Another game I won’t spend too much time recapping, but at least this time I have a decent excuse. I didn’t have the chance to listen to or watch a single minute of this one. I did, however, follow all the action on my phone, and I think I got a pretty good sense of what this one was like in person. Not much of a game.
Portland did what they needed to do; they took care of business. If we can spend copious amounts of digital ink speculating on what it is that’s killing the Blazers on the road, then I think it’s only fair to devote some similar, but maybe smaller, portion of time talking about what makes Portland so deadly at home.
In my opinion it’s one part crowd, and one part comfort. Like I said, I wasn’t in the Rose Garden to see the Blazers dismantle the Bobcats Wednesday night, but I was there when they did it to the Suns last Friday, and I’ve been there plenty of times to see the Blazers destroy their opponents. On those nights, the home crowd brings it. I’m sure they brought it Wednesday.
Comfort has a little to do with the home crowd, and being at home just in general, but it’s something else too. On the road when things go south the Blazers as a team tightens up. That tightening up has a disastrous affect on offensive ability and in turn defensive focus. At home, there seems to be very little of that tightness. It’s what allows Portland to jump all over a lesser opponent like the Bobcats (35-18 after one quarter), or mount a gallant comeback against a hot shooting opponent (Orlando being only the most recent example).
If the Blazers can take anything away from these super lopsided home blowouts it’s that playing relaxed usually leads to wins.
I’m going to leave it at that. Portland travels to Sacramento Thursday to try and kick the road-game blues and start February’s road schedule with a blowout victory away from home.
Couple things I gleaned from watching Twitter and updates on my phone:
- Jamal Crawford had himself a nice game, scoring 24 points, hitting 9-of-14 from the field and 4-of-6 from deep. Twenty-four points on 14 shots is much closer to the efficiency level that he should try for every night.
- Elliot Williams didn’t do a ton with his minutes, but hopefully getting in will give him a boost of confidence he can take forward, should Nicolas Batum have to sit out more than just the next game.
- Craig Smith cannot be denied.
- Nate McMillan does not like to pull the starters under any circumstances.
- Minutes watch: 5:04 for Armon Johnson. Nice to see AJ get some time on the floor. In five minutes he took and made one shot. Downside? -2
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