Trail Blazers Beat Lakers, 91-88: My Thoughts
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/11/2010 11:20 PM

     Post-Game Thoughts

    Words can't describe how satisfying this win was or the way in which is came about. Early on it looked as if the Lakers were ready to show why they were defending champs, running off to a nine point lead, but the Trail Blazers weathered the storm and only trailed by three after one period. In the 2nd quarter, Roy's knee went one way while his body went the other. He would not return to the game, scaring the living hell out of Trail Blazers fans everywhere. Luckily an MRI just revealed only a bone contusion, with a time table for a return uncertain but easily the best possible scenario. With Roy out, Portand's bench came to the rescue in a big way, outscoring their L.A. counterparts 35-8.

    After momentum swings saw both teams take six-eight point leads, the game settled into a classic photo finish. Andre Miller was clutch all game and his driving lay-up put Portland up 86-81 with 54 ticks to go. A Kobe 30 ft. three and an And-1 within 20 seconds put L.A. up 1 when the madness began. An Aldridge low post miss opened the window for Marcus to tip it in; Portland up one. Webster, apparently not knowing time and score, bear-hugs Bryant, putting him on the line with a chance to take the lead. With M-V-P chants reigning down from Staples Center, Kobe ironically front rims two, yet L.A. gets the offensive rebound and Fisher is fouled seconds later by Miller. Fish only made one of two, setting up the game winning shot for Portland with 5 seconds to play. Somehow a running jumper off of one foot was the play we got out of Webster, yet Fisher and Bryant both fouled him in the act of shooting, resulting in three made free throws from Webster. Up 3, Batum denied Kobe the ball, meaning Gasol out top was their only viable option which he unsurprisingly clanked, giving the Trail Blazers their biggest win of the season and in a dead-heat for the 6th spot out West.

    "It's big for us," said LaMarcus Aldridge of the victory. "It's giving us more confidence if we do face them. This will be big for us on the road. We always feel like if they come to our house it'll be a really good game, but now (with this win), it makes our confidence grow even more."

    I felt the reserves would decide the game if either bunch showed up. Luckily for Portland, everyone was above par today. Bayless chipped in 8 points and 5 rebounds, including a three to give the Blazers back the lead and broke the two minute long dry spell from either side to begin the 4th. But it wasn't Bayless, nor the reliable Howard who starred for the bench. It was the much maligned duo of Fernandez and Webster. Rudy stepped in right away as soon as Roy went down and looked comfortable out there for the first time in months. Finally he was hitting the pull-up three pointers, had his patented lob pass to Aldridge for the flush in the waning moments, and even picked up a charge. All in all, Rudy recorded 9 points and an impressive six assists. I don't think I've seen a player go from hero to goat back to hero in such a short span of time than what happened with Webster. While he started off missing badly on his first two attempts from outside, he received an alley-oop from Rudy that seemed to ignite him. His defense on Bryant was phenomenal and had to hit two pairs of three free throws in this game, showing signs of extreme clutchness. His 16 points (4-7) all seemed to come at a desperate time for the Trail Blazers, stalling any hopes of a Laker run. Not only did the Blazer bench outscore L.A.'s (35-8), but they out assisted them 9-1, got to the line five more times, and grabbed 11 boards compared to their 5. In a game that needed them (bench) more than ever, they delivered. A tremendous sign heading into the postseason.

    "He was great today," said Camby of Webster. "We're definitely going to need him as the season ends."

    As much length and overall talent the Lakers attribute, the key to stopping them starts and ends with Kobe Bryant. Coach Nate had Batum and Webster dialed in on Kobe all game long, forcing him into 8-23 shooting and maybe more importantly limiting him to only 3 trips to the foul stripe. Throughout the game, Batum used his quickness and length to deny Bryant the rock and when he did get a shot off, made sure a hand was right between the eyes of Kobe as he let it go. Only was it through a few questionable calls that allowed Kobe those six points in 20 seconds, but regardless, when it mattered most, L.A. wasn't able to get their go-to-guy and supposed "best closer in the game" the rock down by three with 3.1 to go. Here is a video breakdown from BasketallBreakdowns of how great a job both Marty and Nico did on Kobe.

    It just wouldn't be right to not give our starting big men their due. Each player played off the other just how KP imagined when he pulled the trigger to bring Marcus to Portland. Camby was suffocating on the glass, grabbing a game-high 17 rebounds and sending messages of 'DO NOT ENTER' inside with 4 confidence crushing blocks. While Camby was doing his thing on defense, Aldridge became the de-facto leader as soon as Roy went down, scoring a game-high 24 points on 10-21 shooting from the floor and showing signs of All-Star caliber play with 11 boards of his own. Normally known to roam the perimeter during games, Aldridge was a beast inside, always trying to overpower the soft Gasol. Although he missed the would be go-ahead shot with Portland trailing by one, it was his desire and determination to get off a good shot inside that drew Camby's defender over to him, leaving Marcus wide open for the tip-in. A criticism of Aldridge has been his tendency to shy away from the ball in the 4th, but lately that doesn't appear to be the case. The feistier Aldridge has resulted in nearly 23 points and 8 rebounds during the month of April. For the Trail Blazers to advance in Round 1, the team will nee the April Aldridge and not his early season counterpart.

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  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 04/12/2010 4:36 AM

    That game was more fun to watch then "Brent" on that Next Adventure Host show.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 04/12/2010 4:01 PM

    Watching a replay of that game last night..I am just baffled and amazed at the same time that we won it. I think that game probably woke up the sleeping Lakers and I still don't want to see them in the 1st round.

    How clutch was Marty though? 6-6 from the line, shooting two pairs of 3..that is tough knocking 3 in a row down, let alone in the 4tgh quarter from a player who doesn't shoot many to begin with.

    Hopefully we are focused tonight and win it for B-Roy!
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
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