Trail Blazers 99 vs Hornets 93 Game Thread
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/28/2012 12:49 PM

    Who was the player of the game?
    LaMarcus Aldridge: 25 points, 11-18 shooting, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal (3)
    Luke Babbitt: Career-High 16 points, 5-8 shooting, 4-6 from 3, 3 rebounds (9)
    JJ Hickson: 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block (0)
    Ray Felton: 12 points, 10 assists, only 2 turnovers, clutch 3 to seal the win (1)
    Wesley Matthews: 18 points, 2 assists, 2 blocks (0)

    March 29, 2012
    7:00 PM | Rose Garden Arena | Portland, OR
    Trail Blazers (23-37) vs Hornets (12-37)

    As I'm typing this, I've got Just Casey on in the background and he brought up a valid point. It really feels like we've played New Orleans five or six times already. But alas, this will be the fourth and final meeting of the 2012 season between the two teams. The Trail Blazers are up three-love on the Hornets so far, winning ugly in all three matchups -- beating an undermanned New Orleans roster by an average of just nine points and never eclipsing the century mark in any of the three contests. At first, I thought the lack of a blowout against the West's worst team was all on Portland's shoulders as they didn't "get up" for the games and giving no credit to New Orleans. But they deserve their due. Even without Chris Kaman, Emeka Okafor, Eric Gordon and all of the miscellaneous injuries along the way, Head Coach Monty Williams has found a way to motivate his players and has them fighting tooth and nail against any and all opponents.

    Although the Hornets are just 3-7 in their last 10 outings, New Orleans has been competitive, even stunning the Clippers by seven at home and going on the road, winning at Minnesota. The key is point differential. Their seven most recent losses have been by a combined 55 points, just a little over seven points per game. Those Opponents nearly stung by the feisty Hornets included the Lakers who were taken to overtime at the Hive and the Spurs who escaped with a 89-86 victory. So the Trail Blazers better be on upset, especially after a tough loss at the hands of the Thunder which they had circled on their calendar. Can the Blazers bring their "A" game against a lesser opponent? The NBA as we know is a grind and a lot of energy is expanded to get through the season but it's definitely easier to get pumped for an elite team. And when a team like the Hornets strolls into town under the radar and they have already beaten them three times, motivation could be an issue. It could be very easy for this team to overlook Nola. But that's the trap. If Portland wants to ensure a W over N.O., they need to focus.

    The first few minutes will be indicative of how the entire 48 will play out. If Portland comes out and takes a nice 8-10 point lead right out of the gates, you'll know they are dialed in. But if they allow the Hornets to hang around, it could be another grind-it-out affair, much like the prior three matchups. Who steps up? Who takes charge? Will it be LA who leads the way or will it be the bench igniting the Rose Garden crowd much like they did in the 2nd quarter against the Thunder.

    As for lineups and rotations, those are still in question as the Trail Blazers are awaiting Ray Felton's arrival from dealing with family issues back home in South Carolina. It was reported today that he was not at practice but that he could still return in time for Thursday's tip. If he's back, he's starting. But if he can't make it, I'd look for Jonny Flynn to get the starting nod after an impressive performance against OKC (10 points, 5 dimes, 1 turnover). Also, watch J.J. Hickson closely. Are these performances just a flash in the pan or does he have some staying power? He flourishes along side of LaMarcus and I think the more he learns of the offensive sets and defensive rotations, the more production we'll get out of J.J. Personally, I'd like to see a starting lineup of Flynn, Matthews, Batum, Aldridge, and Hickson for a few games to see what we've got. There's nothing to lose!

    Trail Blazers vs Hornets Highlights
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  1. daddylogan
    Posts: 188

    Posted 03/28/2012 1:39 PM

    I really like what I have seen from JJ. I would like to see him get a good 20+ minutes a night. He goes to the hoop, can rebound and help open up some space so maybe our guards will get better looks at the basket and start knocking down some shots.

    I really hate how alot of people are blaming LMA again for our problems. He IS NOT the problem. There is only so much one man can do when every teams plan is to double him and clog the middle because nobody else on our team can hit a simple jumper with consistancy. I never in my wildest imagination could see this awful funk that JC has been in. It has been a big let down to me because I know what he is capable of...but getting the ball with only a tick or two left on the clock does not help matters.

    We also need to learn how to get into the set and run the offence from the 18 second mark on down. We have players just standing in corners after the first cut and then the ball ends up back out on top with 5 seconds or less to shoot. THIS HAS TO STOP!!! This is how we get in our early holes. Ball movement and PLAYER movement is a must, all game long for a full 48.

    We need this game...Let's GO BLAZERS!!!

    peace out,
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 03/28/2012 4:40 PM

    Put Joel under the Hornet's basket and keep him there. So what if the Pryz gets a few illegal D's called on him. The Thunder got called for a handful of illegal D's last night, but it obviously had no effect on the outcome. The Hornets don't mind taking outside shots, and that's all we should try to give them.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 03/29/2012 2:15 PM

    Start Flynn, Matthews, Babbitt, Hickson and Aldridge. Do not let Jamal off the bench. Hopefully getting benched will light a fire under Batum's booty. He's got all the talent in the world but doesn't bring "it" every night.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. freddead
    Posts: 321

    Posted 03/29/2012 4:11 PM

    thats a first start babbit i thought nobody but me and rice liked the kid then again hes almost up to 50% from three point land now
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  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 03/29/2012 9:30 PM

    Let's not get too enthralled in this win. The Hornets only had 3 bench players in uniform.

    Portland needs to win tomorrow night against the Clippers, not just be content in tonight's performance.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/29/2012 9:43 PM

    U.G.L.Y. Man, there is just something about the Hornets that brings out the worst in the Blazers. As I stated pre-game, in our three previous games we failed to reach the century mark and only beat them by an average of 9 points per contest. Well, we got to 99 but only won by six against a depleted New Orleans team. I know the "a win is a win is a win" mantra, but this type of win doesn't necessarily give me a ton of confidence heading into the final 15 games of the season.

    On the bright side, Babbitt looks like the player we thought we'd get when we drafted him out of Nevada and Hickson keeps proving he's not a flash in the pan more and more after every solid performance. He could be the perfect backup power forward we've been seeking since the Rasta Monsta.
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  1. barnettfan
    Posts: 392

    Posted 03/29/2012 9:51 PM

    Cant get excited about beating a team we should beat and everyone shows up except for Jamal. I am pretty sure for the next couple of games the only time Jamal should get up off the bench is to get towels and gatorade. If Raymond brings his game tomorrow against Paul and griffenstien I MIGHT cut him some slack but I would like to see what Flynn can do. WTF is going on with Batum? I had to give the pole to Babbit since it was his first one, now lets see if he can keep that up against a real team if he can he might earn himself some good minutes.
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/29/2012 10:25 PM

    Post-Game Quotes:
    Coach Kaleb Canales on Luke Babbitt-

    “Luke’s been working his tail off at practice. I’m happy for him, that he’s getting the opportunity to play but we’ve always believed in Luke. He really helped us with his shooting but I thought defensively, he made the right reads and the right rotations tonight.”
    J.J. Hickson on his game tonight-
    “Personally, I think I played great. I got to rebound the ball a bit better because that’s what our team needs – a guy who can get 10 plus rebounds a night. I think I’m that guy. As far a team effort- I think we played great. The first half, we came out a little slow but in the second half, in the third quarter they scored 18, 19 points something like that. And in the fourth quarter they scored 23 points. We did our job in holding them to a thirty point quarter in both quarters of the second half.”
    Hickson on playing in Portland-
    “I’m having a lot of fun. The crowd is definitely our sixth man. They definitely helped us get this win tonight. It’s a fun city. It rains a lot, but other than that it’s a great city.”
    Nicolas Batum on Luke Babbitt-

    “That’s huge. It’s huge…. If he can come in – we know he’s a great shooter – so if he can come in on the court, he can spread the court for us. What he did tonight was great.”

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