48 Minutes of Basketball - WHAT A CONCEPT
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  1. BlazerManiac
    Posts: 777

    Posted 02/21/2012 8:51 AM

    Alright, last night they played OK in the second half.  However they decided not to show up in the first half.  I thought when Felton started the game with a three it was going to be a good night.  I finally turned off the game at 37-7.

    What is it going to take to get this team to play an entire 48 minutes of basketball?

    Your thoughts?
    I am a fan of WES, the heart and soul of the Blazers.
  1. BlazerManiac
    Posts: 777

    Posted 04/10/2012 9:20 AM

    I knew this game was over during the second quarter when no one except JJ Hickson was playing aggressively.

    Media Row Report: Rockets 94, Blazers 89

    The Houston Rockets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 94-89, at the Rose Garden on Monday night, dropping Portland's record to 27-31 on the season. The Blazers are 4.5 games out of the playoffs with eight games to play.

    One member of the Blazers played to the final whistle on Monday night. That man was interim coach Kaleb Canales, who did his job with urgency and passion all the way to the buzzer. He called a timeout with 16 seconds left and his team down eight, ordered his team to pressure and foul, and then called another timeout with five seconds left and his team down seven. All this in a game where the Blazers never bothered to hit third gear energy-wise and came up empty on back-to-back-to-back possessions during crunch time, blowing a long shot to get back into the game as Houston went an astonishing seven straight possessions from the 5 minute mark to the 1:07 mark without scoring a single point.

    The first timeout came after all five Blazers stood and watched as Luis Scola collected an uncontested offensive rebound and finished an unmolested putback.

    If sure looked like a "You guys won't quit on me without me calling you out on it" timeout. A "We're not just going to jog to the locker room after taking another loss without stewing for a few extra minutes as a team to think about what we just did and didn't do" timeout. The locker room took awhile to open after the game and Canales came out hot when it was finally time for his post-game comments.

    "If we can get a three, then it's a five point game," is how he explained playing out the game's finally 15 seconds to the max. "Then another three and a steal. I didn't think it was a big lead at all."

    Guard Raymond Felton, who finished with 14 points on 11 shots, 8 assists and 3 turnovers, revealed a more detailed version of the truth: "Just a message to say we're going to always finish games, that's all."

    It's a message this Blazers team never really took to heart this season, a spectacular -- and spectacularly fortunate -- road win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday notwithstanding. The close-game failures have been beaten into the ground over and over and there wasn't much new in this one. There were some bad bounces (an unlucky close-in miss by LaMarcus Aldridge), some poor shot selection (every shot attempted by Jamal Crawford), some lazy defense and a general malaise on both ends that just screams, "Let this clock tick down to zero and let's get out of here."

    The season has been over for weeks now but Monday marked the official start of the countdown campaign. You couldn't turn a corner or walk through a hallway without hearing a media member, Rose Garden staffer, fan or whomever mentally checking off the number of home games left, the number of total games left, or the number of days left until the 2011-2012 season finally ends. It was a common post-game question posed to the players too.

    "It's getting closer and closer, but we have to keep working, keep getting better and keep trying to build," Aldridge said, after finishing with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. "This is not for us to throw in the towel."

    Sure, whatever. We don't believe you, you need more people. If you hate your life, watch the game tape and focus only on how Portland defended Houston's 19 three-point attempts. On this night, the group apparently agreed that the hard work wasn't worth doing. Terrible close-outs. Terrible rotations. Visible indifference. Wide open shooters. 10-for-19 for Houston from deep.

    "A very hard lesson for us to learn but a very valuable one," Canales said. "We have to understand and get it on the defensive end of the floor and not the offensive end... Any time we're disappointed when we give up 10 threes. They shoot 10-for-19 and hit 53 percent. We didn't play consistent defense for 48 minutes tonight."

    Reigning Western Conference Player of the Week Goran Dragic led the way for the Rockets with 22 points, 7 assists, 2 rebounds and 3 steals. He hit from deep, he weaved in and out of traffic, he got out in the open floor and he kept the pressure on. It was a commanding, complete performance.

    "Goran had what I've grown to expect out of him over the last five or six weeks," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "He goes out there and gets 22 and 7 and you go, 'Solid game, Goran.'"

    "I told the guys, I think he's kind of playing a little bit like Ginobili," Canales said. High praise indeed.

    Portland's lack of intensity was compounded by some sloppy perimeter turnovers on offense. Portland got lazy there, too, attempting to pass over the top rather than create real lanes. Houston capitalized to the tune of 19 fast break points on 8-for-8 shooting and the Blazers reserves, in particular, looked helpless when it came to transition defense. Poor Luke Babbitt is going to be in hours of highlight reel footage and Nolan Smith could use a good "stop ball" reminder after letting one Rockets break get to the rim uncontested as he was spinning around backwards.

    "We can't give up 19 fast break points," Canales said. "You have to give them credit. 14 turnovers is not too bad but we want to get it to 12. A lot of those turnovers equal to 16 points. A lot of that is transition d where we have no set defense coming back. So that's difficult. You kind of mix in the fast break points with the 10 threes, that's difficult."

    The offense was difficult too but no one really cares any more -- except for Canales. (You have to give him credit. Lots of credit. He has absolutely followed through on his promise not to change his personality or approach whatsoever since stepping into the interim coaching role. His ability to deliver on his word is unmatched in this locker room.) There's another game on Wedneday. Maybe there will be increased intensity and focus and better shot selection; maybe not. Either way, just about everyone will be watching with one eye on the court and one eye on his or her wristwatch, the countdown clock mercifully ticking off one second at a time.

    I am a fan of WES, the heart and soul of the Blazers.
  1. stacksfan2005
    Posts: 363

    Posted 04/10/2012 11:37 AM

    all season i've watched guys throw lazy passes to each other. batum tosses lazy passes almost everytime he passes. i think felton, craig smith, JJ and pryzbilla are the only guys that give it their all when ever they are on the court. Felton though slow on offense has played pretty good D all year, at least from what i've watched, craig smith is always giving you max effort, he's just never played when it matters. JJ is flying in for boards, putting the ball in the basket, and trying to block shots, can't say im dissapointed in his effort 1 bit. and you know joel is always ready to play, he's just not an offensive threat, and he's still getting in shape.

    jamal has looked super lazy this year, batum only plays with effort for france, wesley to his credit, always hustles on defense but he's thrown some lazy passes and made some terrible offensive decisions this year.

    some times aldridge comes to play and sometimes he sort of gets lost, he's made some lazy passes this year too, it seems like when aldridge comes out in beast mode the whole team follows suit, but if he relaxes then everyone gets lazy. it's going to come down to wheter or not aldridge want's to win and be a leader, lead by example, and then hold your teammates accountable. I don't care if they are your friends too, if they are playing lazy get in their face.

    kaleb looks like he's putting max effort out there, but he also looks scared at times, he's going to come to that point like aldridge has to and decide im calling people out rather than keeping friends
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