There might be a few too many award shows making their way across my television screen lately, because after every player the Blazers lose and every win that follows that loss it feels like the team needs to go up on some stage, in front of fans of any team, be applauded and then handed little golden men. It doesn’t have to take long, it just seems to fit.
I’m going to keep analysis very brief for this one because it doesn’t seem fair to overanalyze a group of that are just gutting out tough wins — and losses — with a roster that’s about as stable as lineups between each of the Triple Crown races. We can’t really pick them apart because the exact situation does not promise to be replicated. We know their weaknesses are interior defense and scoring. We know their strengths are finding ways to succeed despite their physical shortcomings and doing it as a team. Sounds a little sappy, but that’s where we’re at. It may not be the mind blowing breakout event we were hoping for, but this season has certainly been much closer to Avatar than Indiana Jones 4.
After losing in overtime to Boston thanks to a charming 5-of-25 performance beyond the arc, the Blazers reversed course with Martell Webster doing his best Sigourney Weaver impression. It helped that Portland’s ball movement took advantage of Detroit sleepwalking through its defensive rotations in the first half, but a career-high 28 points on 6-of-13 threes is impressive in any situation. The Blazers had 27 assists on 34 makes, and all nine of Websters field goals were assisted which makes him fourth in the league among players who average at least 25 minutes with and 82.3 percentage of assisted buckets. Offtheball-mooovement-offtheball.
Speaking of which, it was nice to see Rudy show up with 19 points and a perfect 10-of-10 free throws. Yeah. he took a few dives to get to the line but showed a level of aggressive activity we haven’t seen since his return. Villanueva throwing him for a loop started a little skirmish that had been brewing in the second half and it was nice to see everyone get Rudy’s back. This team has developed a nice little edge this season that surely would of helped them during, say, the Houston series.
That’s it, enjoy the good vibrations this team has left you with on a Saturday night and remember, the National Board of Scrabble Committees has recently issued a reminder that nicknames will not score you points, but the word S-N-A-K-E is still worth nine points.