Blazers 76, Wizards 74 Re-Thoughts

Pardon me for a moment so I can wash my eyes out with isopropanol and make them smile again with something good.

That’s better. Now then, I’m sure everyone has made a joke by now about how ugly this game was, but I’m not sure the words exist on a Scrabble board to do this one justice. Well, maybe the words “morbidly revolting”, but you get the point. The Blazers managed 83 possessions, shot 32.1 percent and scored 91 points per 100 possessions — they average 110.9. Put it together and what do you get? Bibbidy, Bobbidy, Bo . . . err, 76 points in 48 minutes of basketball.

There really isn’t much to say about this. Brandon Roy hit the game-winning jumper with 0.9 seconds left, but even that was a terrible shot, as he treated a looming double team like an isolation opportunity, had to fake one defender into the air then lean in to avoid contact and shoot over another defender. It looks great on the highlight reels, but that’s a forehead smacker 90 percent of the time.

The shots that Portland was getting weren’t terrible, but they were often contested. Not contested enough to explain Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge combining to shoot 10-of-35 (28 percent), but with Flip Saunders alternating defenses and forcing the Blazers into improvisational isolations — their 10 assists were the fifth-lowest total of the season — the looks can be considered well below-average.

The threes, especially, were there. They just didn’t fall. Portland shot 2-of-12 from deep, and all 12 attempts came from Roy, Nic Batum and Rudy Fernandez. While at least a pair of Roy’s misses were pullup threes atop the key, Batum missed three good looks in the final minutes, and Rudy was not without shooting space, either.

Do credit the Wizards, though. Since sending away Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison away, I’ve seen that team fight through a couple of games they had no business being in, even if their talent level ultimately failed them. Of all the Quadruple-A teams the Blazers have had to face, the Wizards at least looked like they were buying into a semblance of a balanced game plan, even if it resembled a high-school coach ordering his team to play keep away with a three-point lead and five minutes left in the game.

We’ll stop here. I’m going to, for some odd reason, revisit this game tomorrow and see what else we can pull out of it, even if all that comes out is teeth.

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Tags: Blazers Brandon Roy LaMarcus Aldridge Nic Batum Portland Rudy Fernandez Trail Blazers Washington Wizards

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