sarahhecht

Jan 13

Road Review: Not Quite Enough In San Antonio

By sarahhecht Posted in: Blazers
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!

SAN ANTONIO 99, PORTLAND 83

First Quarter
Loved: Coming out strong, forcing turnovers

The Trail Blazers did exactly what they needed to in the first quarter of the first game of the first major road trip. They came out strong.

Portland got it started on the defensive end by getting their hands in everybody’s business, mixing it up and forcing turnovers. The bright spots in the first were plentiful: fast breaks, drawing early fouls on Tim Duncan, quick hands and Raymond Felton. He shot 4-of-5, had three steals and dished three dimes. Bit of a make-up game for Ray Ray.

Overall, this was a fun quarter to watch.

Loathed: Giving back TOs

As much as I loved forcing the Spurs into ten turnovers for 13 points, my enthusiasm for the stat was dampened by our 6 turnovers. Tempo was a major factor in the slight lack of ball control, but nonetheless, taking care of the rock is key.

Second Quarter
Loved: Wesley Matthews, solid run to end to the half

Mr. Matthews was the talk of the town in the second. He played every minute, hit his first field goal of the game and shot 5-of-8 for 12 points. The Trail Blazers lost the scoring battle in the quarter 23-16. But without Matthews and a solid run to end the half, Portland wouldn’t have been in a much more uncomfortable position after two.

Loathed: Bench scoring, three-point shooting

The Portland bench scored two points. Two. San Antonio’s bench scored 19. That’s a deal breaker in the NBA. The bench absolutely has to produce, two points won’t cut it, ever. The Spurs shot 47 percent on the quarter to Portland’s 27 percent. Another demonstration of the unbalanced performance of the second.

Third Quarter
Loved: Dimes to LaMarcus

My favorite part of the entire game was in the first few minutes of the third. Felton dished a wicked pass to LaMarcus Aldridge inside and he easily finished at the rim. Within the next few minutes Gerald Wallace had a similar assist with another tight dime in the lane for an Aldridge finish. So pretty. Watching plays like that I can’t help but stare at the TV in awe and thank the basketball Gods for such sweet moments.

Loathed: Inability to take advantage of San Antonio’s cold shooting

This is when the Trail Blazers lost it. San Antonio went cold from the floor and instead of taking advantage, Portland followed suit. Failing to open a lead when opportunity knocked proved perilous in the fourth when they couldn’t weather the run by the Spurs.


Fourth Quarter
Loved: ?

Loathed: Spurs breaking it open

San Antonio went on a 14-0 run at the beginning of the quarter. That coupled with Trail Blazers missing free throws, giving up easy layups to the Spurs and Aldridge getting a fifth personal foul with six minutes left in the game was the recipe for unravelling.

These late mistakes cost Portland a shot at the win.

Overall Impressions

I’m not losing my mind over this one. The Spurs are the toughest team Portland will face on this road trip. With 3-3 being a satisfactory outcome, dropping the first in San Antonio isn’t as big of a deal as one might think.

Putting the loss aside, my major take-away from tonight was the strong start for the Trail Blazers. The guys played good ball through three quarters, the change coming right around the time Aldridge left the game with his fourth personal foul.

It wasn’t until that point, with a lack of a go-to guy on offense, that shot selection got ugly and the Trail Blazers faltered.

Even though the first game didn’t go our way, it wasn’t a disaster.

What stood out to you tonight?

3 Comments

  1. our bench BETTER get it together or it will be a long road trip. Not having Marcus won't make any easier. Lets hope his injury is short live. These day to day status are the types of injuries I dread most.

    by blazerdarren77 on 1/13/2012 11:21 PM
  2. Miss Sarah: If you think about it, when Marcus went down with his injury, Splitter went on his tear and that was where we lost the game. Also, I don't like getting down on players, but when the 2nd unit came in, one player took all the shots and I think it was 10 in a row he missed. That is also when we started settling for jump shots.

    Spurs home record is great and they play great at home. So it wasn't the best way to start a road trip, but we will survive and move on.

    I predicted a win tonight and a lost tomorrow night, so maybe they will switch.

    by Hg on 1/14/2012 12:21 AM
  3. Sarah...I have so many things to say with some being things I have preached in other threads and I wish you would point some of these things out. Ball movement and player movement...we don't have it!!!!!!!! Look at the tapes...the other team have our number now. When Portland is on offence they throw it into to the post (LA) who is usually to far out to begin with because other centers are muscling him out. The person that passes in the ball cuts thru to the baseline into the opposite corner and just stands there...and the other three players off the ball are doing the same...STANDING watching what LA is going to do!!! Now what happens is LA is to far out to take high percentage turnaround jump shots and if he puts the ball on the floor he is double teamed...by that time the clock is getting deep and he has to pass it out for a long perimeter and bad percentage shot!!! Also what this creates is NO OFFENSIVE rebounding since everyone is standing out on the perimeter. Just count how many times a night this scenario happens...once again just watch any tape from any of our games. We have actually been lucky to win some of the ones we did if ya think about it. The Blazers have got to start moving without the ball and tire out the defense...when they run and when the mix the movement up is when we get results. Once again, look at the 1977 team film...watch how they flow on offence and all the options they have. This is why they had SIX players average in double figures which equals WINS!!! We have all the pieces on this Blazer team but we are not utilizing them properly. The only player right now who can create a decent shot anytime is JC but even he has been cold. The shooting HAS to improve and these missed layups and not finishing at the hoop has to stop also. My god, if this team ever gets it together they WILL be very dangerous but right now I see too many holes and the other teams are watching the films and taking advantage of it. The other thing I agree with you the most Sarah is that we had the opportunity to put the pedal to the metal and build a huge lead when the Spurs went cold but alas, we went colder and gained nothing. I just hope they learn from these last two games and start moving the ball and moving themselves. The stand around offence is going to kill us.

    peace out,
    daddy

    by daddylogan on 1/14/2012 12:36 AM
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