Blazers 92, Jazz 108 Re-Thoughts

There isn’t much to this game, nor is there much to talk about. On the second night of a back-to-back, and for consecutive nights, the Blazers had their butts handed to them on a silver platter. The box score is a non-issue. The Jazz shot 60.6 percent and 58.3 percent from the field while the Blazers actually outscored an opponent in the paint, 36-28. Nobody is going to remember those numbers, but they will remember how they felt after the cumulative efforts of two listless games.

Since analysis is both irrelevant and unnecessary — it would just be a laundry list of things the Jazz did better than Portland — I reached out to Twitter and asked Blazer fans for their reactions on the game. Here is what they said:

@ourpdx: couldn’t even watch 4th quarter, starting to think that Nate’s the one who’s out of sync…

@mws_pdx_bc: losing to Jazz on road is expected. The fact that it comes on heels of last night’s unexpected debacle makes it sting worse

@hurrakane212: first time I have ever asked myself if Nate is the right coach.

@girthymac: I think the ridgid sched has caught up with them and they’re gassed. I think they’ll be fine.

@kylemortensen: is something going on behind the scenes? Seems like a completely different team

@debra31098: I do not like that Andre seems to be the scapegoat for BROY. I wish GO would call out the team…and BROY especially.

@kittenwench: It seems like the horrible rigid sub patterns, lack competent advanced off/def schemes got to team, quitting on coach mac?

@TylerHayden8: disgusted!

@ackermaneric: replace Nate!

@rack_free: too painful to watch – went directly to faucet to drink e. coli & put muself out of misery.

@supersetgreg: we never win in Utah. the end.

@tmundal: Roy needs a reality check. Stopped trying once the Ink was dry. Aldridge too.

@blazersedge: playing w/ pride has been this group’s identity and they play & give quotes like they don’t mind that id is gone.

Not exactly the comments you saw following Portland’s win over Chicago, less than one week ago. The truth is, everyone is a little bit right, everyone is a little bit wrong. People are openly questioning both Roy and McMillan — by far the most mentioned — and they have every right to do so. Other than after the Chicago game, things haven’t felt completely right about the Blazers all season. Lineups have been in doubt, starters have been in question, not to mention rotations, effort, defense and everything else. As many other folks tweeted after the game, things have just felt “off” for quite some time.

Sure, there are the back-to-back games and early season excuses, but everyone can see that things are beyond timing and tired legs. The Blazers haven’t been consistent in their execution or their quarter-to-quarter consistency. There have been flashes of things coming together, but relative to the length of the season they have been there and gone in the blink of an eye. Fans, writers and critics alike have come to expect more.

What I can tell you now is that these past two games have offered Portland the greatest moment of on-court adversity the team has been a part of. They have always been young, they have always been improving. When Oden had surgery, the Blazers had a one-year free pass. Last season the expectations were the playoffs, and the Houston series became a learning experience. Now, 19 games into the season with a 12-7 record, they are going through something they haven’t before: they aren’t living up to expectations. Were this five or even ten years ago, it would not be that big of a deal. But this is new. This is an obstacle for the team, and the fans, to get through. But just like success, failure is part of growth, and not just failure when everyone else deems it acceptable to fail.

There’s no need to tell you that things will get better. We’re already skirting the line of melodrama and everyone can see that in one week there have been extreme highs and lows. I’ll just finish by saying that these last two games are less important than the two games to come. Reactions are inevitable, but responses speak much louder.

Tags: Blazers Brandon Roy Deron Williams Greg Oden Jazz Recap

  • Travis

    Great thoughts at the end of this post, Coup.

    I don’t want to overract, either. We saw this loss coming, right? Last night’s was more troubling, really, especially the first half.

    But Roy’s comments tonight also rang true: this team hasn’t looked good even in their wins, at times. Tonight, nobody understood why Miller got benched, especially when Blake has played so, so poorly this year. More Bayless? Yes, but not for Miller. More Bayless, less Blake.

    That said, this first quarter was again awful, I think it starts with the problem at PG, Blake, but I think it also reveals a lack of faith in what’s being planned. At least tonight. Nobody was on Nate’s page, whatever it was.

  • Blotto

    Brandon has lost a step. Maybe it’s from laying off over the summer. Maybe he’s tired. Maybe he needs more rest, more conditioning, more something. I’m confident he will get “it” back, but that’s the problem. Last year, if things went wrong, Brandon could explode for 52 points like against the Suns last year. I can’t see that happening right now.

    Brandon doesn’t know what’s wrong, he’s calling it chemistry, but it’s not chemistry, it’s the tenth of a second that makes the difference between breaking down your opponent and getting stuffed.

    My perscription: More rest for Brandon. Forget worrying about chemistry. Steve Blake moves to a back up position. More plays for Greg. We just have to do well enough to make the play offs. That’s when the real season begins and we need to have our best players ready to go.