Trail Blazers 111 vs. Nuggets 102 Game Thread
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/29/2011 10:30 AM

    Who was the player of the game?
    Wesley Matthews: 25 pts, 5-8 3-pt, 5 rebs, 2 asts (16)
    Jamal Crawford: 22 pts, 9-9 FT, 5 rebs, 2 asts (7)
    Ray Felton: 23 pts, 6 asts, 5 rebs (6)

    December 28, 2011
    7 PM | Rose Garden Arena | Portland, OR
    Trail Blazers (2-0) vs. Nuggets (2-0)

    Familiar faces return to the Rose City tonight as Andre Miller, Rudy Fernandez and the Nuggets take on the Trail Blazers in an early season Northwest division clash. With the two teams only playing each other three times this year (twice at Portland, once in Denver), there is more of an emphasis to get a leg up on the inter-divisional competition. Denver has been nothing short of spectacular to open up the season, winning by 22 in Dallas and absolutely manhandling the Jazz, 117-110, last night.

    For the Trail Blazers to win their third straight, they must do two things: Rebound the basketball and stop dribble penetration. Like Utah, Denver has a plethora of bigs ready to crash the glass and Nene has always seemed to play at his best against the red and black. But more importantly, Portland must find a way to slow down Ty Lawson. The lightning quick guard has looked excellent scoring the basketball early on this season, averaging 21 points on 61.5% shooting from the floor. If Felton can't stick with him, look for Coach McMillan to go to Batum, who can handle the ball enough on offense but use his length to disrupt Lawson on the other end of the floor.

    What do you think the keys to victory will be tonight?
    I am a fan of
  1. D_pickett
    Posts: 726

    Posted 12/29/2011 11:18 AM

    I think the key to tonight's game will be a couple fundamentals: help on defense and boxing out. With quickness like Lawson's, you have to have frontcourt players ready to come to the ball last-second and make a defensive stop. The kind of D played at the end of Tuesday's game. If we can keep the offensive rebound differential 3 or less I think we have a good chance. It's not even a matter of crashing the offensive glass more. We need to box out. Camby and Aldridge have gotten into bad habits with their long arms and rely on their reach to pull down boards. With players like Faried, Nene, and the Birdman, you can't rely on that. You have to slip ahead of them and use your body to take them out of the equation. If you can keep the second chance opportunities low and make more stops on the first look... my word you just might win a basketball game. Blazers are already doing well pushing the ball in transition (for the most part), they just have to keep the pace up.
    I am a fan of
  1. EthanMoney
    Posts: 301

    Posted 12/29/2011 11:22 AM

    You all might hate LA but I hate Denver. They always seem to beat us in the dumbest ways and it aggravates me to no end. I expect the Rose Garden to give a HUGE round of applause for Rudy and Andre for me. I think the 3 Keys of the game should be; Rebounding, Outside shooting, And Control tempo. We need to keep up with the Denver bigs, Spread the paint with RESPECTABLE 3 point shooting, and play our tempo. I don't think the Denver bigs will be able to keep up with our new pace.
    I am a fan of
  1. Stephen Brady
    Stephen Brady
    Posts: 1

    Posted 12/29/2011 4:44 PM

    We all know Wallace and LA will put up big numbers tonight so I am not worried about them. But we will need Mathews and Felton to put up the points that they are known for, and Crawford has done alright thus far, but I want him to prove that it was a good decision for Portland to sign him. He has the capability to core a lot of points, so I think the biggest key for tonight is for our players to play as well as we all know they can play.
    I am a fan of
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 12/29/2011 9:33 PM

    WOW! Nice win Portland! Awesome game fo sho.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 12/29/2011 9:34 PM

    Who gets the game ball? We had 3 Blazers score over 20. I'd have to say Matthews, he caught fire just at the right time...when we were losing!!
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. stacksfan2005
    Posts: 363

    Posted 12/29/2011 9:47 PM

    i listened to the guys on the fan say batum is lost and is unhappy with portland for like 2hours the other day but i just dont see that? he's playing with intensity, he's an elite defender as he proved tonight with 4 blocks, he's crashing boards, and my favorite, he's finally getting an attitude I'm loving Batum thus far this season, and i've been angry at him the last 2 seasons. Sure he's missed a few shots but he's playing team ball and playing with a fire I haven't seen out of him.

    Tonight's game was really fun to watch, we need to clean up those turnovers and we blow this team out who everyone was talking about 2days ago.

    I'm loving the team ball we have 6 guys that can go off for 20+ any night they get the right match up in batum, aldridge, wallace, matthews, felton, and crawford. then we have our defensive anchor in camby and our crafty veteran in thomas. and if we have to go deeper nolan smith is looking great for a rookie, craig smith is a work horse, and CJ is learning, I think he still needs some weight but he's on his way.

    I like that aldridge doesn't seem focused on being an all-star, he's focused on winning, he's making good kick outs when he gets the double team and putting his head down when the defense gives him space, you can tell he's still tired in the forth, when he gets his legs in a couple weeks, look out.

    I wouldn't mind no blazers in the all-star game and sneaking in top 2 in the west by playing pure team ball to be honest.

  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 12/29/2011 9:55 PM

    The guys on the fan aren't good at following basketball. They'll be the first to admit that. You want to talk college football or maybe some baseball, hockey, golf... those guys will make sense. But if you're waiting to hear them being happy about anything the Blazers do right, you'd be better of waiting for a pizza to bake with the oven turned off.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/29/2011 10:13 PM

    So hard to pick just one player of the game, it's like splitting hairs. But, in the end, I went with Matthews. Those four three-pointers in the third quarter really gave us that boost we were lacking as Denver had came all the way back at that time to take the lead. But how nice is it to win when LA played his worst game of the year? It's nice not being dependent on just one player.
    I am a fan of
  1. BlazeTheTrail
    Posts: 21

    Posted 12/29/2011 10:15 PM

    Really excited with the 3-0 start, but trying to temper my optimism. We haven't left home and have gotten a great schedule draw so far. Hope we can keep this great play up against elite competition on the road.
    I am a fan of cheering the Blazers on from South Florida!
  1. Keisha
    Posts: 27

    Posted 12/29/2011 10:18 PM

    They was all great tonight and help the team to a victory, but I had to go with Wesley Matthews!! But Jamal Crawford and Ray Felton was great...
    I am a fan of the current Blazers!!!
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/29/2011 10:22 PM

    Posted By BlazeTheTrail on 12/29/2011 10:15 PM
    Really excited with the 3-0 start, but trying to temper my optimism. We haven't left home and have gotten a great schedule draw so far. Hope we can keep this great play up against elite competition on the road.
    I agree, but I'm excited for a few reasons.
    1) We took care of business at home. In a short season, every home game's importance is multiplied by 10.
    2) We are winning the early games. These really should be pre-season games and we haven't really clicked yet, but we still managed to get the job done.
    3) We haven't even hit our stride yet. I think the best is yet to come for this team.
    I am a fan of
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 12/29/2011 10:27 PM

    Went with Felton. It seemed like whenever we needed a bucket or a play, he had the answer. Sure he had some turnovers, but he's still getting his feet wet in Rip City and I love that he continued to push the tempo and didn't let the turnovers get the best of him.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. Curvychloe
    Posts: 610

    Posted 12/29/2011 11:19 PM

    I gotta say Jamal Crawford,he's a little cutie,and also Camby deserves some mention too,he dominated the middle,denver to no second chance oppurtunities and nobody remembers this but last time these two teams met in i think april denver dominated the offensive glass
    I am a fan of Sexy Blondes at courtside
  1. stacksfan2005
    Posts: 363

    Posted 12/30/2011 9:03 AM

    hard to single out a player in that game matthews crawford and felton all hit clutch shots that we needed, but without aldridge commanding double teams matthews doesnt get that many looks, good looking by aldridge to pass it. and camby is a defensive beast i really hope he stays healthy this year.

    batum i think is really learning from wallace, he's molding into crash jr. and with a few more practices i think these 2 are really beginning to click on fast breaks, can't wait to see them run 2 on 2s and 2 on 1s.

    what i really liked at the end of the game was felton scoring to keep our lead. last years blazers would try to ride a lead and let teams come back. felton just took care of business with his last 3 pointer and then his last little drive at the end of the game and kept the pressure off the defense.
  1. Antony Copland
    Antony Copland
    Posts: 44

    Posted 12/30/2011 2:59 PM

    I'm happy that this Blazers squad can handle their business in crunch time situations.  They managed to hit the free throws to beat Philly, and had Matthews to help them pull away against Denver.  My only hope is that they don't enter the third quarter slump they had last season.  Wesley's second half? Wonderful.  Lights out from three after a not-so-sexy first half from behind the arc.  He hit his interior shots, but he proved that once he gets into a rhythm and finds his shot, he can knock them down.  Marcus is awesome with 7 blocks in 3 games, compared to 15 blocks by the opposition in total.  He and Batum, with his four blocks last night? 11 total blocks.  Those two on defense, and Kurt Thomas' ability to take the charge, give the likes of Wesley and Wallace the ability to lead the break. 
    I am a fan of Cambus taking a team to the finals after another lockout.
  1. commontongue
    Posts: 1864

    Posted 12/30/2011 9:04 PM

    I went with Felton. I love that cat,he's fearless. I dont know about you guys, but there was a stretch there where we were getting a bit sloppy late in the game, but when i saw Ray checking back in,i felt relieved. Order was restored.  Then my dude,Wesley " He's On Fire ! " Matthews came in and lit it up !! And how about our boy Crawford knocking down nine for nine at the line. Camby and Batum swatting the rock out of the gym. And the BEAST doing his all around thing. The L-Train was definitely lacking coals on his fire during the game,and he even said his legs felt heavy. Make no mistake about it, this was a team win. I love the cohesion im seeing though. However, the game ball still goes to Felton for his play at the end of the game. The three, the charge, and good decision making skills down the stretch earned him the nod.
    I am a fan of our new roster playing with and for eachother.
  1. barnettfan
    Posts: 392

    Posted 12/30/2011 9:50 PM

    I am liking the share the load aspect of scoring on this team. In the past if Roy or LA would not score than everyone else was in a slump. Now it seems there is someone there to pick it up, a true team effort, I am getting kind of excited about this season. 
    I am a fan of
  1. freddead
    Posts: 321

    Posted 12/31/2011 2:56 AM

    i like how were second in the league in scoring and we havent even hit our stride not say we were against top defenses philly got a good D denver's decent but Sacramento not so much and i think by the end of the year are D will be top 5
    I am a fan of
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/31/2011 12:07 PM

    Posted By barnettfan on 12/30/2011 9:50 PM
    I am liking the share the load aspect of scoring on this team. In the past if Roy or LA would not score than everyone else was in a slump. Now it seems there is someone there to pick it up, a true team effort, I am getting kind of excited about this season. 

    It's feeling more and more like 1999...
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