Trail Blazers/Mavericks Post-Game
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/31/2010 2:44 PM

    Post-Game Thoughts
    There is no better feeling than having the Blazers prove me wrong. I fully expected them to get beat handily, lose their 4th straight, and head home with their playoff hopes hanging in the balance. If you would have told me the Mavericks would have scored 112 points, I would never have believed this team could have won a game on the road while giving up 100+ points. In fact, this was just Portland's third win while allowing 100+ points in 16 attempts.

    A lot of players factored into this win, but make no mistakes about it, it was Dre day in Dallas. Andre had a career-high 52 points on 22-31 shooting and 7-8 from the charity stripe. The 52 points ties Brandon Roy for the 2nd most points in franchise history behind Damon Stoudamire's 54 against New Orleans back in the 04-05 season and the 22 made field goals is a new franchise record. Dallas tried anyone and everyone on him but to no avail. You knew it was just his night when the running hook shot hits the rim three or four times before bouncing in to send the game into overtime. It was a performance for the ages that soon won't be forgotten.

    "I've had a few heated nights in my career, but I think this was one of those nights where I just didn't stop shooting," Miller said. "The other nights when I was hot, I stopped myself from shooting the ball. ...Tonight was the night where I just kept doing it. I just didn't settle."

    "He got going early," Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. "We had some blown coverages that enabled him to get open. We tried a lot of different guys on him. We had Shawn Marion guard him for a lot of the fourth and overtime. He backed up and hit a three on him. He played a phenomenal game."

    They are calling it one of the best 2 point, 3 rebound, and 1 assist games ever played. That stat line was from none other than Nicolas Batum and if you had just read the box score and not watched the game, you would have no clue what kind of impact he brought to the team tonight. Prior to the last shot of regulation, Dirk had it flowing, stuck on automatic to say, as he was 9-15 from the floor and 10-10 from the foul line as he posted a team-high 28 points, before Batum took the challenge of defending him. From the last shot in regulation to the potential game tying shot in overtime, Dirk took four difficult shots, made so by Batum, who stuck to his every turn, hitch, pump fake, and fade like glue. The result was four consecutive misses in crunch time from one of the best clutch shooters in NBA history and arguably one of the toughest covers in league history. With our centers out, the interior could be tough to defend, but at least our perimeter defense got a huge boost with the arrival of Batum who has the makings of an All-NBA Defense team staple for years to come.
    "I studied tapes and knew that he always dribbled left, left, pump fake, spin," Batum said. "Every time. So I just watched the ball -- not him at all, just the ball -- and when he shot I raised my hands, because there is no way you can block him."

    With the imminent return of Roy either Wednesday or Thursday, Portland will have their full array of guards at Coach McMillan's disposal, which begs the question, which player gets their minutes cut? Only Nate knows that answer and likely won't know until we cross that bridge, but it should not be Jerryd Bayless. He quietly had the 2nd best Blazer performance of the night and his +/- rating of +20 was the highest of anyone on either side of the court. He had another incredibly efficient night, going for 17 points on 7-11 shooting, 3-4 from the line, and doing so while only committing one turnover. As the season progresses, the maturation of Bayless has also taken shape. The more time he gets, the less reckless he becomes. The decision making improves as he knows when to attack and when to pass. Outside of Miller's soaring hook shot to tie the game in the 4th, the biggest play of the game came right after Jerryd was subbed back into the game. Dallas secured all of the momentum with a four point lead with only two minutes left. Bayless had fresher legs than Andre and took the ball right to the hole off of a curl and got to the hoop which allowed momentum and the crowd to rile down while he nailed two free throws as the clock stopped. It allowed Portland's defense to settle in and make key stops.

    Words can't express how huge this win was for the team. They failed to fall four straight times for the first time in nearly two years and kept themselves afloat in the playoff chase. Now, there are six teams with 21 losses, so every game is now like a playoff game, fighting and jockeying for position. Also, with this unexpected win, it gives Portland another chance to weather this 10-game storm and if they just handle business at home could end up going 5-5 in that stretch.
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