Trail Blazers 83 @ Clippers 96 Game Thread
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/26/2013 11:14 PM

    January 27th, 2013
    6:00 PM | Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA
    Trail Blazers (22-21) Vs Clippers (32-13)

    What To Watch For

    The Charity Stripe
    Despite losing the rebound battle 41-32 to the Clippers, the Trail Blazers managed to eek out a 101-100 victory largely in part to their brilliance at the foul line. Portland went to the line 21 times and converted 20 times -- an astounding 95.2% from the stripe. As The Schonz says, "You've got to make your free throws!" and the Trail Blazers obliged. Los Angeles was good at the stripe themselves, going 13-for-17, but in a one-point game, every basket is magnified and none are easier then a freebie. The Blazers shot the ball extremely well -- 35-75 from the field and 11-25 from 3 -- but if their shot isn't falling at Staples Sunday night, it is imperative for Rip City to attack, attack, attack. The best way to stay in a game, especially on the road, is to live at the line.

    Bench Production
    There's no two ways to sugarcoat it: The Clippers have the NBA's best bench and the Trail Blazers do not. Through three quarter Saturday night, the Blazer bench was holding their own quite nicely, especially Will Barton who was hitting 2's, stealing passes, and completing highlight-reel alley-oops. But the fourth quarter came around and what once was a 14-point lead quickly turned into a nail-biter. Coach Stotts was forced to play his starters the rest of the way from the 8 minute mark on. In all, L.A.'s bench out-produced their Portland counterparts 43-16. The key catalyst in their near comeback win was Jamal Crawford who continues to light up his former squad. Tonight he had 19 points on 6-15 shooting. With this being a back-to-back situation, the onus is now on the reserves of the Blazers to keep the bench scoring a closer margin. Luke Babbitt didn't see any action, but look for Luke to be the spark off the bench. If the Blazers can get a low-post game working, Luke should see a lot of open looks if Los Angeles decides to double down. If Portland can keep the bench scoring margin within 10, the Trail Blazers could be looking at a nice sweep of of the Clippers this weekend.

    Trail Blazers At Clippers Highlights

    I am a fan of
  1. BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 01/28/2013 5:56 AM

    Reversal of fortunes.  Having the expectation going in that Portland would beat a team batting .700 back-to-back nights...the second of which in staples...wouldn't have been a realistic one.  Same old story for this Portland team...points in the paint, and points given up in the paint.  Allowing a team like this years Clips to shoot 51.2% at home while managing only 43.9% yourself, won't get it done.  Lack of depth once agains reared it's ugly head as Portland's bench went 4-15 from the field, 0-4 from behind the arc.  Take The Thrill out of that equation and the bench goes 1-10.  That's 10% for those not majoring in mathematics.  19 turnovers didn't help the cause.  Los Angeles' best team wasn't about to lose a fifth in a row.  This game was over midway thru the third quarter.

    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
  1. kenny c.
    kenny c.
    Posts: 418

    Posted 01/28/2013 7:31 AM

    fact: this is the worst bench statistically in the last 23 years of the NBA!
    I am a fan of Winning
  1. BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 01/28/2013 7:37 AM

    Interesting Kenny...I have read where Dwight Jaynes has found through research that this year's bench is statistically the worst in Blazer history, going as far back as when such stats were kept...but did not realize this was the most unproductive bench in LEAGUE history, dating back nearly a quarter of a century. One word...SHAMEFUL
    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
  1. BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 01/28/2013 7:52 AM

    That being the proud are we of the starting 5, and how thankful this team is not married to any reserve long term, contractually speaking?
    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
  1. Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 01/28/2013 8:46 AM

    I think you nailed it on that last comment, BDawg; People have made some threads on here about how horrible our bench is and how that's an outrage, and how Olshey should've known better and it makes him a bad GM... but like you said, the real key for us is that this season has always been entirely about the starting 5, not our bench.

    I think the plan was probably to go one step at a time; work out your core, be sure of who you have, and build on top of it... not that different from what happened for the Clippers over the last 2-3 years, if you think about it (secured CP3, Griffin, and Billups, then added Turiaf, Crawford, etc). Now that we have our core, the next step is obvious.

    Coming into this season, we all knew that they weren't exactly aiming for a good playoff berth, and we were fine with that. This is important, because I believe that's what allows a strategy like Olshey's to work... he can go one step at a time, instead of rushing to get a playoff team together, because he's been given a "throwaway" season (and the fact that that season has turned out so well to this point is really just evidence that the first step is LOCKED IN.)

    Now we can focus all energy in one direction, and once again be confident in our results, instead of gambling on immediate success at the risk of long term dominance. This is how you make a truly GREAT TEAM. Let's remember OKC didn't happen overnight either, they picked up 1 big piece or 2, a few years in a row. Already we're seeing the trouble they had with contracts, and having to choose between Ibaka and Harden.

    Yeah, our bench sucks. So does our 3pt shooting, and if we hadn't gotten lucky by having our horrible night before Denver's, we might be sitting with that NBA record as well, another worst thing statistically in 23 years, as you said, Kenny. So I'm just saying that I'm more than happy to count my blessings. Honestly, I watched the loss in LA last night without much stress, cuz I'd been at the sick win the night before, and I'm happy with what I've got. Anyone rememer the 0-4, oh wait, I mean 3-1 killer roadtrip? There's a lot of good stuff going on with this team, and like we're pointing out, they're only really half-built.


    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 01/28/2013 11:48 AM

    19 turnovers and LA losing his battle again to Griffin will not get it done. We responded poorly to their aggression and lost control in the third quarter. 

    @blazer247 Stop defending Olshey, when Hibbert was matched our summer was over. Even teams like the Celtics who have had great starting fives needed some semblance of a bench. 2 or 3 solid bench players is all this team needed but we did not do anything about it. The Clippers lucked into Matt Barnes who would have been an easy bench addition, Barbosa is on the block and could have been gotten easily this summer, Delonte West, Kenyon Martin, Chris Anderson all were or are still available late. The fact that he knew the bench was bad but because he had no faith in the starters is the worst thing of all. If the starters are good you get a bench to help with the playoffs, if the starters are bad you get a bench to stay competitive. 

    What grade Olshey gets is largely determined on what you think the team would have done without him. I think we still take Lillard and Leonard, I think we still resign Batum and JJ was a gift at 4 million so he also stays. Meaning Olshey got us Price, Pavlovic and Jeffries. I give him a C at best. For someone who wanted to move the meter and acquire assets we have none. We still owe a first round pick and have a bunch of low value bench players. We cannot collect first round picks with this talent without dealing a starter and we have not made a decision to either rebuild or become a playoff team this year. 

    This years Clippers and the depth the Spurs show each year, demonstrates the value of a good bench and we have if Kenny is correct the worst bench of all time. No amount of rationalizing can change the fact that Olshey assembled this team so its his fault.

    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 01/28/2013 2:03 PM

    That game was like seaweed cracker snacks. At first you think they're pretty good, then you get one that tastes like seaweed, and you don't want to eat them anymore.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
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