Trail Blazers 95 @ Thunder 111 Game Thread
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  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/17/2012 10:08 PM

    Is The Thrilla Back To His Former Self?
    Yes - 6 points, 3-4 shooting, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks (6)
     50%
    No - Almost, but not quite. A couple more like this & I'll be a believer (6)
     50%


    March 18, 2012
    6:30 PM | Chesapeake Energy Arena | Oklahoma City, OK
    Trail Blazers (21-23) At Thunder (33-11)

    Finally! That's what the Trail Blazers must be thinking as they enter Sunday's game at Oklahoma City. Tonight marks the seventh and final game of the longest road trip of the season. Along the way Portland has had their highs (beating Chicago on Friday 100-89), lows (blowout losses at Boston, Indiana, New York) and everything in between. While the Thunder are owners of the West's best-record (33-11), they have dropped three of their last four --all at home. Prior to their March 9th loss to the Cavaliers at Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Thunder had won 14 in a row in from of the home crowd. But since, OKC has only managed to defeat the Bobcats while blowing a double-digit lead late in the 4th to the Rockets and falling behind by as many as 27 points to the Spurs. Trouble in paradise or just the daily grind catching up?

    My thinking is Oklahoma City saw the standings and didn't feel anyone in their rear view mirror and lost focus. By all means, give credit to Houston and Cleveland for competing, but if OKC was fully motivated and focused, those two should have been easy W's, especially considering the Rockets were without Kyle Lowry. What does this have to do with the Trail Blazers? Everything. Portland was a heavy underdog to the Bulls, breaking in a new coach, and playing without two starters, yet they came away with one of their better wins in recent years. Right now we are in the regular season, not a seven-game series, so anything can happen as long as the motivation and focus are brought to the table for a full 48. Coach Kaleb Canales' energy was palpable. His enthusiasm for the team was a breathe of fresh air and the team really responding. Personally, I haven't seen defensive pressure like that for a while. And the new multi-option offensive sets? Fantastic. But what I liked most from Coach K was the fact he played everybody and did so in the second half as well. Luke passes up shots in the first half? It's alright, just go out there with guns loaded, ready to pull the trigger. And that's just what happened. Luke got meaningful minutes in the fourth and Kaleb showed trust in him and Nolan and everyone. If a player made a mistake, they weren't immediately yanked from the game, rather they were allowed to play through their mistakes.

    While the record books will say the teams are tied at once game apiece for the season series, you, me and the entire basketball world knows it should read 2-0 in favor of Rip City. And prior to the trade(s), Portland matched up perfectly with OKC. Camby's length caused problems for the Thunder players trying to drive to the hoop and Wallace played Durant about as good as anyone in the league. Put Batum and Wallace on the floor together and the Trail Blazers could switch the pick and roll at will and not lose a step. But those two are gone and while Portland got better for the future, the present doesn't seem as rosy when it comes to matching up with Oklahoma City. Batum moves back to the three and he'll have Durant all to himself. What bothers KD is physicality, which Crash played to a tee. Nic is more of a finesse defender, using his length and agility to swarm defenders and catch them from behind for rejections but stronger players like LeBron and Carmelo have been known to bully him around. Watch this matchup closely as I think it will determine the outcome. Which player plays the more physical brand of basketball? If its Batum, Portland will be in good shape. But while Nic is preoccupied with KD, that means someone else is going to have to stick with Westbrook. Normally the Blazers could leave Crash on KD and let Batum roam on either Harden or Westbrook and lock either one of those two up. But now it will be up to Ray and Nolan to keep Westbrook from penetrating the lane. Not only does Russ average 6.2 free-throw attempts per game (KD: 7.7, Harden 6.1) but Portland is paper thin up front until Thabeet is able to suit up (Bucks on Tuesday?). If the Trail Blazers can keep their bigs out of foul trouble, this one should go down to the wire.

    Trail Blazers At Thunder Highlights

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  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 03/17/2012 10:41 PM

    Save our Sonics, dunt, dunt, dunt-dunt-dunt, SAVE OUR SONICS!!
    Seattle drafted Kevin Durant, not Oklahoma. We need to whoop these midwest Fakers.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 03/17/2012 10:55 PM

    That reminds me, what's up with the placement of NW Division teams now? Oklahoma is as far away from the Pacific NW, as we are from Mexico. I understand that this season's all crazy schedule wise, but normally we're the only ones up here flying to the end of creation and back, just to play a division rival.

    Yes, Vancouver BC moved to Memphis.
    They moved Minnesota into our division.
    Then OKC carjacked the Sonics (break yo-self foo!).
    But after every things said and done, it'd be much easier to move the Blazers back into the conference against all the California teams (4), then just shove Phoenix into a Mountain or Southern Division, then you can have a Midwest Division. Basically, I'm just sick of watching the Blazers vs Nuggets. I just can't stand the Nugs since they dropped their old uniform for Easter egg colors. 
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. Niki C
    Niki C
    Posts: 12

    Posted 03/18/2012 1:15 AM

    We got cheated with that goal tend call. That game was ours. We really should be ahead 2-0. No matter, whats done is done. Lets see another game like Chicago and stick it to OKC. 

    Lets go, Blazers, lets go!
    I am a fan of Keeping the Lakers out of the playoffs. And the EPIC Kobe fit that ensues.
  1. kenny c.
    kenny c.
    Posts: 418

    Posted 03/18/2012 1:40 AM

    Ha Ha Tobyus, you are funny - great posts
    I am a fan of Winning
  1. freddead
    freddead
    Posts: 321

    Posted 03/18/2012 12:49 PM

    this here be the test peeps if they win this ill start believen we can make the playoffs
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  1. UKBlazersFan
    UKBlazersFan
    Posts: 2

    Posted 03/18/2012 1:21 PM

    Ive got a feeling this one could go either way. The Thunder could be horrible like their last four home performances and we might play well and get the win. However, the outcome I tgink is slightly more likely is that we get beaten. I just get the feeling that OKc have had their bad games and their kick-up-the-butt moments already and they simply got bored of being so good. So, therefore, i expct us to be overmatched in this one. Prediction: Thunder 113-99 Blazers
    I am a fan of The Blazers, of course!
  1. brendanbrad
    brendanbrad
    Posts: 2

    Posted 03/18/2012 3:07 PM

    If the blazers play with the same energy and passion that they showed against Chicago, they will come out winners. Teams always seem to play with energy in their first game with a new head coach. If the blazers can continue to feed of of Coach K's energy, they have a legitimate chance to win this game. If they win this one, I think this team will get the 8th playoff spot out west. Winning back-to-back road games against Chicago and OKC is a very difficult thing to do.
    I am a fan of
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 03/18/2012 9:20 PM

    Blazers laundrymat will be busy. Can't imagine how smelly those road jerseys will be after this long road trip.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. D_pickett
    D_pickett
    Posts: 726

    Posted 03/18/2012 9:30 PM

    Cut out that first quarter and it's a tie game. Even in the loss, I was way happier with what I saw than I have been for a while. Much better play from the Blazers as a team. If Nic and LA had both had a better game, that was a Blazer win.

    Now let's see the team bring it back to the RG and start fighting for that playoff spot.
    I am a fan of
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/18/2012 10:16 PM

    Great games from everyone besides Nic and LA. Those two just seem so hit and miss lately. Aldridge was only 6-19 and Batum only takes 7 shots? I like the 6 rebounds for Nico, but my biggest peeve about him is his lack of aggressiveness. Some nights he demands the ball and looks like the second-coming of Pippen. But then on nights like this, he's the invisible man. Minutes and role are no longer excuses and for the remaining 21 games, I want to see Nic step up and own it out there like we have seen him do before.
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  1. freddead
    freddead
    Posts: 321

    Posted 03/18/2012 10:19 PM

    ive decided okc is the biggest band wagon state ever and once all there stars leave they'll probably never be good again but i dont think the blazers gave up they played tuff i think they would have won that game if it was in the garden
    I am a fan of
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/18/2012 10:37 PM

    Post-Game Quotes:
    Coach Kaleb Canales on his thoughts about the game-

    “Well, we gave up a 31-point quarter and we came back and we responded. We knew they were going to come out aggressive, especially after a home loss. We talked about withstanding that first punch and I think we probably could have scored a little more and not dug ourselves so deep of a hole; you’ve got to give them (the Thunder) credit.” 

    Coach Canales on making runs but not being able to take the lead-
    “They’re the best team in the West for a reason. They’re very good at home, we just couldn’t put consecutive sequences of runs together and they (the Thunder) did a very good job of responding. I thought we competed and I thought we played together, but I think we can shoot the ball better.”
    Ray Felton on being the team facilitator-
    “That’s my comfort zone; pushing the ball down the court and finding guys, being aggressive with my shots and being aggressive getting to the rim…I think everybody is just playing together. We’re all committed that no matter what the outcome is, we’re going to play hard and we’re going to play our game. I think the game is much more fun that way. We’re just going to continue to fight. I feel like we’re going in the right direction. We lost this game tonight, but I feel like we’re going in the right direction. It wasn’t an embarrassing game, like in New York, or one of those games like that. We lost tonight, but they had to fight. They had to play hard to beat us. That’s the way we want to play.”
    Jamal Crawford on the direction of the team-

    “I feel good about where we are going. Eight of our next ten are at home and we will get a chance to make up some ground. I think Minnesota lost tonight, so that’s one of the teams that’s in front of us…we have time. We dug ourselves in a hole, obviously, with what we went through the last three weeks, but now it’s time to make a comeback.” 





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  1. flyroy69
    flyroy69
    Posts: 64

    Posted 03/18/2012 10:53 PM

     I love the fact that we have a coach on the sidelines that show some emotions through the game, and the ability to relate with the players on their level. Hes not just a dictator of the same old plays, improved ball movement and player rotation kept them close in this game, but with the Thunder having a much deeper bench and losing 3 of the last five games, wanted this game just a bit more. Our young players are showing great promise and I am really glad to see them all get some much deserved playing time. With the brutal road trip out of the way, it will be nice to get the home for the next 8 of ten and get some much deserved home support.
    I am a fan of A VERY SPECIAL 2013-2014 SEASON!
  1. freddead
    freddead
    Posts: 321

    Posted 03/18/2012 11:58 PM

    i love the fact coach K cant sit on the bench shows love for the game
    I am a fan of
  1. BDawg
    BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 03/19/2012 5:30 AM

    Never a good thing to drop a game, but as I've maintained...for me it's more about being competitive, and for 48 minutes.  Body language is a fairly accurate indicator as to whether the team is engaged and to me it looked as if they were last night.  The team looked like a team playing a seventh straight game on the road.  Crawford in particular wanted this one...a very healthy sign. 

    Agree with D_pickett with regard to NIc and LA and with freddead and coach K^.  This game illustrates why Nic is still nowhere near where he needs to be though, and why I don't believe LA is anything more than a very good second option.  That said, the Blazer's 14th and 15th points came on a very nice post play by LaMarcus...something that has been noticeably absent this season vs last.  My question remains...How does this franchise go about getting a Batman to lead Robin and Batgirl in this market and without giving either up to do so?
    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
  1. lrac
    lrac
    Posts: 29

    Posted 03/19/2012 10:18 AM

    i am not sure whether thrilla is back in shape but i sure do hope so but i  feel like ray felton is in shape and is playing pretty well so i don't think we should let him leave if he continues like that. anyone with me or should we let him go because he has played badly the first half of the season?
    I am a fan of
  1. kenny c.
    kenny c.
    Posts: 418

    Posted 03/19/2012 10:48 AM

    I'm with you on the felton idea, I think the last half of this season we should see him where he was at in NY and Denver, at least I'm hoping.
    I am a fan of Winning
  1. uprised
    uprised
    Posts: 136

    Posted 03/19/2012 12:48 PM

    Holy flip-flop Batman.  The front court is playing terrible and the guards are carrying the Blazers.  Nic's athleticism was completely overwhelmed by a legitimate star in KD, and he continues to pass up anything except a wide open jump shot, or a path to the rim that you can drive a truck through.  If 40 minutes, a guaranteed contract, and no competition for his starting position can't put some heart and backbone in this guy, nothing will.
    I am a fan of winning
  1. thejoma
    thejoma
    Posts: 2

    Posted 03/19/2012 2:22 PM

    Joel is getting there.  I truly hope he stays with the team for next season.  He is one of those players whose number do not reflect his value.  He is also an enforcer which the Blazers need. Listen up management: you will lose more than one fan if you let the Thrilla loose again!
  1. Posted 03/19/2012 2:42 PM

    I place the blame for this season on Felton. The Blazers started the year playing well, then lost a few close games, their confidence, and quit on the coach. Throughout all that Felton was awful, and there was no back-up point guard because the only other options were young guys not ready and a shooting guard, Crawford. Felton having an average year would have really helped the team, and we'd still be in the playoffs. He's been that terrible.
  1. D_pickett
    D_pickett
    Posts: 726

    Posted 03/19/2012 11:31 PM

    I'm gonna ignore that last comment because, not only do I disagree with the entire thing, this isn't even the right topic under which to post that.

    What I wanted to say was that I think my biggest take-away from this game was Nolan Smith's offensive game. Earlier this season, he earned some minutes with good pressure D, and that was great to see. But I'm just more and more impressed with his ability to score from so many places. He doesn't look like a rookie at all when he looks to score.
    I am a fan of
  1. freddead
    freddead
    Posts: 321

    Posted 03/20/2012 1:04 AM

    are younger guys really do look promising when you look at them elliot and nolan anyways i like babbit but most of you seem not to the kids gonna be a good player hes not afraid to mixit up with the big guys he rebounds well every time ive seen him on the court
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