The Blazers beat the Hornets

Published: November 29, 2008

I really shouldn’t complain too much about the game tonight. A 2-1 result on this road trip was about as good as I had hoped for. Beating the Nuggets last night was a nice surprise, but taking out the Blazers in Portland on a segababa is a lot to ask. The Rose Garden is a tough place to steal one.

Our guys held tight for about 30 minutes tonight, despite some hot three-point shooting by the home team. But the energy was with the Blazers all night long, and it finally broke open for them in the second half, when they ripped off a 17-0 run spanning the third and fourth to put the game away.

Let’s get to some bullets. I had some people over (gotta share that League Pass), so there’s probably a lot I missed tonight. Feel free to chip in with your take in the comments.

  • What was once our strength has often been our weakness this season. By that I mean Chris Paul dominating the ball on offense. Defenses couldn’t keep it out of his hands last year and that was always a good thing for us. But now it might be the biggest cause of our horribly static offense. We depend much too much on him probing and creating shots for others, and he struggled doing that tonight because, once again, his teammates were busy standing still on the perimeter. Not good.
  • Gotta give credit to Portland for the D on Chris, too. They doubled him in the backcourt after every made field goal for most of the game. Denver tried something similar last night but they got burned because we had a bunch of guys on fire. Not so much tonight. Peja was our only consistent scoring threat out there, finishing with 21 points on 8-14 shooting. That’s his season-high.
  • West struggled. He got a lot of attention on D, so no big surprise that he shot 5-15 and scored just 10 points. I can’t be mad at him for those offensive struggles, but I really wish dude could have a positive impact on a game even when his scoring is taken away. But no. His rebounding continues to be woeful (3 boards tonight, averaging 6.6 now on the season), and I can’t remember the last time he had a good defensive game. His passing out of those double teams is always wince-inducing, too.

  • Note to the Blazer announcers: Tyson Chandler is not a big-time shot blocker. He’s not a big-time anything right now.
  • What was with that bar chart they showed at halftime? Hornets: 6 turnovers. Blazers: 6 turnovers. But the Blazers bar was longer? What, were their six turnovers better than ours?
  • Brandon Roy was great. 25 points, 10 assists, 6 boards. He can do it all, and he makes great decisions with the ball in his hands. As Mikey put it, “he out-Chris Pauled Chris Paul tonight.”
  • For his next trick, Sean Marks will hit a three in your face. (And then he’ll proceed to miss his next two jumpers, but whatever.)
  • Speaking of the bench, they weren’t horrible tonight. Posey gave us a real nice scoring punch in the first half, Hilton gave us 8 points and 3 boards (and a turnover), and JuJu was nice in very limited minutes. Devin Brown had his second straight bad game, shooting 1-8 FGs tonight. You love that he takes it hard to the rack, but sometimes that’s just not there for him. Dev also got burned by Roy numerous times on the defensive end, but holding that dude down is a lot to ask of anyone.
  • Can we please stop complaining to the refs so much? Sure, there were plenty of bad calls in the game tonight, but barking at the officials makes things worse, not better. Apparently the Blazers announcers commented that the Hornets complain more than any other team in the League, and it’s hard to disagree with that. I wish we’d just shut up and play. Our biggest problems have nothing to do with the refs.
  • CP and Tyson both had 6 rebounds tonight. So that’s three times in the last four games that our shortest player has led the team in rebounds. Hmm.

Alright, back home we go. We actually get to rest up until next Wednesday, when the Suns roll into town. Steve Nash sat out their game against Miami today with a bruised right thigh. We’ll have to keep an eye on that.

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