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- Bruce Ely / The Oregonian
When I asked Orlando during the pre-game jump about what Stotts was doing to get his players to take better care of the basketball, he said he felt like Stotts was making those adjustments. Clearly, Portland didn't get the message or make the necessary adjustments. Portland turned the ball over 19 times to Cleveland's 8 - simply inexplicable. More leaving the ground to pass the ball, only to have nowhere to go but into the opponents hands. There is no excuse for being that careless with the basketball, that often.
Shooting woos returned as everyone but Batum shot a combined 22% from the field by the close of the first half. Yet for all of Batum's effort to keep the Blazers in the game, his net effort was hardly impressive with 7 first half turnovers, and 9 in total. There were even more that didn't get credited to Batum that he had a part in.
Rebounding was as poor in the first half as the Blazers, specifically Hickson, allowed way too many offensive boards by not boxing out. I don’t like calling out specific players, but it happened to Hickson 4 times in the first half. Portland performed much better in the second half, but the 12 first half turnovers were just too overwhelming. When will the Blazers get fed up with playing from behind and start taking care of the ball?
I am really disappointed that Olshey has allowed our starters to play extreme minutes and get banged up, while doing nothing to address the completely inadequate bench play. Portland's bench finished with 11% shooting, 2-18 from the field, and 1 basket in each half. Maybe running stairs before the game isn't the answer. And it is not simply the missed shots: the lack of awareness to get back on defense, taking shots that starters should be taking, and a general lack of ability to keep from sliding further in the hole. If Stotts is going to leave the starters in the game, they need the basketball. Whatever happened to going to the play that works over, and over, until the defense and opposing coach forces a change?
Overall, this is just another loss. As a fan, I appreciate the second half effort. Where's that effort for both halves? There's only so much the players can learn from starting out slow and cold, playing from behind, making a comeback, and playing in close game. It's nearly half way into the season, and it's time Portland started playing with a lead.
3 games away from the half way mark...Hold on tight. I don't think Olshey is going to make any moves till after this season is over. I don't blame him, because there isn't much you can do to help this roster with out damning the "Core" by trading away pieces of them."Free Agency and they Draft are going to be how we build this team" from his own lips...Honestly, 5-5 after 10 games in 16 days. With 6 on the road, 4 "Back-2-Backs", and against 6 +.500 teams. After not even 1 whole season under there belt together as a team. I'll take that. No changes need to be made this season. I can't wait to see what Olshey does in Free Agency this year.I also am glad that the next 10 days involve no flights. Just practice and some home cooking.
These losses are getting harder to watch. This is a game we should have won easily and I'm afraid until we get some bench production, we're going to see more of these! Turnovers!!!!! What is up with all these turnovers? Nic almost had a triple double with his turnovers as one of the stats...never a good thing. Kyrie Irving outplayed Damian Lillard in this game.
@ devon I don't think Olshey will do anything either. My concern is less with the loss, and more so with the injuries incured from running our starters into the ground 40 minutes a game. LA's wrist had to be taped the second half of the game. Putting that many miles on the starters is going to hurt Portland in the long run. I'm just glad that LA hasn't publicly been negative as Kevin Love has been for years, and even Dirk was this year. I'd honestly rather see us play the starters play 30 minutes a game, and have our bench play real minutes and lose games. Olshey isn't doing the Blazers any favors right now by waiting it out, and neither is Stotts by running the starters into the ground. I don't blame Stotts though. It's his job to win. I don't see the big picture Olshey. He has this team built for the lottery. So either tell Stotts to reduce the starters minutes, or get them some help.
I don't understand the turnovers. It they players are physically and mentally fatigued, reduce their minutes. Nearly 40 turnovers in the last 2 games. I would be ok with 30-35% shooting and playing the bench real minutes if they could cut those silly mental mistakes in half.
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