Blazers 113, Clippers 88 Re-Thoughts


This is going to be short because this game was oh-so-simple. I won’t bore you with more of our “nice way to take care of business” drivel that we’ve been throwing out because of the lower quality of Portland opponents. What this game did do, however, was play directly into a formula — one which a couple of years ago would’ve had the Blazers on the losing end of things.

The formula is simple. A bad team, full of young players and maybe missing some key guys (or they’re the Knicks/Warriors) makes a lot of jumpers, usually at home, and keeps the game competitive for up to three quarters. This is an illusion. The entire time said bad team is making their tough jumpers out of one-on-one dribbling situations, the better team is pounding them in the paint, scoring on dunks and open, assisted jumpers. Nine times out of ten, the team getting the easy buckets comes out the victor, and by no small margin.

The result: 44.8% shooting from the Clippers, 58% shooting from the Blazers. Naturally this was helped by Outlaw (20 points on 8-of-9 shooting) going all Lone Ranger on L.A. but the baseline for the high percentage was Greg Oden and Brandon Roy doing all sorts of evil things to the Clippers under the basket. Seriously, Cheikh Samb might go Madonna-crazy and turn to kabbalah after the jam Roy laid upon his soul. If Darryl Dawkins were to name that dunk, it would be the “Losing your Religion on Planet Lovetron Jamaroo.”

And that’s really what kind of game it was. Simple, like I mentioned, and fun. You could see the outcome coming a mile away, so it was comforting to see the Blazers stick to their gameplan and win like they should — standing strong, dunking and smiling, not on their heels. Hopefully they won’t even give Charlotte breathing room on Wednesday, but on the road you can do much worse than pulling away for a 25-point win.

Sadly, I must touch on the bad news which was Steve Blake re-injuring his shoulder. We do not know the extent of the injury yet, but I imagine with how early he came back from the initial separation, Blake could be out for at least another two weeks. That’s purely speculation, but once we get back to playing playoff-caliber basketball teams, I’m going to be more than a little concerned about one Mr. Sergio Rodriguez, nice little no-look passes and all. And keep in mind that Blake being out is going to make it much harder for Kevin Pritchard to pull the trigger on a trade-deadline deal, even if the only remotely attractive PG available is going to be Mike Conley (who’s price might be going up with a new coach in Memphis).

We’ve said it a million times by now, but these are simply games you must win. The Blazers are showing that they can play into the age old formula of the better team pouncing on lesser talent, no matter what the circumstances, whether it be their hot shooting, your own poor shooting, poor calls or a buffoon in the third row making fun of your head shape. It’s a formula that hasn’t been used much in the Rose City for quite some time, and it should hopefully be around for at least the next decade.