Road Review: Rough Night In Phoenix
By sarahhecht Posted in: Blazers, Suns
As the team heads out on the road I’ll share my thoughts on the highs and lows of each quarter and their importance to the game, team and season going forward. Let’s discuss!
PHOENIX 102, PORTLAND 77
Loved: LaMarcus Aldridge creating offense for himself
Watching LMA create his own offense always makes me smile. When teams decide not to double team him, and even sometimes when they do, he will abuse whoever gets the misfortune of his assignment. The way he take the pass then puts the ball on the floor for a couple dribbles... whew, it’s over for his defender. And so fun to watch!
Loathed: Shooting percentage
It was a rough first quarter. Shooting 28 percent from the floor on 7-of-25 shooting is bad. It becomes worse than bad when your opponent shoots 54.2 percent and carries an 11-point lead into the second quarter.
There wasn’t even a chance in this one as the Trail Blazers rounded out the evening shooting only 32.5 percent from the floor to Phoenix’s 46.8 percent.
Loved: Spurts of hustle
There were moments in the second quarter when the legs of the Trail Blazers were a bit quicker. The few plays that could have been momentum changers didn’t roll into any runs, but were enough to keep the Suns from sitting back and getting too comfortable. Glimpses of the Portland basketball we’ve become accustomed to in this short season were there, but unfortunately didn’t stick around.
We racked up four turnovers in the second to add to the six from the first. There were only four TOTAL in last night’s defeat of the Lakers. When you more than double that in the first half of a ball game there’s no doubt things aren’t going as planned.
The Suns ended up earning 21 points on 17 Trail Blazers turnovers. Eliminate those mistakes and this game has a whole different feel and ends with a different victor.
Loved: Forcing turnovers
There was a bit of a spark in the third. We gained a step or two on the Suns for a few plays and in turn forced six turnovers. That’s all I’ve got for the third... I was hoping for a turnaround and didn’t get it. Sad face.
Loathed: Hitting a 20-point deficit
I don’t think I’m alone when I say being down by 20 feels worse than being down by 19. I’m not sure exactly why, but to me there’s a major delineation in how I feel about the game. Like we have a chance to come back, but then you hit that 20-point mark and it’s all downhill. Pull the starters. Call it a night.
Trailing by 20 is for the birds.
Loved: Three blocked shots
The bench got a chance to run in the first “garbage minutes” of the season. While that’s never really a good thing due the the circumstances, it was nice to Nolan Smith, Chris Johnson and Elliot Williams get some burn. And one of the few positives is the extra rest for the starters. Though I’m not sure you can qualify their bench time as “rest,” because I’m sure they were reeling. I know I would be.
Loathed: Final score
Yuck. I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting to get blown out after the two solid performances against the Thunder and the Lakers, but I guess that’s the definition of a trap game, right? They catch you when you least expect it.
Well... yeah. This really isn’t one of those games you can break down and dissect easily because so much went wrong. When you’re faced with one of those games where nothing goes right the reasoning almost becomes intangible. You can’t narrow it down to being beaten in a specific statistical category or to a player or two having an off night. (Well you can, but that doesn’t always explain the feeling of the game.) Instead it becomes more of an overall impression of how the game felt.
For me, tonight was one of those games. From the first few minutes through the final buzzer I didn’t feel the passion. We were a step behind across the floor. And when you’re not feeling it shots aren’t going to fall and you’re not going to win.
The plus side of this condensed schedule is we don’t have to wait long to get back on track.
On to the next. Cleveland on Sunday.