Friday, December 30, 2011

Blazers Start Season 3-0 With Big Win Against Denver

The Denver Nuggets rolled into town last night to match up against the Blazers and with both teams having started their seasons 2-0 it was someone's time to put a 1 in that loss column.

Starting Fives:

     Portland                                         Denver
Raymond Felton                         D. Gallinari
Wesley Matthews                       Nene
Marcus Camby                           T. Mozgov
Gerald Wallace                          A. Afflalo
LaMarcus Aldridge                   T. Lawson 

Can we start off by completely applauding the hot starts the Blazers have been getting off to? In each game so far the Blazers have been RED hot on both ends of the court. First they completely abuse teams on defense and then use speed and precision to outplay and outsmart their opponents on the offensive end. Tonight we saw electric play from everyone but most notably my pick for player of the game: Wesley Matthews. 

O-LEY! Don't get me wrong, Raymond Felton was also outstanding but I have to pick Wesley because of his clutch play late in the game. Matthews put up 4 of his 5 three pointers in the 3rd quarter (he went 5/8 from beyond the arc) and hustled on both ends of the court. We saw him lose the ball on a messy turnover only to hustle back on defense and steal the ball back. After a somewhat slow start to the game, Wesley was a big part of bringing the Blazers to a win after the team faded in the second half. 

Box Score Look Back:

The Blazers had three players score 20+ points with our player of the game, Mr. Matthews as the high scorer with 25 points, shooting 9/15 from the field with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Raymond Felton put up 23 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists with Jamal Crawford following closely with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace fought fatigue late in the game and ended with 13 points a piece but don't count either out as each posted 5 and 6 rebounds respectively. LaMarcus fought the difficult post play by dishing out 6 assists tonight as well. Also of note: Marcus Camby's defense. He may have only scored 2 points but he recorded 12 rebounds and 3 MONSTER blocks that came at crucial points in the game. Speaking of blocks: apparently Nicolas Batum had the goal of denying Andre Miller a shot tonight because 3 of his 4 blocks were on Dre. 

This new Blazers team is so exciting to watch. We're finally running the floor and playing with intensity on both ends of the court! The Blazers (despite having a scary 25 turn overs compared to Denver's 7) were able to come away with a win 111-102 holding Denver to 23 points in the 4th quarter. It was an exciting game with a great finish as Portland remains undefeated at the Rose Garden. However, I will not completely applaud the Blazers as there are clearly some areas that need to be improved upon. 25 turn overs? Not acceptable guys. We got so lucky tonight that we were able to scrap our way to a win despite that ridiculous number. Also, we definitely need to continue working on closing out games! The guys still are working on getting their game legs, which is understandable but we can't keep letting teams  back in the game during the second half. It makes for exciting but really terrifying games. All in all though, we've seen some amazing game play from this team so far and I for one am really excited to see where we go!

Photo of the Night:
I'm sorry......but it's just perfect. Ex-Blazers Andre Miller and Rudy Fernandez who were looking to get a big win on the road against their former team......were simply CRASHed into a loss so to speak.....Eh? Get it? Crash! Cause...Gerald Wallace.....yeah. 

Looking Ahead:
The Blazers next go on the road for a two game road trip starting in the city of Angels to face the Clippers who are currently 1-1 on the season.

  • Portland has won nine of the past 10 games and 12 of the last 14 against the L.A. Clippers. 
  • The Trail Blazers have defeated the Clippers in five straight Rose Garden meetings and in six of the past seven contests at STAPLES Center.
  • The Clippers have managed to score 100-plus points just once in the last 10 meetings, with Portland hitting triple figures six times in that span.
  • Portland swept last season’s series, 3-0, giving the Trail Blazers their fourth consecutive series win over the Clippers and 21st series victory since the Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984-85. 
  • The Trail Blazers outshot the Clippers from the field (45.5%-41.6%), the 3-point line (44.9%-30.4%) and the charity stripe (79.5%-62.8%) in three games last season.
  • In three series games last season, Portland outscored Los Angeles, 102.0-90.7.
  • Despite outrebounding the Clippers in last season’s three-game series, 135-123, including a 46-42 edge on the offensive end, Los Angeles outscored the Trail Blazers in second-chance points, 53-40.

  • Points in the paint - With the addition of Chris Paul and the continuing improvements from Blake Griffon we will need to keep tight defensively when it comes to letting the Clippers set up post plays. On the other end however it would be so lovely to see LaMarcus Aldridge ABUSE Griffon in the post and get some nice hook shots in the paint.
  • Resist the Third Quarter Burn Out! - So far we have had serious lulls in intensity right before the half and mort importantly later in the third. We take these huge, beautiful leads early in the first half only to get sloppy and allow the opponent to come back and tie. The Blazers won't have the support of a home crowd behind them to will them to a victory. The Clippers are looking at a sell-out crowd who would love nothing more than to see their Clippers get another home win. 
  • Keep It (Not) Sloppy Stupid K.I.S.S! - We have to reduce the turnovers in this game. If we play anything like we did last night with 25 TOs it will simply lead to a Griffon dunk show. We need to take care of the ball on offense and go for the steals and get some runs going from the defensive end. 
The Blazers will take on the Clippers January 1, 2012 at 6:30 PM. You can catch the game on Comcast Sportsnet in the Portland metro area or you can catch the live stream on! Starting January 1, the Trail Blazers will be streaming games for free on their website so you can catch the action regardless of where you live! 

Here's to 4 - 0!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thunder Hits Portland--Up Next Toronto

Thursday night the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled into town to take on the Blazers. This was the first home game after the Blazers successful 3-1 road trip and with OKC being a conference rival it was an important game to say the least.

Starting 5:
LaMarcus Aldridge
Marcus Camby
Nicolas Batum
Andre Miller
Brandon Roy

LaMarcus Aldridge once again was the player of the game. The beard man scored 22 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist. He shot 11-19 from the field. LaMarcus has been one of the most consistent guys on the team! Night after night he is getting the job done and in the first few minutes of the game, he was the only Blazer who scored any points at all. The only thing that I'm not too happy about was that LMA shot 0-0 from the line. I was actually shocked looking at that stat. The L-Train has been doing a much better job at getting to the line but just couldn't get there on Thursday. Brandon Roy had a nice game with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He shot 6-17 from the field and a perfect 6-6 from the line. I have to say though, this game really belonged to Nicolas Batum. Nico has been struggling to keep a rhythm so far but Thursday that rhythm finally came back. He scored 16 points alonf with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Batum was all over the place that night working hard on both the offensive and defensive ends. Nico guarded Kevin Durant for most of the night and though KD was able to score 28 points, he was only 2-5 from beyond the arch, showing that Nicolas made Kevin go to the hoop and work for those points. It was good to see Batum really get back into the swing of things and I hope he's able to take that game and only build on it Saturday.

Box Score:

Oklahoma City won the game 107-106 in OT.

This game was won at the free throw line. Oklahoma City shot 24-26 from the line (92%) and Portland shot 16-20 (80%) with some players (cough, LMA, cough) not making it to the free throw line at all. When a game is won or lost by such a small number I always look at the free throw percentage. In a close game, free throws are HUGE. Next, I look at rebounds. Extra possessions can make or break a game. OKC out-rebounded POR by 9 (47 rebounds to our 38). The Thunder out-rebounded us on the defensive end with 32 to our 23. Those extra possessions allowed Oklahoma to break the Blazers 12 point lead and eventually take the win in OT.

Photo(s) of the Night:
The team officially announced the dedication of this season to Maurice Lucas Thursday night with Lucas' family in attendance.

Homeless Sonics mascot. 

The Blazers next take on the Toronto Raptors at the Rose Garden Saturday night.

• The Trail Blazers have won four straight games in the series, tying for Portland’s longest win streak over Toronto (2002-03). 
• Portland has swept Toronto, 2-0, each of the past two seasons. The Trail Blazers have also won the last three matchups at the 
Rose Garden with the last loss coming Dec. 22, 2006 (101-100 OT). 
• Toronto’s top two scorers (Chris Bosh, 28.0, and Hedo Turkoglu, 19.0) from last year’s season series against Portland are no longer 
with the Raptors. Andrea Bargnani (13.0) averaged the most points against Portland last season among Toronto’s returning players. 
• Four Trail Blazers averaged at least 15 points vs. the Raptors last season. Brandon Roy led the way with a 20.0 scoring average 
while LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Andre Miller each averaged 15.5 points per game. 
• Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani and Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge were selected fi rst and second overall in the 2006 NBA Draft. 
• Brandon Roy logged his fi rst career double-double on Dec. 22, 2006, against the Raptors, with 16 points and 10 rebounds to go 
along with eight assists. 
• Portland shot 51.4 percent (18-35) from 3-point range against Toronto last season. Rudy Fernandez and Nicolas Batum each 
hit six total shots from downtown in two games against the Raptors last year. 
• Portland committed only 18 turnovers against the Raptors in two meetings last season while forcing Toronto into 27 turnovers. 
• With a 105.0 scoring average against Toronto last season, Portland’s average margin of victory over the Raptors was 12.5 points 
in two games last season. 
• Toronto’s last two victories over Portland have both come in overtime. The last time Toronto won a game in regulation against the 
Trail Blazers was Feb. 12, 2006, in Toronto. 
• Marcus Camby was drafted second overall by the Toronto Raptors in 1996. Camby played 126 games in two seasons for Toronto 
while blocking a total of 360 shots. 
• Rudy Fernandez plays on the Spanish National Team with Toronto guard Jose Calderon. Calderon matched the record for assists 
by a Raptor against the Trail Blazers with 13 on Dec. 7, 2008. 
• Toronto guard Jarrett Jack posted 9.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in three seasons with the Trail Blazers from 2005-08. 

ALSO: The Portland Trail Blazers have announced that they signed C Sean Marks today to replace Fabricio Oberto who retired Thursday due to a pre-diagnosed heart condition.

Sources: Yahoo Sports Media Notes

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Enforcer 1952-2010

I wanted to make a special post to commemorate Maurice Lucas, the Enforcer.

Maurice had been battling bladder cancer and sadly lost his battle Sunday October 31, 2010. His legacy will always be remembered by the Blazer community. He was apart of the 1977-1978 championship winning team and went on to play for the Blazers for a total of five years. He was known for being a tough guy on the court but a real sweetheart off of it.

Our thoughts are prayers are with Lucas' family.

The memorial for Lucas will be held on Monday November 8 at the Memorial Colliseum where Lucas brought the NBA championship to Portland so many years ago. Doors open at 11 AM and the service starts at noon.

Feb. 18 1952 - Oct. 31, 2010
The Enforcer

Chicago Fears the Beard--Up Next Milwaukee

The Blazers have had a spectacular start to the 2010-2011 season going 3-0 for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. Yesterday, the Blazers travelled to the windy city to try and boost that streak to 4-0.

Starting Five:
LaMarcus Aldridge
Nicolas Batum
Marcus Camby
Andre Miller
Brandon Roy

The high scorer of the night and all other recognition goes to none other than LaMarcus Aldridge (and his beard, I'm a fan). LMA came close to a career high and double-double with 33 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot. The man was nearly flawless. He was perfect from the free throw line shooting 9-9 and  12-19 from the field. LaMarcus was the absolute leader of this team last night. We struggled out of the gate but LaMarcus caught fire and never slowed down. Brandon Roy had an extremely slow start but still finished the game with 17 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Roy shot 4-12 from the field and 0-2 from beyond the arch. In the bronze position for the night was rookie, Armon Johnson with 10 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Johnson, who had family present at this game, was a surprising spark late in the 4th quarter. Nate took the starters out, flew the white flag and put in the rookies with 4 minutes to go. Johnson led that rookie unit to bring the Chicago lead down to 9 with an 8-0 run. The run was cut short but it made this loss a little less painful knowing our rookies were the type to go out there and try and make something happen.

Box Score:

The Blazers came out slow and tired in the first half. The Bulls were able to kill us on transition and get easy lay-ins and buckets but what was the real dagger was field goal shooting. The Bulls  shot a steady 60% from the field to our 41% and a big 38% from 3-pt range to our shocking 0%. Luol Deng was huge for the Bulls win with a career high 40 points, shooting 14-19 from the field and 3-5 from beyond the arch. The Blazers lost the game 110-98.

Photo of the Night:
Thankfully Gibson forgot which way the hoop was on this play.

The Blazers next travel to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks tonight! Tip off is at 8 PM EST, 5 PM PST.

• Portland and Milwaukee split last year’s season series,1-1, with each team winning at home. 
• The Trail Blazers have won six of the past seven meetings. 
• Portland had won fi ve straight against Milwaukee until the Bucks’ double-overtime win, 108-101, Dec. 12, 2009, in Milwaukee. 
• Portland has defeated Milwaukee in four straight meetings at the Rose Garden. The Trail Blazers have won 15 of the last 22 games between 
the teams overall. 
• Milwaukee’s last two wins over Portland have come in overtime. The Bucks’ last win in regulation over the Trail Blazers came on March 20, 
2006, 100-93, in Portland. 
Nate McMillan became the second-youngest NBA coach in the last 20 years to reach 350 career wins after a 96-84 victory at Milwaukee on 
March 21, 2009 (Jeff Van Gundy). 
LaMarcus Aldridge averaged 26 points per game in two contests against Milwaukee last season to lead Portland while playing 
an average of 45 minutes per game. Brandon Roy added 22.5 points per game against the Bucks in 2009-10. 
Marcus Camby did not play against Milwaukee last season as Portland’s games against the Bucks were before Camby was traded to the 
Trail Blazers. The Los Angeles Clippers’ games against the Bucks came after Camby was traded to Portland. 
• Portland shot 49.1 percent from the fi eld in two contests against Milwaukee last season. The Bucks shot 47.5 percent from the 
fl oor and 41.7 percent from 3-point range against Portland in 2009-10. 
• Each team turned the ball over 29 times in last year’s matchups. 
• The Trail Blazers attempted 60 free throws during last year’s season series while Milwaukee attempted 42. Andre Miller shot a 
series-high 18  total free-throw attempts during the meetings. 
Wesley Matthews played at the Bradley Center during his collegiate career at Marquette. 
• Milwaukee Head Coach Scott Skiles is 10-13 (.435) in his career vs. the Trail Blazers as coach of Phoenix, Chicago and Milwaukee. 
• Bucks assistant coach Joe Wolf played 21 games for Portland during the 1992-93 season, averaging 2.5 points and 2.1 rebounds. 
Joel Przybilla played for the Milwaukee Bucks from 2000-03. Przybilla totaled 141 games played with averages of 1.9 points and 3.6 rebounds 
before being traded to Atlanta during the 2003-04 season. 

Sources: Photo-Yahoo Sports Notes-Blazers Media Notes

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pre-Season Comes to a Close with Opening Night Around the Corner

Tonight the Blazers faces the Denver Nuggets in the last game of pre-season. Marcus Camby who had rarely played this pre-season was finally back to help lead the Blazers to a win.

Box Score:

Brandon Roy was on point tonight and was the team's high scorer with a whopping 23 points, the most he's scored all pre-season. He also contributed 3 rebounds and 2 assists to the mix. I have to say this was the Brandon Roy we've been waiting for. He was cutting to the basket, drawing the fouls and distributing the ball. The RoyBot has been pretty quiet this pre-season but he showed tonight he's been saving it all for the regular season. Marcus Camby made quite a contribution tonight as well with 8 points and 17 rebounds! Camby was all over the place diving and scrapping for the ball. He showed some serious hustle and it's clear how lucky we are to have him. LaMarcus put up a near double double with 16 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists. LaMarcus has been one of my favorite improvements so far. One of the biggest pet peeves associated with the L-Train is that he always settles for the fade away jump shot rather than battling for position and getting to the hoop. This pre-season we've seen a major improvement in LMA's game down low, he gets to the basket and he gets to the line. He shot 4-6 from the line tonight and it looked good. I'm really excited to see him continue to progress.

The Blazers went on to win 90 - 83. It was such a great game and can only give the Blazers positive momentum going into Tuesday's season opener game against Phoenix. We battled the Nuggets and really gave them a run for their money. What I liked best about the play tonight was that we made the Nuggets earn their points sending them to the line 28 times and we contested everything. Defense was a big factor tonight as the Blazers walked away with 7 steals and 5 blocked shots.

Photo of the Night:
Doin' Work.

The Blazers next play the Phoenix Suns in the regular season opener, Tuesday 7 PM at the Rose Garden! It's going to be a great game and a great season so be sure to get yourself some tickets!

•  Phoenix ousted Portland from the 2010 NBA Playoffs with a 4-2 series win in the First Round. The Suns outscored the Trail Blazers, 103.3-93.0, in the series, shooting 47.2 percent from the field while holding Portland to just 43.0 percent shooting. 
•  The Trail Blazers won the 2009-10 regular season series between the teams, 2-1, with all three games decided by seven points or fewer. Portland’s win was its first in the season series against Phoenix since 1999-2000 (3-1). 
•  The winning team has scored 100-plus points in 20 of the last 22 regular season 
games in the series. 
•  In three 2009-10 games between the teams, Portland shot 46.1 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from 3-point range, while Phoenix shot 44.6 percent and 37.9 percent, respectively. 
• The Suns committed 41 turnovers in the three head-to-head matchups last season to the Blazers’ 26 (averages of 13.7 and 8.7 per game, respectively). Portland held a 22-11 advantage in steals and a 19-6 edge in blocks during the three meetings.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pre-Season BEGINS! (And so does Blazer Nation Blog 2.0!)

Pre-Season has begun! This past Monday the Blazers faced the Los Angeles Clippers in their first game of the pre-season. It was a highly anticipated game for both sides considering it was Clippers' Blake Griffin's official NBA debut and after all the buzz that has been circulating around Wesley Matthews Jr (and a certain Spanish player, for different reasons of course) it was the fans' first opportunity to see what Junior had to offer in an official game setting.

Box Score Courtesy of

Both teams started at a similar pace, tied 12-12 with about 5 minutes left in the first but the Blazers proceeded to run and never let go. LaMarcus got the party started with a nasty one handed put back dunk. He ended the game with 17 points, 2 assists and 7 rebounds. Can we just take a moment to praise the L Train? My main man was not only knocking down his signature fade away shots but getting into the paint and to the hoop. Aldridge shot 5-6 from the line and 6-12 from the field. I really enjoyed what I saw from him on Monday and only hope it keeps gettin' better.

Now, let's talk Wes Matthews! In his Blazer debut, Matthews shot 3-8 from beyond the arch and 4-9 from the field leading the Blazers in scoring with 20 points. Upon his entrance into the game, Wes was received with a standing ovation and a roar of cheers from the crowd and it only got louder when he exited. His performance at fan fest made me excited but after  his performance against the Clippers I just can not wait to see him in the regular season. His defense and perimeter offense were extremely impressive. It'll be exciting to watch his stats throughout the season.

Lastly, we will discuss a certain Spaniard. No matter what opinion you have had or still have on Rudy, you must agree that his play was extremely impressive. He looked like the Rudy of the old Spanish Armada days cutting to the basket, looking for the assist and knocking down the threes. Rudy shot 5-6 from beyond the arch scoring 15 points for the game. He entered the game to an assortment of boos, Ruuuuuuuudys and cheers but upon his exit all that could be heard where cheers. If Rudy can keep playing at this level I think the doubters will become fewer and fewer. 

The Blazers cruised to a 115 - 86 win over the Clippers. Overall it was a great opener to the pre-season. We got to see a little something from all of our rookies, Elliot Williams was the only Blazer to not score. We saw a more intense and focused defense. The Blazers forced the Clippers to a shot clock violation on more than one possession and were deflecting passes and fighting for the ball. It was a great game to see.

Photo of the Game:
In short, it really hits the nail on the head....or ball on the head I suppose. This photo came after Nico's MONSTROUS dunk.

The Blazers next fly to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Jazz on Thursday. The game can be heard on 95.5 the game if you  are in the Portland area or you can chat along side Blazer fans on Now, the notes!

•  Utah owns a 12-6 edge over Portland in preseason meetings. The Trail Blazers have not won in three preseason games in Salt Lake City, all since 2006. 
•  The Jazz swept last year’s regular season series, 4-0, marking its first win in the series with Portland since 2005-06 (also a 4-0 sweep). Utah won by an average of 11.0 points (106.3-95.3) in the four games, the widest margin against Portland of any NBA team last season. The Jazz shot 54.9% from the field (40.0% 3-PT) , the best mark of any Trail Blazers opponent in 2009-10, while limiting Portland to 39.5% shooting (27.2% 3-PT) in the 2009-10 series. 
•  Utah’s four-game winning streak against Portland is the longest current winning run against the Trail Blazers of any Western Conference opponent, and the second longest of any NBA opponent (Cleveland, six). 
•  Portland dominated the offensive glass against Utah last season, accruing a 66-35 advantage in the category in four games. 
•  The Jazz carried a 117-71 edge in assists during four series games between the teams in the 2009-10 regular season. 
•  Brandon Roy’s 21.0 points (14-28 FG) in two games vs. Utah led all Trail Blazers in scoring vs. the Jazz in 2009-10. LaMarcus Aldridge added 20.3 points and 8.8 rebounds while playing in all four contests against the Jazz last year. 
•  Wesley Matthews averaged 9.0 points (11-21 FG) and 3.5 rebounds in four games against Portland as a member of the Jazz last season. 
•  Deron Williams led all current Jazz players in the 2009-10 series with Portland by averaging 19.8 points and 11.8 assists in the four regular season meetings. 
•  As a member of the Timberwolves, Al Jefferson led Minnesota with 16.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in four games against Portland in 2009-10. 
•  LaMarcus Aldridge scored a career-high 36 points (12-17 FG) in Utah’s win over the Trail Blazers on Dec. 31, 2007, which snapped Portland’s 13-game win streak. 
•  Utah forward Demetris Nichols was originally selected by Portland with the 53rd pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, before the Trail Blazers traded his draft rights to New York. Nichols also participated on Portland’s 2010 NBA Summer League team.

Lastly, I want to apologize for the complete LACK of posts over the off season. I've been taking classes and have had very limited time to blog but I am hoping to continue blogging about all the games this season! Thanks for sticking with me Nation! Let's go Blazers!!

Photo: Yahoo Sports 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rip City Uprise -- Playoffs 2010

Games 1 & 2 in Phoenix have passes and so far the Suns and Blazers split the series 1 - 1. Portland made a big steal in capturing game 1 but left game 2 to a Phoenix win in a lackluster effort from the Blazers.

Game 1 we saw the Blazers team that has a real shot at moving forward in the playoffs. We saw phenomenal performances from Andre Miller, Jerryd Bayless, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum. We saw ball movement, defense and a sense of urgency that led to the Portland win. Going into game one practically everyone (besides Blazer fans) was expecting a Phoenix sweep, what with B Roy being out,  and Portland showed heart and proved them wrong. Guys stepped up and earned that W.
Box Score:

Game 2 was a different story. There was no ball movement, lackluster defense and no sense of urgency. Phoenix killed us with the double team on LaMarcus and denying Andre Miller the ball. It was an ugly game. Aldridge had such a weak night that he sat for most of the 4th quarter while our "clean up crew" (rookies) came out and put in more effort than we had seen all game. Martell Webster was one of very few, if any, bright spots. He gave everything he had all the way through the end and put up nice numbers, 16 points and 5 rebounds.
Box Score:

The Blazers next travel back home to face the Suns at the Rose Garden for games 3 & 4. Game 3 is Thursday at 7 PM PST on NBATV and Game 4 is Saturday at 1:30 PM PST on NBATV.

If you're attending game 3 on Thursday, be sure to WEAR RED in support of the Blazers!! We'll be trying to Red Out the Rose Garden to welcome home our team! Be sure to pass the news along and spread the word so we can have a sea of red in the crowd!