Blazers do enough to beat the Pelicans

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Published: April 6, 2014
Game Recap Lose 1

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.

Observations

  • 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.

7 comments
xman20002000
xman20002000

Well the Blazers are one of the most successful teams this season and a definite contender... We lost the game due to poor PG play among other reasons...  Rivers is a vast improvement and remains the youngest player on the team along with AD.... the latter who insists on finishing the season with a bang despite the obvious fact of physical limitations...

So who do we keep of the free agents with Miller and Roberts restricted FA.. and Aminu, Smith, Stiemsma and Morrow unrestricted the latter a player's option...

Morrow has proven a keeper especially on the leadership and scoring side..  Gordon to me one of our most efficient players despite public criticism.. How will Holiday's return impact the back court..  Do we move Anderson if we can get Osik..  Should Roberts move on or stay...  Aminu is a keeper... Who will Demps bring in and incidentally.... Demps/Williams are accomplishing their goals of rebuilding..

Steven J
Steven J

In a perfect world Roberts and Morrow are here next year. Especially Morrow. I'd dish out some money for Morrow but not too much for Roberts. Roberts actually seemed to play better and better throughout the season. I almost wish we would have sat AD last game, and I hope we sit him the next game. He's obviously being overworked and he needs a rest. Though Aldridge was 11-25 from the field that obviously doesn't do him justice. We had no answer for him. In my eyes he's the best mid-range shooting PF in the league "not counting Ryno." Who knows with Darius Miller, seems like he's just getting his confidence, but he has to work on his shot selection. If Austin Rivers confidence can grow like that and he can take the shots they give him we could work with that. If not, then he's a poor poor poor mans Tyreke lol

Nithenz
Nithenz

If Im nor wrong, Roberts started his 41st game last night. Guess the QO will jump to the 3M i think i read here. I dont think he will get that much, hope he signs a cheaper deal with us as our 4th guard. In a limited role, his shooting (mid range, long range and FT) and heart will be a good thing to have.  

504ever
504ever

I am curious how Rivers "played well" tonight.  At one point, end of the 3rd quarter(?), he was 1-5 from the field and 1-2 from the line.  His missed were on drives (same old same old) and he got blown by by both Matthews and Lillard.  He did finish the game better shooting wise, but his other box score numbers were 1s for assists, steals, turnovers, and fouls in 24 minutes of play.

Morrow played very well and Aminu played well. Rivers? Not so much even though playing minutes against back-ups.

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

Each of our guards had their pocket picked in the space of 3-4 minutes, and that pretty much cost us the game.  It did not seem like great defense from Portland, more like carelessness on our part each time. 

Aminu was the difference maker in this game.  His rebounding and passing was key.  I'd like to see him backing up Davis and Anderson next year, and available as an emergency 3 against LeBron or in case of injury.

Ajinca does seem like one answer to that specific type of center, but I still want a true banger on the team as well for the playoffs.  I also want Ajinca to keep oimproving his foul rate.

 At least the game was entertaining due to the late scoring by Morrow and Roberts.

Pay to keep Morrow!  We will still need one more 3-point specialist, but he has earned his spot on next year's roster.  I hope it is ours.

I could not believe the quote from the TV crew saying that Portland has only used 2 different starting lineups this year.   What a far-off dream for the Pelicans.....

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

@504ever I agree totally.....When this team is healthy, he should be a fourth or  fifth guard on this team.....He has to change his approach to the game....stop being a shot first guard and look to set guys up...and by all means develop his left hand and a mid range shot...........

504ever
504ever

I feel like Rivers gets a pass no one else on the team gets (except possibly Withey) cause Rivers is a 10th pick who people want to work out.  He is finishing his second year in the league and has a PER of 11.  How much better can he get?  Historically, how much better do 1st round picks with second year PERs of 11 get?