Blazers do enough to beat the Pelicans
For a stretch in the fourth, LaMarcus Aldridge seemed like he could hit everything – and I kept sighing and shaking my head, feeling like he was doing it just because I said he couldn’t in the preview. Then, of course, I looked at the box score, and sure he nough, he was 11-25 from the field for 25 points. I guess stringing together four makes wipes out 14 misses from my mind.
In the end, it wasn’t really Aldridge that won the game at all, but strong bully-ball from Wes Matthews – clever early offense drives my Lillard – and key turnovers from the Pelicans that turned into fast breaks. Oh, and Anthony Davis really struggling with that back. He was game, he played hard, but he shot the ball moving towards the basket exactly four times all night. Considering he usually gets half his offense on pick and rolls, putbacks and drives, that’s pretty telling. He was settling for jumpers, didn’t get the same coverage in the paint on multiple dives by the Trailblazers, and generally struggled to rebound. Hope his back is fine after that monster shove in the back by Mo Williams in the fourth.
- Aminu continues to show nice pacing instincts when on the move in the paint. Ajinca was clever sliding to space, and he found him a half-dozen times. He’s a four.
- Ajinca again played well against a lumbering center. How much is a center worth who can play well against about 1/3rd of the league?
- Tyreke really struggled against Batum tonight as the Frenchman did a good job anticipating drives and cutting him off. Evans best moments came in transition or against Wes Matthews.
- Darius Miller played half that game. I would have guessed 8 minutes. One shot, one rebound, one steal, one assist, one turnover, 3 fouls for Miller.
- Speaking of fouls, the Pelicans only committed 19! They still committed 2 more than the Blazers, but that’s amazing!
- Austin Rivers played well tonight – getting into it in the paint and helping box out for other people to grab rebounds.(he only got 1 himself) However, it seems his court vision, always a weakness, has escaped him. He keeps missing open players.
- The Pelicans went really small in the end to get back into the game and it almost paid off. For about 4 minutes they ran AD-Tyreke-Ammo-Rivers-Roberts. It did cost them a couple times on the boards.
- Roberts seems to have recovered from his knee issues.
Ryan Anderson goes into surgery Tuesday. We all wish him the best.