I guess I should have seen a Blazer beatdown coming. How so? Yesterday was just a day full of, for lack of a better term, WTF moments. The Tiger Woods speech? WTF (especially during the Buddhism part and then that hug with his moms). Shutter Island? WTF (times 1000, great movie though). Brandon Roy hobbling around like an old man at 24 Hour Fitness? Marcus Camby turning the ball over left and right? Rudy Fernandez driving like he’s never dribbled a ball before? WTF.
Last night, the Celtics did what really good teams do: they controlled the tempo, they dictacted everything to Portland and got a dominant victory. On both ends they dominated. Boston set a tone early with 9 first-quarter layups and on the other end were determined to not give Portland any buckets. It’s hard to beat any team, let alone the Celtics, when you don’t score a field goal for the first 6:44 seconds of the second quarter. The Blazers didn’t have much of a response on either end, hence the beatdown. By the time Portland got their act together they were far too deep in the hole to really do anything about it.
In his pre-thoughts, Coup mentioned that a couple of the big storylines involved Marcus Camby and the Brandon Roy 2010 Hamstring Watch. Camby, struggled. He didn’t have that Theo Ratliff-like instant impact on defense that some may have expected as the Celtics pounded their way in the paint. Not really is fault as the Blazers D was too leaky for him to much of damage anyways. I will take the 3 blocks though. I won’t take the 5 turnovers though…get this man some practice time stat. Roy’s hamstring looked about as good as a grizzled stripper in her 10th year in the business on a Monday afternoon. The good news? He didn’t have a setback! Seriously, his words from Ben’s recap at Blazersedge: “The good thing about it is that I didn’t have a setback tonight”. The bad news? In 34 minutes he managed 9 points on 3-for-8 shooting, 4 rebounds and 1 assist. The worst news? He didn’t look like himself and it’s obvious that the injury/time off has hurt him. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Portland can only go as far as Roy takes them. He has to find ways to be efficient. When he doesn’t…bad things happen. With time he’ll get better so writing him off would be beyond absurd. And at least he was able to play 34 minutes no matter how ugly they were. And yes…I am searching for positives. It doesn’t help Roy that the Blazers had their worst offensive performance against one of the best defensive teams in the league. Old or not, the Celtics know what they are doing and it showed. The numbers aren’t pretty: 33% from the field, 12% from three-point line (2-12), 18 turnovers. Applaud the 40 free-throw attempts, boo the 22 field goals and only 7 assists. Which by the way was a franchise low.
It’s unfair to point all the blame on Roy, because well he didn’t get much help. Andre Miller and Jerryd Bayless showed great aggression, combining to go 16-of-19 from the line (nearly half of Portland’s FTAs). LaMarcus Aldridge was game early. Martell Webster, Rudy Fernandez and Nic Batum combined to shoot 2-for-14. It’s funny I wrote about all the perimeter options to replace Travis Outlaw and then they all put up a stinker like this. Webster and Batum disappeared like they have been prone to do at times. Mr. Fernandez in particular did not have his best game. 0-4 from three is tough enough to swallow, but the 4 turnovers were quite the head scratcher. I’ve never seen Rudy get criticized like he did on twitter following those back-to-back-to-back turnovers in the 4th quarter. Has it come time for Rudy to put up or shut up, or are we getting close?
It’s tough to take much from this one. I mean think about it, Portland made 18 more free throws than Boston and still lost by 20. No need to pound away on this one. Portland put up it’s lowest scoring total of the season (76), had the lowest amount of assists in one game in the history of the franchise (7), allowed their opponents to shoot 50 percent and their superstar did not play like himself. Now you tell me if that’s a recipe for a victory? Absolutely not. Danger looms ahead for Portland. This is the problem with losing three of your last five at home. A match-up with the Jazz on Sunday is followed up by a 5-game road stretch which actually is the beginning of Portland playing 11 of their next 16 games away from the Rose Garden.