3 Takeaways From the Blazers/Rockets Game

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Nov 5, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; General view of the Moda Center during a game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Since you’ve probably gotten more than your fill of the usual recaps from Tuesday’s 101-116 loss to the Houston Rockets, I though I’d stick with a couple of observations from the first few games that held true yesterday, and that might turn into trends for the rest of the season:

Nov 5, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) runs into Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez (42) at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Robin Lopez: Setting an example. Say what you will about the numbers: his presence has been felt, and he was sorely missed down the stretch last night when he got into foul trouble. Quick aside: I’m not sure why Coach Terry Stotts didn’t put Lopez back in with 6 or so minutes to go against the Rockets. When you get down to it, though, it was his decision to make (and frankly, his presence may not have affected the game’s outcome enough anyway).

Along with career-highs in both minutes (28.3 per game) and blocks (2.3) through the Blazers’ first four contests, Lopez brings a paint-clogging, drive-deterring presence the team hasn’t had since losing Marcus Camby. Make no mistake… he’s not Camby in his prime, or even 36-year-old Camby, but he’s better than the Blazers have seen lately. His scoring and rebounding are in the tank, perhaps because he needs to acclimate to the team, or perhaps because his contributions outside of manning the middle aren’t as crucial. If I were to bet, however, I’d expect his 36% field goal rate to tick up possibly 10 points toward his 52% career average, and for his rebounding numbers to crawl from “abysmal” to “pretty bad.”

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Topics: Meyers Leonard, Mo Williams, Portland Trail Blazers, Robin Lopez

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  • blazerfan808

    B-GOLD, good points bro. It’s weird after last year, I’m just thankful we have anyone. I don’t expect us to win 65% of our games. I still rank us right underneath the timberwolves and mavs. This summer, realistically, our only options at C were Gortat, Zaza, and Dalembert. I definitely take Lopez over those 3 any day of the week. I’m pleasantly surprised by, I like seeing players that actually give a damn. He is playing hard and if we lose, he is definitely not to blame.

    I know meyers seems like wet bread, but the kid is so young. I have to keep reminding myself of how young he is. I’m not trying to make excuses for him, but I feel as though one day things are gonna click. It’ll be one defensive play here, another there. it may be in portland, it may not. I do think that we need to lower the bar of expectation though. you remember the kid who was 6′ in grade school, and everyone was encouraging him to play basketball or volleyball, but he simply did not have it. meyers development will take no less than 5 years.

    i’d still prefer him and his current skillset over guys like tyler zeller. 2015 would have been his senior year, let’s see where he is at then. if its not what we like, its not hard to move a 23 yo 7 footer. would you say he is better than thabeet?

    look at the 2012 big board. the other guys i might have considered would have been zeller, henson, ezeli, miles plumlee, sacre, o’quinn. but not at #11. i still think meyers was by far the best prospect at #11. i think he will have a better career than all of the above. the one player i wish would would have traded for was jeff taylor. i like his game. if you can’t lure a free agent C, then the only way to get one is to development. i guess this is our take.

    you are bummed on mo? haha, i knew what to expect so I was not at all surprised. I actually think he is doing good. He is a chucker, but you have to admit he adds a lot of elements to the team that ronnie price and nolan didn’t do. mo does hit shots, wild ones, but its what we are working with atm. wouldn’t kill the guy to pass to the open man though. hah

    • Brandon Goldner

      On Meyers: Yeah, I really think something’s gotta click for him mentally. He literally has a PERFECT NBA body for a center: tall, coordinated, the base of muscle which hasn’t been filled yet, can run and jump well. It’s all in his head. And I don’t buy the “he had a growth spurt and used to be a guard” excuse, because you know who else fits that description? Anthony Davis.

      On Mo, I knew what to expect too… but honestly, he’s tipped WAYYY to far over into “chucker” territory, even away from “bench heater” territory, from which you’d expect low shooting percentages… but his decision-making is bad. It’s not like he’s missing good shots… he’s missing terrible, awful shots.

      All in all, I’m pretty happy with the team, most of all with Lillard and LMA. I think we’ll be okay this year, I really do.

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