sarahhecht

Jan 21

Road Review: Downed In Detroit To End Roadie

By sarahhecht Posted in: Blazers, Pistons
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!

DETROIT 94, PORTLAND 91

First Quarter

Loved: Nicolas Batum finding an early rhythm

In his first start this season Nicolas Batum definitely made his presence known. Determined to make his first 12 minutes count, Batman shot 50 percent from the field and drained two free throws for ten points. But his impact was more than just a scoring punch. He pulled down three big boards and spent the quarter covering the floor. His energy bursts made it seem like he was everywhere, a needed kick for the tired legs of his teammates.

Loathed: Early fouls on both bigs

LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby both got themselves into early foul trouble. You may think one or two of the calls were questionable, but even if they were, they still happened. You have to adjust to how calls are being made, it’s part of the game. And you absolutely can’t rack up two fouls with six minutes left in the opening quarter. Luckily, both of these bigs were able to keep their fouls in check for the rest of the game.

Second Quarter

Loved: Expanding the rotation

Eleven Trail Blazers saw minutes in the second quarter. Outside of Nate McMillan’s normal rotation Nolan Smith, Luke Babbitt and Chris Johnson joined the mix. They held their own in their limited minutes, but didn’t see enough court time to make any notable contributions.

Why do you think Nate McMillan decided to give the young guns run so early in the game? Whatever his reasoning I like the decision. We have to increase the rotation to make it through this grueling season.

Loathed: Eleven-point halftime deficit

Heading into the half trailing the struggling Pistons was just as much a surprise to me as I assume it was to the Trail Blazers. After controlling the first quarter (though the score didn’t reflect it) Portland’s defense started to fall apart. Detroit was easily able to get inside for simple buckets and left the Trail Blazers’ heads spinning as they walked to the locker room.

Third Quarter

Loved: LaMarcus Aldridge putting his game face on

Coming out of the half LA found a second wind, albeit a temporary one. He shot 3-of-4 from the floor and sank two free throws for a total of eight points. He was the main reason the Pistons weren’t able to crack this one open to an even more absurd lead.

Loathed: Defense

Interior defense AND perimeter defense were ugly in the third. Tired legs shouldn’t be an excuse for defending the inside. Not getting out to the perimeter when you’re dogged is one thing, but that’s the time when you park inside and lock down the middle. Portland did neither of these and Detroit was able to extend their lead to 13 at one point.

Fourth Quarter

Loved: LaMarcus Aldridge going left

There is one specific moment from the final period that makes me smile. Aldridge backed his man toward the basket and took the ball hard to the rim while going left. LEFT! We’ve heard about him working on it during the offseason, and I know he’s done it before. But tonight it stood out as a brilliant moment in an otherwise stress-inducing ball game.

Loathed: Failure to take advantage of Detroit’s cold spell

The Pistons scored 21 points in the final quarter, their fewest of any period on the night. Trailing by only four at the open, Portland kept it close and looked to take the lead a few times to no avail. In the end this was another story of the Trail Blazers failing to take advantage of a team when they were playing their worst basketball of the evening.

Overall Impressions

This was not the outcome Rip City was looking for tonight.

A 3-3 end to a long road trip would’ve been comforting after a tough start to the swing. But 2-4 is a little tougher to swallow. Following a strong start to the year the Trail Blazers needed greater success on this roadie to feel more comfortable as they hit the meat of an incredibly difficult January.

Now it’s on to a back-to-back-to-back starting at home on Monday to finish the final five games of the month. Let’s get back on track in the Rose Garden.

2 Comments

  1. Hey Miss sarah: in spite of it being a lost, I thought we played a pretty decent game. beings as how it was a sixth game on a road trip and the Blazers had Home cooking on their mind LOL.
    We do have to adjust to the way the game is called, and we did that after they took us out of our game with fouls on us and the same foul on the other end wasn't called. But that is the biggest home court advantage. is the home team gets away with fouling more. Nevertheless, that was not why we lost the game. Our inconsistent shooting again was the culprit. If you watch some of the tapes, I think you may see it wasn't necessarily our defense it was a miss on a long bomb that let them run back and they played uptempo to score before the Blazers got set. Does that sound familiar? Detroit has been suffering from injury and they are not as bad as the record shows, Just as I don't believe the Blazers are as bad as their record shows. In our raodie every game was right to the wire and every game could have and some should have been won. they was close enough that I could call them a toss up win or loss.

    I thought we played more of an even tempo tonight without the big highs and the big lows. That will be an improvement in the future. But there is not a team in the NBA except OKC that is doing anything on the road. What do we have? is it 6 losses and three wins. that is not good but since we were in every game it could change around. I think we will go 3-0 on the B2B2B.

    by Hg on 1/21/2012 9:04 PM
  2. Hg - Nuggest just went 4-5 on the road, with an impressive win over the Knicks tonight to cap it off (and a monster heave to tie the game in OT from dear old Dre Miller...!)

    by BlazerLoverInLosAngeles on 1/21/2012 10:37 PM
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