sarahhecht

Jan 20

Road Review: Riding The L-Train Through Toronto

By sarahhecht Posted in: Blazers, Raptors
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!

PORTLAND 94, TORONTO 84

First Quarter

Loved: Marcus Camby’s rebounding

After missing three games with an ankle injury Marcus Camby made his presence known right out of the gate in Toronto. He pulled down nine rebounds in nine minutes in the opening frame while helping to dominate the post. His contributions to controlling the paint helped the Trail Blazers earn 14 of their 27 points from down low.

It’s clear Camby’s absence was detrimental to the Trail Blazers. His occupation of the front court paired with his leadership will both be positives going forward.  

Loathed: Early turnovers

The first quarter was fairly solid all the way around. The early blip was turnovers. Five on the period, led to six of Toronto’s 14 points. Had we limited those buckets the 13-point lead could have been much larger, though I’m not complaining about the double-digit hold over the Raptors.

Second Quarter

Loved: LaMarcus Aldridge

Hey Toronto, you should probably double-team LaMarcus Aldridge. Or not...

Toronto just couldn’t contain him LA. He followed up his 12-point first with an 11-point second. That’s the first half performance I’ve been waiting for. Aldridge had a double-double after two quarters adding 11 rebounds to his 23-points. Until now, this season has been a second-half battle for Aldridge who hasn’t been able to find a rhythm until the third.

If he can come out strong again tomorrow in Detroit, I’d say he’ll have destroyed the notion he’s a second half player.

Loathed: Raptors fans booing their team

I understand being frustrated with your team. The Raptors are 4-11. They fell down 21 while at home and it’s disappointing. But booing your team? No, thanks. Not ever.

Third Quarter

Loved: Raymond Felton

Struggling from the field has been an issue for point guard Raymond Felton. But tonight he seemed to break out of his funk. He shot 6-of-9 from the floor for 14 points with ten of those points coming in the third. Two huge three-pointers helped extend the dwindling Portland lead to 11 to end the period. More importantly, they emphasized control.

Loathed: Allowing Toronto back into the game

When you carry a 15-point lead into the half and you’ve dominated the game there’s no excuse for not slamming the door. This game should’ve been over by the end of the third quarter. Instead Portland allowed Toronto to go on a 19-4 run (including the end of the second half) and narrow the lead to just five.

I don’t know if it was a mental deterioration at the break, or simply an overconfidence. Either way, the Trail Blazers needed to take advantage of their first half hard work and put the game out of reach for the Raptors, but the didn’t.

Fourth Quarter

Loved: THIRTY-THREE AND TWENTY-THREE!

WOWZA, LaMarcus Aldridge! It was a career night for the big guy who posted an incredible line and set a new personal rebounding record. Thirty-three points, 23 rebounds, five assists, two steals, 12-of-25 from the floor.

That’s an All-Star performance. Not much more you can say.

Loathed: Another run by Toronto

The Trail Blazers outplayed the Raptors in most aspects of tonight’s game. That’s not to say there weren’t periods where Toronto made things interesting. They made multiple runs to narrow Portland’s leads and stay in the game. The last of which came midway through the final quarter to bring them within eight.

This is one more example of Portland needing to maintain control in games. This one was never out of sight, but it should have been decided much earlier than it was.

Overall Impressions

We’re back on track. Sure, it took beating a struggling Raptors team and will hopefully continue against another down team in Detroit, but it’s done. A 3-3 road trip is within reach and in the end that’s a successful outcome.

The biggest take-away from Toronto for me is the virtually instantaneous growth of Aldridge. Not always the most vocal leader, he called a players only meeting following the loss in Atlanta and that action seems to have changed him. He knows this Trail Blazers team looks to him to not only by example, but through words as well. Tonight he did just that.

And Portland was successful.

3 Comments

  1. Sorry Sarah but I believe that fans have every right to boo their team. People pay their hard earned money to go to a game to be entertained by their team. If the performance is not what it should be, then they have the right to express their displeasure in the performance. I'll admit that I have booed the Blazers before and it's because they didn't play the way I know they were capable of playing. Besides, I traveled over 100 miles to see them and they totally underperformed and I had to let mt frustration out as a disappointed fan. To me it was unacceptable because it was a type of game they should've won.

    by blazerdarren77 on 1/20/2012 9:58 PM
  2. Respectfully disagree on the above comment. Not arguing, just disagreeing. Personal opinion, why buy a ticket and then boo your team? Seems to me if it truly is your team, the best reaction is to cheer when they do something right, not boo when they do something wrong....... lol and of course if it goes really bad keep knocking those beers back. But then again I am a big believer in positive reinforcement. You can boo from the couch all you want, but if you buy a ticket, and end up booing, I'd say that is wasted money. But what do I know? I go to games for the experience and atmosphere. After all, it can't end in a win every night.

    by Olallie on 1/20/2012 10:36 PM
  3. Miss Sarah: I love the game because we won. I got to listen to Mike and Mike I loved that too. I got to watch more of the second unit and I loved that. I think with some playing time of Smith and Smith Batum, Crawford and Thomas can be come a very good unit and could give the starters more rest. I don't remember how long they were on the floor but they didn't give up any of the lead and Nolan Smith kept pressure on the ball that made things difficult for Toronto.
    I also loathed giving the big lead back, although I was sure The Blazers would let them back in the game. Although I never felt like the game was in Jeopardy

    I don't like fans booing the players either. I think it is very childish and rude. In fact I would cheer Toronto for putting in such an effort.

    by Hg on 1/20/2012 11:25 PM
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