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

    Posted 01/11/2010 12:05 PM

    Post-Game Thoughts
    When watching the game or looking at the final box score, people will "OOOOOHHH" and "AWWWW" and LeBron's stat line of 41 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists as the main contributor to a a 6th straight Cavs victory over Portland, but they couldn't be further from the truth. Once again, Shaq proved to be a thorn in Portland's side, even as he nears the age of 40. While he was on the court, he had a +16, the highest of any player. When you have Juwan Howard giving up 4 inches and nearly 75 lbs, Portland had to pick their poison. They either played him straight up, which usually resulted in a point-blank look, double downed on him, while he was surrounded by the league's top three-point shooting squad, or bear hug him. There was literally nothing Portland could do. He had to be wrapped up so many times, the Cavs got into the penalty with 10:30 left in the 2nd quarter, en route to 30 free throw attempts compared to Portland's 20. There was a reason why the Blazers made their run in the 3rd, and a lot of it had to due with big #33 getting his rest on the bench.

    Once again, Brandon Roy showed why he is a legit NBA superstar and bonafide Top 10 player in the league. 34 points, on 14-23 shooting, 4 boards, and 3 assists, with much of his damage coming during the 17 point comeback charge. When he was taking/making those jump shots, he had that swagger to his game not unlike the 52 point outburst against Phoenix last year. I was hoping he would take nearly every shot the rest of the way. The only negative continues to be his free throw shooting. Brandon went an abysmal 3-8 from the foul line in a game where we needed every single available point due to the David v. Goliath feel to the game. Even though the free throws were a blip on the screen, Brandon turned that game from a snooze fest into a real exhilarating experience last night. It wasn't just the Portland faithful noticing Roy's performance either. "Roy had a heck of a game," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "He was tough the entire night. He did a hell of a job keeping those guys in it."

    Although he missed two crucial free throws with the game still in reach and made a costly turnover on the next possession, it was awesome to see LaMarcus have a solid 18 point (8-11) and 13 rebound night against difficult competition as well as being banged up. My only gripe with him appears to be his passiveness. On the turnover, he received the ball near the hoop where he looked like all he had to do was go up strong with the ball and he would have at least drew a foul, yet he panicked and threw the ball back into traffic which ended up in fast break points for the Cavs to essentially ice the game. Also, when you shoot 8-11 from the floor, tell someone about it. By that, I mean call for the ball. There is no way Anderson Varejao is going to stop you in the post.

    Will the aggressiveness come around in his game or will he only show it in spurts (similar to how he plays after the All-Star break, like a man possessed)? Portland needs to know, quick. Brandon Roy needs help out there and when LMA plays like he does post-All-Star break, he is a legit #2 option and All-Star caliber player, but currently his points are down 2.5 this year. 16 and 8 are excellent numbers for a 3rd option, but I think most fans would have expected closer to 21 and 9 as he is now entering into his 4th season. With Oden's health in limbo, a lot of things are now up in the air. With a healthy Greg, the way he was progressing, KP doesn't really need to look for a 2nd option, but if for some unfortunate reason Greg can't shake the injury bug the rest of his tenure here in PDX, KP needs to go searching for a wing-man for Brandon Roy if LaMarcus stays at his current production level.

    In the end, I was really bummed about the loss. I had a pretty good feeling it would be a tough night due to the matchup problems Cleveland presented and no matter who the Trail Blazers throw out on the court, I root for and root hard, so any loss is tough to deal with. But, there was no shame in that loss last night. Our boys could have very easily mailed it in down 17 in the middle of the 3rd, but the resiliency they have shown this past month and a half is amazing and makes me proud to be a Trail Blazer. If they can take ONE thing and ONE thing only from this season's experience, is to take the fight they have shown this year and play like that in the upcoming seasons. Basketball is a game of talent, but more importantly a game of heart, desire, and intelligence. If we play with the same passion we have been for the past month, next season at full strength, there will be no stopping us.
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  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 01/11/2010 1:00 PM

    We tried. But when you have to foul Shaq nearly every time he touches it..it makes them nearly impossible for us to defend in our current roster situation.

    I don't know if it is Nate who's not calling more plays for Aldridge, if he isn't healthy enough to take more of a work load, the guards not realizing he was hot, or LMA just not being vocal enough, but whatever it is, needs to be fixed. You're right. We need him to play with a mean streak. I love seeing LA attack the post when he has a ticked off look to his face. He has the potential to be one of the best PF's in the game, we just need to see it more than just after the all-star break.

    Overall, it was a great comeback. I love it when Marty hits momentum 3's...Rudy may be very trade-able if Marty continues his level of play.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. BR7_Fan
    BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 01/11/2010 1:24 PM

    LA should of went to the basket when got that pass that low in the post. I think LA can play in the paint I just think thats isn't his strongest suit thats why we have Greg. Shocked and stunned first half followed by a "scrappy" and exciting second half made it an entertaining game even though it resulted in a L. Brandon continues to amaze me this season after the slow start and the injury plague he is the franchise player KP was looking for.
    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/11/2010 4:43 PM

    Don't get me wrong, LMA is one of my favorite Trail Blazers and the PERFECT compliment to Oden, but Greg is hurt for the year and we realistically have no idea if he will return to the progress he was showing. I have faith that he can, but nothing is certain.
    So, while GO is out, we need LA to be that 2nd option and that means being a dominant low-post player. Once Greg, hopefully, returns 110%, then LMA can return to being more of a mixed big man by shooting the jumper or scoring in the post when called upon.
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