I was wrong about one thing. If Portland lost to Phoenix on Friday, which they did in EPIC fashion, they would be, at the very worst still tied for first in the Western Conference. With their big time stinker of a performance, Portland has fallen from aloft the conference all the way to the number five spot. From first in the Northwest Division, to third. I was right about one thing, Friday was a trap game.
I hope you enjoyed following the best team in the conference while it lasted, because now it’s over, and we’ll all have to look back on those three days in early January when the Blazers were world beaters, and Portland was the home of the next NBA Champions, and think of what might have been.
I’m being sarcastic, of course. Yes Friday’s game was horrendous to watch, and it did knock the Blazers off their pedestal, but does that mean we were all wrong, and that beating Oklahoma City in Oklahoma City, then putting together a fantastic win against Los Angeles in one of the more memorable early season games in recent history didn’t mean anything? Not quite. Kevin Pelton had this most astute observation on Twitter early on, when it was pretty clear things weren’t going super well for the visiting team.
Every night or so we are going to see a lockout loss, a game in which one team can’t hit a shot, can’t make it up and down the floor, just can’t do anything. Blame it on the scheduling, the travel, the lack of practice, rest, whatever, there are going to be some ugly losses this season. Tonight was Portland’s night. Nate McMillan should maybe watch this game tape one time through, just in case anything good can be salvaged, then take said game tape have it run over by a steamroller, then shoved into an autoclave, and then have the ashes chucked into the Pacific Ocean. There is no reason to dwell on this game. Not for Nate, not for any of the players (and some played worse than others and none of them played well), and not for us as fans.
I could take a look at the box score, maybe pick out a couple of stats that help illustrate a point or two about where this game feel apart–for instance Gerald Wallace missed all of his field goal attempts and scored 30 fewer points on Friday that he did on Thursday–or something like that, but I feel like there’s very little reason for that either. Let’s just say this game went south early, and never got better. That’s Friday in a nutshell. Time to move on.
Portland takes on another sub-par team in the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Rose Garden on Sunday. Bounce back game?
Just a couple of things because I can’t come up with a good reason why not:
- The bench guys got in, but not in the way it would have been nice to see.
- Steve Nash had a fantastic stat line 7-of-7 from the field, 2-of-2 from deep, 1-of-1 from the line, 17 points, and an astounding +22. One other thing I may have been wrong about, Steve Nash might just be able to win a game on his own.
- Nobody in a Blazer jersey looked good. Plus/minus for all five starters were in the double figures for the negative. The team shot 33% from the field and 10% from deep. Not great.
- No minutes watch for this game. Like stats etc. there doesn’t seem to be much point since January 6th 2012 is going to wiped from our collective memory.
Box Score (if you can stand it)
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