Trail Blazers 89 @ Grizzlies 93 Game Thread
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/19/2012 3:27 PM

    After J.J. racked up his sixth double-double as a Trail Blazer, rate his performance so far this season:
    A+ (4)
    A (1)
    A- (2)
    B+ (0)
    B (0)
    B- (0)
    C+ & Below (0)

    April 21, 2012
    5:00 PM | FedEx Forum | Memphis, TN
    Trail Blazers (28-35) At Grizzlies (37-25)

    What 2 Watch 4

    Chris Haynes of tweeted earlier this morning that Chad Buchanan said Nicolas Batum's availability will be a game-by-game basis and that sitting him for the final three games hasn't been ruled out either. And today during the live practice at PCC Cascade, Batum said he was still feeling sore after last night's game where he only played 15 minutes. And it's not as if Batum is giving the team his usual production either. Even watching from nearly the top row of the Rose Garden, I could  tell he wasn't anywhere near 100%. The box score backs up my observation as Nico was just 1-6 shooting. While we all love watching Nic play, it may be best to not risk anything when there's nothing to be gained. If that is the case, Haynes also tweeted that Buchanan said Jamal Crawford playing is dependent on Batum's availability. My guess is we see a lot more Crawford then Batum over the next three games.

    Nolan Smith got just the second start of his young career and didn't do too much to separate himself from Jonny Flynn. Although he did have 16 points, it took him 16 shots to do so. But there was a glaring goose egg found under the assist column. Assists can be a misleading stat as it takes tow to tango, but a starting point guard should never not rack up an assist, let alone one who played 40 minutes. He shows superb on-ball defensive potential, but Nolan is still a work in progress on defending the pick and roll. It was his man, Devin Harris, who scored 25 first-half points on a lot of screens to free himself up. Will he get a second chance in Memphis with another start? It's a toss up at this point but whenever he gets on the floor, I'd like to see a little more court vision out of Nolan. On the plus side, he wasn't a turnover machine, just committing three, which is reasonable in the amount of playing time he saw on the floor.

    J.J. Hickson must be more of an offensive focus against the Grizzlies. When I learned he had only attempted 11 shots Wednesday night, I had to check the box score just to double check because that number is way too low for the only low-post threat currently playing on the Blazers. But that didn't deter Hickson's game as he made up for the lack of shots by getting the line 10 times, even making eight. That's what I like to see. J.J. will have another tall task Saturday night going up against one of the best front lines in the NBA as the Grizzlies can throw Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Dante Cunningham and Marreese Speights. Memphis will most likely swarm and surround Hickson, so it will be interesting to see how he handles it. Will he show an ability to pass out of double teams? Can he make his move before the double team comes? Even though there are only three games left, there is still so much to look at an evaluate when watching the Trail Blazers.

    Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies Highlights

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  1. freddead
    Posts: 321

    Posted 04/19/2012 8:10 PM

    i want to see more thabeet tell ya the truth he seems to be getting better defensively the more he plays and i think its doing him alot of good to be around joel and kurt i kind wouldn't mind resigning him for some insurance
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/21/2012 11:43 AM

    Here's the latest lineup updates from Mike Tokito-
     Nolan Smith, Hasheem Thabeet will start vs. Memphis tomorrow. Batum is game-time. If he can go, Crawford will probably play.

    It also appears that Przybilla is not with the team but may catch up with them in San Antonio.
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  1. barnettfan
    Posts: 392

    Posted 04/21/2012 12:38 PM

    Well it looks like our second and third string is going to get thrown into the fire for the rest of the season. Rhino and Thabeet should see some pretty good play time. Hope they make it interesting
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  1. daddylogan
    Posts: 188

    Posted 04/21/2012 12:59 PM

    Excellent write-up Dustin!!! Hope we get to see 15+ minutes out of the Rhino tonight...

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

    Posted 04/21/2012 3:45 PM

    Been trying to tell folks, there's no bears in Tennessee!

    The subject of team name changes comes up every so often, Grizzlies would be a first place to start.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. SisillaRiann
    Posts: 9

    Posted 04/21/2012 7:51 PM

    Think JJ gets an A :) No one expected much from him and from what I read, he wasn't supposed to be a great rebounder. He gets here and they tell him that's what they need from him and he delivers. Gotta love his effort and his willingness to do what's asked. He's young and teachable. I like what he brings to the table. Based on my complete lack of expectations for him, what's he's delivered is Grade-A basketball :)
    I am a fan of a new era of Trail Blazer basketball!!
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/21/2012 9:20 PM

    Post-Game Quote:
    Coach Kaleb Canales on the game-

    “I thought we had a game-winning effort and game-winning defense tonight for four quarters. We just didn’t make enough basketball plays down the stretch, so you have to give them credit.”
    Coach Canales on the Blazer defense-
    "We held a very good team to 14 points in the fourth quarter. That is the defense that I am talking about, continuing to build. We responded in the second half. They got off to a good lead. We put ourselves in a good position down the stretch, but just didn’t make enough plays.”
    Coach Canales on the final play-
    “It was intended for Wes (Matthews). It was a play with multiple options. It is just a read-and-react play. You have to give Rudy (Gay) credit on his defense. Wes hits those kinds of shots and will continue to hit those kinds of shots.”
    Coach Canales on J.J. Hickson-
    “I thought J.J. had a great night, especially on the boards. He ended up with seven offensive rebounds. J.J. has been terrific for us and we are excited to have him. Our guys in that locker room battled their tails off tonight.”
    Jamal Crawford on being a veteran-
    "You just have to remain professional. No matter what comes at you. I have been through a lot on my journey in this league. I understand that it is not always what it seems on the surface. So, for me, I only worry about stuff I can control and remain professional.”
    J.J. Hickson on the comeback-
    “I think we just started playing harder on the offensive end and defensive end. In the first half, I think they kind of had their way with us. Our half-time adjustment was to go out and match their physicality and come out with the mindset that they are going to let us play. Once we did, that got us back in the game. We just came up short at the end.”

    “Being down two with 10.1 seconds left is a frustrating game to lose, but I am proud of the effort that we gave. We fought back into the game. Like I said, we just came up a little bit short.”

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  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 04/21/2012 10:56 PM

    if you're gonna go down, go down swinging. Good effort from the Blazers. Needed more Thabeet in that 2nd half though, we didn't register a blocked shot tonight.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. freddead
    Posts: 321

    Posted 04/22/2012 2:18 AM

    i want the blazers to lose but i hate it when they lose i feel so torn
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