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

    Posted 02/02/2010 10:50 PM

    Post-Game Thoughts
    Behind six Trail Blazers scoring in double figures, including a career-high 10 from Dante Cunningham and a team-high 17 from Aldridge, Portland takes it from Charlotte, 98-79, in a wire-to-wire victory which improves their record to 29-21. The two things Portland had to accomplish in order to get the W were holding Charlotte to less than 45 points in the paint and under 45% field goal hooting, which they did as Charlotte was only able to muster 32 in the paint and shot 40.6% from the field the entire night. The starters definitely held serve at the start of the game, which was refreshing considering their past two home game starts, but make no mistakes about it, the bench was the difference tonight. Portland's bench outscored their Bobcat counterparts, 45-19.

    "Their bench was great," Charlotte coach Larry Brown said. "Batum, Cunningham, Fernandez, (Steve) Blake -- their bench was so good. Their starters did a good job, but their bench was far superior to ours. They determined the game."
    "That was big," said starting power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who totaled a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds on an 8-of-13 shooting night. "It made it easier for us. (The Bobcats) couldn't key in on the starters. They had to worry about everybody."

    It's really hard to single someone out when everyone on the team played to their roles and helped contribute to be big home win. Words can't express how badly the players needed a blowout win after so many close, grind it out games, but the fans got a glimpse of what this season was supposed to be like. Rudy is finally hitting his stride after such a slow start to the season and his play is very reminiscent of his Olympic run in 2008 and the first couple months of his rookie year. The slashes to the hoops are back, as he is now not just content sitting in the corner, settling for threes. As crazy as he can play sometimes with his style, turnovers are inevitable, as well as gambling on defense, but Coach Nate has started to loosen the reigns off of Rudy and let him freestyle, which is where he is at his best. He had a tip-jam late in the game which exemplified what flair Rudy can bring to the team as well as an insane lob-pass to Batum. When the dust settled on his night, the stat sheet read 11 points (4-9), 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals.

    Stephen Jackson got his 23 points, but it took him 19 shots and, to be honest, it was a quiet 23 in a game where it never seemed like the Bobcats had a chance to win it. As Portland started to re-pull away from the 'Cats in the 4th, Batum was assigned to S-Jack and completely locked him down numerous times. I know it has only been five games since his return, Batum looks like a completely different player. The D is still there, but his confidence is through the roof compared to last season as well as his ball-handling skills, which was one aspect of his game I didn't think he could take to the next level. Apparently, playing overseas for France did wonders for his ball-handling skills, because Parker was injured, it allowed him to become the primary ball handler.

    If indeed this was a sign of the Trail Blazers peaking, they picked a great time as their are only 32 games left, Brandon Roy looks to return later this week, Outlaw should be back in late February, and the schedule sets up perfectly once the All-Star break is over. Barring any more injuries (*knock on wood*), when this team is clicking, even without Greg and Joel, they possess the athletes, play-makers, and skill players to potentially win a round in the playoffs providing the right matchup comes along. What I love most about this current bunch has to be the fast break points and willingness to push the ball and force tempo. If they can continue to play this way, without any pressure or expectations, it could be an incredible run to the finish line.

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  1. BR7_Fan
    BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 02/03/2010 11:13 AM

    I've been out of town the last few days and missed the game, wish i could of saw it. I'm liking that second unit with both Rudy and Batum on it. I think Nate should keep those two together. With Roy a few games away and Outlaw around the corner the Blazers will have the roster full up to make a post-all star break run.
    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 02/04/2010 11:09 AM

    It was a great game. Finally, a nice blowout victory, but I think we left our defense at home when we traveled to Utah.
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