Apr 01

Fernandez, Aldridge and Batum “Establish” For A Victory

By sarahhecht Posted in: LaMarcusAldridge, NicolasBatum, RudyFernandez
Establishment. Aggression. Paint. Scoring.

In the second half of the Trail Blazers 98-91 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland came out and performed exactly as Head Coach Nate McMillan requested.

They established themselves. “It comes down to defending, rebounding the ball and scoring,” said McMillan.

The aggression came in the form of Rudy Fernandez. From his monster put-back dunk in the first half to the hustle plays of the second Rudy was everywhere. The drive he brought to the court was infectious to teammates and you could watch the feeling spread to his teammates. They were going to push this one to the end.

 McMillan praised the acrobatic guard for his contributions, “We needed to get aggressive, we needed to get closer to them, get into the ball defensively. I thought Rudy came out again tonight and established that for us, getting pressure on the ball and we got some guys to respond.”

Aggression established.

While Rudy handled the aggression LaMarcus Aldridge took it upon his shoulders to dominate the interior.  “LaMarcus did a really nice job in establishing the paint,” said McMillan. “We got into the penalty early and we got to the free throw line.”

Aldridge knew exactly what he was doing down low. The management of Kendrick Perkins was his main concern. Closing down the middle was the task he assigned to himself during the half when he realized the Trail Blazers weren’t in control of the ball game.  

Aldridge said of his tactics, “Trying to be aggressive, going to the basket. Trying to force them to either double-team or have to try to clog and get Nic and Wesley open threes and I think that’s what I did, and I tried to force my issue going to the basket.”

Paint established.

The last piece of the establishment trifecta was Nicolas Batum. He blended the efforts of Rudy and LaMarcus to cover both ends of the floor. “I thought Nic was really good at both ends of the floor, defensively as well as offensively and providing some scoring for us,” said McMillan of Batum.

Nicolas helped keep the Trail Blazers in the game with his 14-point first half. The energy he demonstrated  from end to end and with a put-back slam of his own infected his teammates in the push for the win. “We tried to get excited. Put some life on the court, we didn’t have no life in the first half,” said Batum.

Batum credited the Rose Garden crowd as a sixth man in the victory. He said, “The crowd start to get crazy, so able to get crazy. Crowd, coach, players. Start to work and get some fast break points and play good defense and we won.”

Scoring established.

Controlling multiple aspects of the game was the key to victory tonight. And the Trail Blazers established.


  1. Interesting formula here; establishment of aggression + paint + scoring = victory
    Also interesting vids of Rudy's put back slam after a Batum 3 point miss followed by a Batum put back slam of a Rudy 3 point miss. Call it irony or returning the favor or what have you, but nice touch there whether you meant to do that or not.

    by blazerdarren77 on 4/1/2011 10:56 PM
  2. Nice post Sarah, What a great win; loved seeing Nic have a great game and that Rudy slam was awesome! Let's hope we can carry the theme of 'establishment' you expressed here the rest of the way!

    by Anees on 4/1/2011 11:09 PM
  3. Sarah:

    You out did yourself tonight. What a beautiful concept.

    The broadcast crew keeps the crowd noise down during broadcasting, but I could tell they were going wild when Nic made his put back dunk. I told my wife that was going to spark the crowd and the team and they were going to high fly to victory.

    A great game was it not?

    Thanks for you neat slant to the victory.

    by Hg on 4/1/2011 11:40 PM
  4. Mariners won their season opener....wahoo!

    by Tobyus Sanchezo on 4/2/2011 1:53 AM
  5. Sarah, why is there no games scheduled for Monday?

    by Hg on 4/3/2011 4:52 AM
  6. @Hg The NCAA Championships are getting all the love today.

    by sarahhecht on 4/4/2011 9:07 AM
  7. Oh this is where I read the reason there was no games today on your latest post.

    by Hg on 4/4/2011 9:23 AM
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