Trail Blazers/Hornets Post-Game
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/26/2010 11:12 AM

    Post-Game Thoughts
    Another heartache in Portland. The Trail Blazers rallied from a 24-8 deficit in the 1st quarter to take the lead at the half by two, 49-47. Portland extended their lead all the way to 9 in the 2nd half and were in control by 8 with around 3 minutes to go. I know the team is undermanned and missing their closer, their MVP, but enough is enough. Just in this month I have seen a Trail Blazer team blow good-sized leads late in the 4th (Memphis and New Orleans) as well as fail to close out games in the closing minutes (Washington and Boston). Is the "magic" gone? In the previous two seasons, if you gave Portland a lead late in the game, it was over. We were the 4th quarter team of the NBA, now we can't close out a game to save our lives. What went wrong tonight?

    First off, I think Coach Nate has done a tremendous job this year, by having the Blazers in position for home court advantage in the West even though the team has been decimated with injuries from top to bottom, but tonight I was a little baffled at some of the things done late in the game. Mainly, why did Jerryd Bayless only get 13 minutes of action? I realize he had to be pulled in the 1st half due to three fouls, but he was hot throughout the game, 12 points on 5-8 shooting and he found his teammates by connecting on five assists. Maybe most important of all, he was really playing tough defense on Chris Paul. I just didn't understand inserting Steve Blake for Bayless with 4 minutes to go. We had the lead, Bayless was a big contributor to that lead, and we had NO in the penalty. Blake is by far the better shooter, but wouldn't you want the slashing Bayless to play late in the game, when you've got free throws coming your way after every single foul? Here's a stat for you. In 1,202 minutes of game action this year, Blake has only attempted 28 free throws.In almost half the time, 687 minutes, Jerryd has got to the foul line a staggering 145 times.

    Also, why do we get so conservative late in the game with leads? It was almost like a carbon copy of the Memphis game. We get a nice lead that should be insurmountable then we decide to go away from what is working for us. For whatever reason, we love playing iso-ball with 3 minutes and under left. Personally, I am not a fan of this strategy, because there is no ball/player movement. It gives the defense a chance to see exactly where you are going and put our players in bad rebounding position. I can understand using Roy late in games to work this strategy, but he is one of only a handful of players capable of making this a successful strategy. The Blazers went the last four minutes of the game without a field goal, because we got stagnant and wouldn't go away from Andre Miller isolations. Again, I have no problem trying to run Dre on the blocks one, maybe two times, because he does possess a size advantage over Paul and Collison and is comfortable down on the post, but he was cold all night long, 1-8 shooting, so why did we run the same play four times in a row? Bayless, Rudy, and Marty all shot above or near 50% for the game and with Miller ice cold from the floor, it may have been more beneficial to let Dre use his play-making skills to set them up for make-able shots as he did hand out 10 assists on the night.

    Just like in any team sport, one person shouldn't get all the credit for the win, and one person shouldn't take the fall for the loss. Coach Nate just had an off night and he'll go back and dissect the film and learn from the game. No one is perfect 82 games a season. With that said, one has to wonder if we don't blow them out of the water if the starters even bothered to show up tonight. Every single starter had a +/- of -10 or worse, outside of Miller's -5. The defense was lackluster to say the least, allowing the Hornets to score 31 points in the 1st and gave up 16 of the team's 32 points in the paint. The Hornets took advantage of lazy rotations by hitting some three's as well as running the slip pick and roll to death, before our team learned how to control it. Out of all the starters, I give Marty a pass on his negative +/- rating, because he was scorching hot again tonight from downtown, hitting four of six, and started the Blazer rally by coming out of nowhere to swat a Hornets lay-up attempt, igniting the Blazer crowd.

    We can't be Debbie Downer about everything, even as easy as it can be to do so. On the flip side, each member of the bench tonight had a +/- of at least +7. Rudy is looking more and more like the Rudy of early on last season as he tallied 12 points (4-7), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. It wasn't just the statistics he put up, it was the way in which he did so. For the first time this year, we saw the play-making Rudy show up. Bayless once again put together an efficient stat line together as previously mentioned. Even more uplifting is knowing his ankle shouldn't be too much of an issue the rest of the way, the way he was moving on the floor tonight. But the person who stole the show for me tonight was the season debut of Nicolas Batum. He only played 10 minutes due to him not being in game shape yet and only dropped 6 points, but it was how he looked on the court. One player in particular that stood out to me was him receiving the ball at half court, dribbling through the defense, and using a step-through move to finish at the cup with a pretty lay-up, which was very reminiscent of Clyde The Glide and Scottie Pippen. This kid is going to be special!
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  1. mario250775
    Posts: 197

    Posted 01/26/2010 12:25 PM

    When I saw this morning starting my work with cup of coffe ( in Poland we have +6 Hours ) result of the game with hornets I was very dissapointed and When I saw highliths I was angry. having advantage of 8 points with 3 minutes to go and lost ?
    Why Blake is playing with Miller ? Why Webster making only 3 and don't try more often attacking the basket I saw this not first time ?
    In my opinion when Roy is injuried starting five should be like this:
    Miller, Bayless, Webster, Howard, and Aldridge with also often rotation and obaout 20 minutes to play by Fernandez and Batum. I hope that coach Nate make some changes in next play with Jazz. Go Blazers !!!!!!!!!!!!!     

    I am a fan of Portland Trail Blazers, RIP CITY !!!
  1. RedRudy5
    Posts: 135

    Posted 01/26/2010 2:36 PM

    It was definitely a let down loss at the end. It looked like they were waiting for Brandon to take over like he usually dones but unfortunately he couldn't do much from the bench! However there was also some good things before that- Nic looked awesome, Rudy definitly has returned! And they keep fighting despite the adversity that keeps coming at them. Hopefully they can learn from the late lack of offense and not repeat it!
    I am a fan of Turning this season around! Time to show some pride!!
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/26/2010 11:10 PM

    Quick Question:

    Does anyone else see a young Scottie Pip in Batum or am I just a big homer?
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  1. Travis
    Posts: 56

    Posted 01/28/2010 1:14 AM

    I can see this good observation
    I am a fan of a run at those rings in 2011 when GO comes back to dominate!!!!!!!!!!!
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