blazerfanatic7's Blog

blazerfanatic7

Mar 14

Rip City Rampage

By blazerfanatic7
Entering tonight's game against the Raptors, who are constantly fighting for a playoff spot, the Blazers were coming off a pleasant sweep in Northern California. Portland may only be in 8th place, however, their level of play the last four games has been pretty efficient. Whether it was the defensive scramble against the Kings in the Rose Garden on the ninth, or offensive scoring powerhouse in Oakland to end a horrible drought of nine straight losses in Golden State territory, the Trailblazers will not let up. While at times the energy is not extremely high, Portland seems to always find a rhythm in crucial situations enabling them to be very effective in their last four appearances.
 
With that said, it explains how 3-point shooting against Toronto was miraculously spot on as Nicolas Batum nailed 5 shots from downtown; Mike Barrett had stated that the Blazers needed to finish with 110 points for a victory, he was shockingly close because they ended with 109 thanks to their long distance baskets. Fortunately, Aldridge was dominant in the first quarter; he needed that 14-point 8 rebound stretch because he lost his accuracy and scored a slim 8 points the three following quarters. As for Roy, his performance was average; usually 20 points is successful but when the standards are set as high as Brandon's are, he is expected to be phenomenal. In addition to Batum, Aldridge, and Roy, players Miller, Fernandez and Camby proved their worth; all three finished with 12-plus points while Camby added to his slide show of jaw dropping blocks. So yes, six Blazers scored double digits which is abnormally high; it is also something Nate Mcmillan should be very proud of.
 
On the other side of the ball, the defense started out practically non-existent; the Raptors scored an astonishing 74% shooting percentage, yet the Blazers held a lead after one. As the minutes continued, Portland stepped into a nice groove ending the half up by eleven as the score was 60-49. Chris Bosh was key in keeping Toronto in reach during the second half; he was the game-high scorer with 28 points and was a threat to create baskets that lead to spurts of offense. At the end of the third, it was a 7-point Blazer lead which ultimately is nice but does not knock off Portland's opponent or their hopes. Toronto steadily broke down the Portland lead, they went on a 11-2 run nearly tying the game in quarter number four; however, "almost" or "nearly" just doesn't cut it.
 
Batum had a game altering block that moved momentum in the Rip City's favor annihilating any high spirited hopes for the Raptors. With the essential drained 3 point plays by Batum, the Blazers extended their scoring and controlled the rest of the outing. Defensively, they improved dramatically from the first quarter and slowly declined their scoring while still passing the 100 mark. It was impressive and a more than "decent" win at home vs. the Raptors; everyone in the Rose city is pleased and thus continues our four game streak as the playoff bound Blazers now have a 4 day break. Let the rampage continue and hopefully keep on rolling right into postseason play; at the end of the day, all is well for Portland and they wiggle that much deeper into contention sitting calmly at the 8th spot.
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