Preseason Game 2: Trail Blazers 89 @ Jazz 92
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  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/20/2011 3:48 PM



    December 21, 2011
    6:00 PM | Energy Solutions Arena | Salt Lake City, Utah
    Trail Blazers (1-0) @ Jazz (0-1)

    After one of the most impressive preseason games in recent memory, the Trail Blazers must put it behind them and travel to Salt Lake City for their first road contest of the season. After waiving forward Earl Barron today, the roster we see against Utah is what we've got for the foreseeable future. This is the last tune up before Opening Night on Monday the 26th and the first time superstar LaMarcus Aldridge will see the floor this season. We saw just how well the team played without LA in Monday's 110-90 win over the same Jazz squad but how will they incorporate their franchise player into the offense? A lot of questions still need to be answered. Will the Blazers continue to run, run, run? Will Crawford be able to contribute not only as a scorer but as a facilitator as well? Will Elliot's jump shot fall on a consistent basis? And can the old man, Kurt Thomas, keep his legs fresh?

    What is everyone looking forward to Wednesday night?
    I am a fan of
  1. Fallen_Deity
    Fallen_Deity
    Posts: 440

    Posted 12/20/2011 7:15 PM

    I want at least 2 blocks again from CJ, he could easily avg 2-3 a game with 25 mins, also I would like to see him hit double digits in boards
    I am a fan of competing til the final buzzer!!!!!!!!!!
  1. freddead
    freddead
    Posts: 321

    Posted 12/21/2011 3:04 AM

    i want atleast 3 pointers made from babbit...kid makes me angry cause you can see from his shot he can shoot it just doesnt goin
    I am a fan of
  1. Rip$ityBalla
    Rip$ityBalla
    Posts: 2

    Posted 12/21/2011 10:48 AM

    Pleased by the contributions from Elliot, Jamar, and Nolan...proved that we can score without L.A
    I am a fan of ripcity pride
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/21/2011 11:51 AM

    Posted By Fallen_Deity on 12/20/2011 7:15 PM
    I want at least 2 blocks again from CJ, he could easily avg 2-3 a game with 25 mins, also I would like to see him hit double digits in boards

    I think he could but it all depends on his minutes. To get an average of two blocks a night, I think he'd have to be the primary backup center and play at least 20-24 minutes a night. You know Kurt will backup LA so I think it will come down to legs (a lot of back to backs), matchups, and rhythm to determine what type of big man rotation Nate will use with Thomas, CJ, and Craig. Not to mention, we could go small with Wallace at the 4 and LA at the 5...O, having too much depth..such a burden (sarcasm)!
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  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 12/21/2011 11:54 AM

    I just want to see how the team functions with Aldridge on the court. I'm sure they will excel but I hope they can continue to play unselfishly with the star on the floor. I'm not calling LA a ballhog by any means but there is a tendancy for players to turn it down a notch when the star is on the floor and not feel like they have to do as much.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. Austin Martin
    Austin Martin
    Posts: 92

    Posted 12/21/2011 12:32 PM

    I agree with most, when you have an  uptempo playing style, and a big-man star, how well do they mesh together? I hope that it works well, but it could take a few games to really make it as smooth as we played without LA

    PS i do not think we are better without LA, just that the play style is different, and not as condusive for a bigman scorer without some adjustment
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  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 12/21/2011 1:00 PM

    Posted By Austin Martin on 12/21/2011 12:32 PM
    I agree with most, when you have an  uptempo playing style, and a big-man star, how well do they mesh together? I hope that it works well, but it could take a few games to really make it as smooth as we played without LA

    PS i do not think we are better without LA, just that the play style is different, and not as condusive for a bigman scorer without some adjustment

    I think LaMarcus is suited for running the break so I'm not worried in regards to tempo. It's more of the half-court offense as to what concerns me. There were numerous times last game we made great pass after great pass. The team was moving without hte ball and being rewarded for their cuts. I know we will see some low-post isolations for LA but will will continue to send cutters or just stand around?

    With that said, I'd be pretty worried if we won't have another good performance against this team. We have a lot more talent than this year's Utah Jazz.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 12/21/2011 1:05 PM

    I think Lamarcus coming back will be the perfect addition to what we saw in the first preseason game!

     The uptempo offense was sick, and it should work really naturally with this squad. The biggest weakness in that first game, though, was the surplus of jumpshots when the opponent's D was ahead of us; We were great on fastbreaks and gettin to the basket before they could set up a formation, but when Utah's D got down the court ahead of the ball, we had wayyyyy too many Blazers takin a J instead of penetrating to the inside.

    So what's the perfect answer to that? How about an All-Star big :) who's got some of the fastest hands and feet among players in his position? Aldridge is young and can run as well as any other F/C out there. Really, as far as building an offense around a big man, this is probably going to be an incredibly easy fit for LA! It's what he's been moving towards in years past already, but previously he was having to contend with either Roy's or Miller's Isolation-style offense.

     So now our opponents need to not only beat us down the floor, but even when they set their D they're gonna have to watch inside as well as out.

    Bring. Em. On.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. commontongue
    commontongue
    Posts: 1864

    Posted 12/21/2011 4:27 PM

    Ditto.
    I am a fan of our new roster playing with and for eachother.
  1. Greg McClenaghan
    Greg McClenaghan
    Posts: 1

    Posted 12/21/2011 5:03 PM

    Breaking news - Greg Oden will be starting at center tonight! 
    I am a fan of WessyWes
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/21/2011 9:11 PM

    This was just a case of not hitting our shots. We shot 35% on the road and still only lost by three. I wouldn't sweat this one. Fouls really gave this game no rhythm and without the home crowd sparking our guys, it was difficult to make that one run we needed to pull away. I do worry about big teams like Memphis down the line just taking over the paint. I know we didn't have Camby but Utah's big were controlling the glass and we had no answer for them down low.
    I am a fan of
  1. Austin Martin
    Austin Martin
    Posts: 92

    Posted 12/21/2011 9:54 PM

    weird game, 35% shooting and an aweful number of fouls considering it was preseason.. Not much stock in the loss, its preseason. but the shooting cannot be the overall trend if we are going to compete on a regular basis.
    I am a fan of
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 12/22/2011 2:34 AM

    Can we talk about the jumpshot thing? I know Nate brought it up alot last year, but I feel like there's already those signs of players settling for a J instead of driving to the hoop to potentially draw a foul. Especially late in the game!
    All due respect to LaMarcus, I know he just got back and none of the players have had a long enough training camp to be at peak conditioning for the type of play we need of them. BUT, when it came down to that clutch final play... ok, we're a running team so don't call the timeout, try to sprint down the floor, avoid letting the D get setup and get the game-winning play. Forget the fact that most of the defenders were already ahead of you down the court. That's fine. Now we pass off to LTrain, that's great. It would be an awesome entry to the regular season to have LMA come back and finish with a big play for the win. But nooooo Aldridge, don't plant your feet for a jumpshot!!!
    Seriously, is it really that much of a higher-percentage shot to try and stop your momentum, go straight up and nail a jumper (with a hand somewhat in your face, not really wide open like Rice said) as opposed to taking a few extra steps and going for a flying layup, or maneuvering around the first defender and getting in the air? Either way, you're closer to the basket than the J would be, you're likely still coordinated enough to be accurate with a layup, AND you get a chance at freethrows. You only need one point to tie the game, so miss the basket entirely, get one freethrow and you're still alive. Hit the basket and you're a hero, or hit both freethrows and you're still lookin pretty sharp.
    Again, not trying to be critical of LA. A double-double right off the bat is sweet! I know there was a number of good things to take away from this game. Especially that it was still preseason...
    But the real thing that worries me is that most of our players were already getting in to that bad habit of settling for a jumpshot when there wasn't an open lane or a clear pass. I don't understand it, but I don't think Nate does either so hopefully he snuffs it out soon!

    Aggggh now I gotta wait til Monday? More basketball, please! GO BLAZERS!
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 12/22/2011 2:46 AM

    After watching that last possession a few more times, it looks like maybe Aldridge didn't quite catch the pass right, slowing him down and distracting him before the spot-up jumper (that I still say was bad thinking!). So maybe I can whine that Felton deserves some credit? He did start the run too...

    But my point stands! Less jumpshots!

    HERE COMES THE REAL SEASON WOOHOOOO GO BLAZERS
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. stacksfan2005
    stacksfan2005
    Posts: 363

    Posted 12/22/2011 7:27 AM

    one thing that has stood out to me is chris johnson, he is a great shot blocker, pretty good runner on offense, but the kid still needs some weight because he cant box out and get a rebound to save his life. hope he works on it

    i think batum is ready to play this year, he's playing with the most energy, he's snagging rebounds and chasing loose balls. IMO making a strong case for starting line up. i'm sure wallace is just warming up though. maybe crawford and batum will battle over 6th man rights
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 12/22/2011 11:27 PM

    Well hey, at least Jazz fans got there money's worth. Blazer's got pounded! Spilled Blazers all over the court, we didn't see any Jazz players hittin' the deck. Complete roll reversal from Monday's game, even though the score does not reflect that.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
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