Blazers 95, Pacers 85 Re-Thoughts


The Red & Black Attack went into Indianapolis and came out with a win. Have not been able to say that in five years or so. An impressive win in the fact that it was nearly coast-to-coast dominance. If this was a UFC fight we caught them with a right, watch them fall and immediately went to the ground and pound for a stoppage. Except this went on for 48 minutes instead of 48 seconds. But kudos to the Blazers for not really letting up after the first quarter performance. Interestingly in Portland we kind of waited for Indiana to start being Indiana before we struck. Tonight we were able to from the start. If you look back to the keys of the game we did a great job of not allowing the Pacers to go on any sort of big run. If memory serves me correct I think the only ones they got were early in the third and in the fourth when the game was well in hand. Of course working in our favor was the fact that a) no one on the home team felt like helping Danny Granger on offense and b) the Pacers threw just as many assists (17) as they did turnovers (16) but I disgress.

Offensively, no one really had it going. You look at the stats and watching the game it felt like we played better offensively. I’d definitely pat Steve Blake on the back after tonight, he shot it well and was able to dish it too. B-Roy had a very un-typical B-Roy night getting 20 points on 20 field goal attempts. That actually was a trend for Portland. With the exception of Blake, everyone else had their struggles from the field and saw their field goal attempts at great or equal to their point total. LMA had 12 (14 attempts), Travis had 15 (16 attempts), Rudy had 13 (13 attempts). Unusual. But can you really complain when you get six Blazers in double figures? Absolutely not. Remember in the pre-season when we threw around the words ‘depth’ and ‘balance’ at will. Tonight was one of those nights where both really worked in our favor.

The one thing I’m digging is the way that LaMarcus is starting games as of late. He has really come on strong as of late. Second game in a row where he really set the tone in the first quarter and made the Blazers that much tougher to guard. And really that is having a trickle-down effect on the rest of the team. If you get LaMarcus going early it makes everyone else that much tougher to guard. Especially considering how everyone else on the first unit meshes. In Memphis it was Roy who joined him early. Tonight it was Steve Blake who joined him by making shots and making plays. Blake was directly responsible for 15 of the Blazers first 17 either by scoring or throwing an assist. Pretty darn impressive if I say so myself. You’re not going to get that every night but it’s nice to see the Blazers find different ways to win and different weapons to use. Also let’s not forget the activity that Big Joel has brought to the table early in the past couple games. At this point, Big Joel should be our starter the rest of the way. Not a knock against Oden or anything but Big Joel should be the starter. That’s just the way it is.

Speaking of Greg, I figured coming to this site and not hearing about his “return” would be like watching a Cinemax movie on a Friday night and seeing no boobs. So here goes. I was pleased with his activity. He got on the boards, he blocked some shots, he didn’t foul out, he had a nice dunk. Golf clap. And that’s all you’re getting from me, folks.

On the other side, Danny Granger went off. Which makes this the second of three games where a superstar has killed us. Joe Johnson did. Granger did. Rudy Gay didn’t. Vince didn’t if you want to go back that far. Mixed bag, although not the best of feelings considering we face LeBron and the gang tomorrow night. He’s like the boss of an old-school video game on this superstar spectrum. And he has a much much better supporting cast that poor Granger who looked so absolutely left out there by his team. They’re only 5-9 when he drops 30+. You could tell the Pacers really missed Troy Murphy and for that matter Mike Dunleavy tonight. No post presence. Roy Hibbert had some flashes but when Jeff Foster is putting up 9 shot attempts you know you’ve got yourself some issues. That combined with the turnovers and no one helping Granger was a recipe for a defeat.

A good win but I’ll say it again a win is a win is a win. Tomorrow night is a game in Cleveland where LeBron and the gang are 30-1. *insert Chris Tucker saying damn*. I’m less concerned about a W or L but hoping that we show some competitiveness, passion and swagger in a big road game against a big opponent. Or will we get punched right in the face again? Only time will tell…

(Oh and it’s March Madness time. Get excited.)