The Portland Trail Blazers won a thrilling game against the Toronto Raptors 112 – 111 on Monday. What are three takeaways from this exciting win?
The Portland Trail Blazers trailed most of the game against the Toronto Raptors, but still managed to come away with the win. The game came down to the final few possessions, with CJ McCollum icing it with nine seconds on the clock, and then Robert Covington getting a great stop on Pascal Siakam at the buzzer.
Here are three takeaways from the last-second victory.
Carmelo Anthony is still clutch
Carmelo Anthony is an NBA legend. And tonight, even though he started slowly, he showed that he is still one of the best clutch shooters ever to play this game.
Melo had had a quiet first three quarters, but then he exploded in the fourth with 13 massive points and a couple of big defensive plays.
Melo hasn’t had the start to the year he would have liked, but he was huge against the Raptors. He hit three huge three-pointers in the fourth that the Blazers probably don’t win the game without.
Jusuf Nurkic went down injured early
In what could be a massive blow for the Blazers, Jusuf Nurkic went out of the game in the first quarter with a thigh contusion. I’m not sure how serious an injury like this is, but Nurkic has obviously had many lower-body injuries, so this is of concern.
The Blazers defense is a massive worry
Year after year, fans and media talk about defense, but it seems that this season is the same old bad defense. The Raptors hit a whopping 19 three-pointers at the rate of 40 percent, and a lot of them were wide open. This Blazers defense needs a lot of work still.
Now that the Blazers have defensive personnel, there should be no excuses with this end of the court. Derrick Jones Jr got paid, and Robert Covington was traded for using two valuable first-round picks.
Though this was a great win, there still needs to be a serious look at the defense.
The Blazers are now tracking in the right direction, with three wins in a row, and a six and four record.
The next game is away against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.