to a tee, as Roy and Aldridge lead the way offensively with a combined 52 points, Andre handed out a game-high 8 assists, Camby was relentless on the glass to the tune of 14 boards, and Batum played lock-down defense on everyone from Marcus Thornton to Chris Paul resulting in a 112-101 Blazers victory. Although each player played to their strengths, make no mistakes about it, the entire team shot the lights out by going 57.3% from the floor and the starters shot 76.6%, highest percentage from the Portland starting unit since March 17th, 1985 against Atlanta when they shot 77.3%. (Courtesy of AGDuck)

    "It's nice to see the ball go in," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "We've got guys who can knock down shots. We want to establish the inside. I thought we did that with LaMarcus, Brandon and Andre. I thought we played from the inside out. We knocked down our shots. When our shots are falling, we get aggressive defensively."

    I felt Roy would be more assertive on the offensive end of the floor tonight after letting him teammates handle the bulk of the load against Dallas and boy was Brandon in beast mode tonight. Every shot he wanted, he got, he took, and he made. He was shooting threes, driving to the hoop, mid-range isolations, and posting up smaller defenders. When he went to the blocks, demanding the rock, and just did anything he wanted out of the triple threat position, it was like watching Kobe Bryant dissect the defense, only Roy does it so much more efficiently. One game after shooting 5-7 from the floor, Brandon scores 28 points on an absurd 12-14 shooting and found his teammates by passing out 7 dimes while committing zero turnovers. Sportscasters and casual fans may believe guys such as Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant are the most potent offensive pure scorers in the game, but they are high-volume shooters. Brandon lets the game come to him and has to be one of the most efficient players in the game and I'll take that over 30 points on 25 shots any day of the week.

    "Coming in I didn't feel over aggressive," Roy said. "I just tried to make plays. I know early on they put (Marcus) Thornton on me. I just tried to get something going more towards the basket. My mid-range was falling so I think any time that's going it's going to be tough to defend."

    "They were trying to push me in the middle. I just tried to take what they gave me. ... I felt good. From that first shot he hit my elbow but it felt good. I was pump-faking and jabbing and when that mid-range is kind of going for me I'm in a really good groove. Making shots early helps because it gives you confidence."

    For the second straight game, Portland excelled in three critical categories: free throw attempts, points in the paint, fast-break points. Portland was aggressive and unselfish all at the same time, which culminated in the extra pass being made as either foul shot attempts or an easy bucket down low were the end result. Once again, Portland outscored an opponent in the paint, 42-38, and they did it as a team. It wasn't one-on-one drives to the hoop, rather it was ball movement, swinging from one side of the court to another, followed by a great back cut to allow that extra pass to be made. A 23-17 advantage isn't much at the charity stripe, but an eight-point differential at the stripe is as the Trail Blazers hit 20 of their 23 while New Orleans only managed to hit 12 of 17, including one ugly air-ball from Okafor. Scoring eight fast-break points is nothing to write home about, even for one of the worst breaking team in the NBA, but stifling the Hornets to only three points in transition when they possess two of the top point guards in the game, who always hoop with their heads up, is down right amazing. The hot shooting of the Blazers negated any chances the Hornets had to leak out as well as great transition defense, always finding their man and applying pressure.

    Watch out NBA, Portland is finally healthy and clicking. The team chemistry which aided in their 54 wins last season seems to finally arrived over this past month, seen by winning 12 of their 15 games since the Utah incident on February 21st. What clicked? Personally, three players have made the difference: Marcus Camby, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nico Batum. Camby's last six games have seen rebound outputs of 17, 7, 6, 19, 16, and 11. No longer do the Blazers have to expend all of their energy on the glass, which has seen a stronger Aldridge emerge on the offensive end. Speaking on Aldridge, he out-shined West tonight, and in many instances when I get excited about his outing, it had to do with his body language and ways in which he scored. Tonight he showed his touch from the perimeter but also worked the smaller David West in the post and had multiple drives to the hoop, something that will take him to elite status. All in all, his stat line read 24 points, on 11-16 shooting, and 5 rebounds all while, along with Camby, helping hold Okafor and West to a combined 8 boards. Finally, what more can we say about Batum? Last game he defends Dirk and tonight he locks down CP3. At the end of the half, Paul tried to do his shake and bake, quickly dribble between the legs, then fall away for the mid-range jumper. He tried, yet got denied as the length of Batum deflected the ball. He was a big reason why CP3 only was able to score 7 points on 3-8 shooting and only two free throw attempts. Be afraid Western Conference, be very afraid!

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  1. mario250775
    Posts: 197

    Posted 03/28/2010 5:11 AM

    Big Game for all players, no injuries=good play , playoffs are waiting, so GO BLAZERS !!!
    I am a fan of Portland Trail Blazers, RIP CITY !!!
  1. Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 03/28/2010 12:16 PM

    Bring on OKC.  Let's Go Blazers !!!
    I am a fan of scrapping !
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