Blazers/Spurs Post-Game
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/24/2009 10:19 AM

    Post-Game Thoughts

    I'm speechless. I thought there would be no way to be any more prouder of this team after the win in Dallas, but boy, they proved me wrong! Portland was without six rotation players from last year's 54 win team, including Brandon Roy, yet someone is always there to step up in the absence of others. Juwan Howard chips in 12 points,grabs 12 rebounds, and his +22 was the highest +/- of any player on the court. After committing 3 fouls and playing only 8 minutes in the 1st half, LaMarcus Aldridge ends up with 22 points and his 8 rebounds were not indicative on how active was was on the glass as he tipped numerous balls to his teammates. Martell hit two huge 3's in the 2nd quarter to stop the bleeding of a Spurs run. Finally, Jerryd Bayless rose to the occasion and finished with a career-high 31 points, handed out a season-high 7 dimes, and didn't commit a single turnover.

    What I love most about having an offensive minded point guard, is his ability to make the opposing point guard actually play defense. Parker ended up with a mere 16 points and 4 assists, but also committed 5 fouls in the process of trying to keep up with Jerryd. Bayless looked like the real deal last night. He was setting himself up by shooting the mid-range jumper or slashing to the hoop, but he was definitely looking for the open teammate. He showed just how difficult it can be to guard him as he took the ball into the paint, dribbled around and under the hoop, only to find Juwan for a nice little shot. He got the defense to fully commit to him, which means wide open shots for the rest. Another thing that was amazing to watch was how this 2nd year player was more comfortable handling the ball at the end of the game than Andre or Steve. He embraces the pressure and thrives upon it. All of these injuries are a blessing in disguise, because we have found ourselves the point guard of now.

    Even though Joel may be out, I think we may have a mini-Thrilla on our hands in Pendergraph. Yes, he is only 6'9", but boy does he play much bigger than that. I'm not saying he is Przy in the terms of shot blocking, but it does look like Joel has taught him a few tricks and Jeff has paid attention. The way he stepped in for the charge was very Przybilla-esque and he does not let a rebound out of his grasp. As far as fundamentals goes, he boxes out perfectly. Finally, I love that he doesn't take any crap from anyone, just like Joel. He didn't back down last night and stood up for his teammates. If he continues to show this type of attitude and style of play, he will become a fan favorite in no time.

    As long as Brandon is not out for a prolonged period of time, this team can still make the playoffs in the tough Western Conference because of their fight. I really wish we had this sense of urgency earlier on this season when we were healthy but better late than never, right? Although we didn't have this fight then, we have it now and that is what will have us playing basketball through May. The difficult part of December is over and now Portland has 9 of 10 back home in the friendly confines of the Rose Garden. As long as the boys don't get complacent, they may very well improve on their already impressive playoff seeding, currently 5th.

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