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

    Posted 03/04/2010 12:11 PM

    Post-Game Thoughts
    "It’s tough to come back off a road trip and get that win. This one could have easily gone the other way," Miller said. "Luckily we found a way to play some defense, get aggressive to the basket and force them into a lot of turnovers."

    Let's all admit we thought "Here we go again?!" after seeing the Pacers jump out to an early 18-11 lead due to some very lackluster play and effort from the Trail Blazers starting unit. Insert Bayless and Fernandez to come and and breathe life into the team which looked like they were sleepwalking through the first eight minutes of the game. Bayless brought a bulldog-like toughness on defense, pestering T.J. Ford up and down the Rose Garden floor, taking any and every opportunity to get up in his face to disrupt any rhythm he would have had otherwise. While Jerryd was out making Ford's night a living nightmare, Rudy was pouring in triples from I-5, five on the night, each seemingly made at opportune times to keep Indiana at bay.

    Although Brandon had me worried he re-aggravated his hamstring injury as he sat with a towel over his shooting shirt for the entire 2nd quarter, he came out and put to rest any doubt about his healthy with a typical Brandon Roy take over performance. With Portland only up 12 at the half, still way too close to comfort for Blazer fans this year after a few monumental collapses, Brandon made every effort to abandon the jump-shooting mentality of this team and went to work in the paint. He took advantage of his size and posted up the smaller Dahntay Jones or went around the slower Brandon Rush and always seemed to be in complete control with the rock. All in all, Roy filled up the stat sheet to the tune of 22 points (6-16), including 10-11 from the foul line, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and an impressive 3 blocks. I still don't think his hamstring is 100% but either the hammy is getting stronger or he is masking the pain much better. Either way, we'll need more outputs like this tonight in order to be competitive in the playoffs.

    Speaking of the playoffs, it is becoming more clear as the season winds down to the finish, Portland looks to be a near lock (*knock on wood*) to make the post-season for the 2nd consecutive year. Houston has been dropping home games to sub-.500 teams, Memphis can't win a home game post All-Star Break (0-5) and by the time CP3 returns to the Hornets, it may be too late to catch up. The Blazers have finally put together a nice stretch of games, winning five of their last six, but with no more consecutive home games, sans the final two games of the year, and road games against West powers L.A., Denver, and Phoenix sprinkled in with teams notoriously known for being bug-a-boo's in Sacramento, Golden State, and the Clippers. Bottom line is I'm not sure our schedule sets up for sustained winning streaks with the hopes of moving up in the standings, but our seed in the playoffs shouldn't matter. Instead of scoreboard watching, which should be left up to the fans, Portland needs to just focus on upping their level of play and getting everyone on the same page to boost team chemistry and scare the living daylights out of their 1st round opponent.

    "We're trying to get back to the way we played here last year," said Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 19 points and seven rebounds in only 26 minutes. "When teams come in here, we want them to know we're going to play well, and we're going to play our game."

    “I think it’s going to be a tight race. For us, our focus is on us. We’re in the driver’s seat regardless of what they do. If we take care of our business, we’re going to be okay. To start watching the standings like that – we know where we are and it’s like watching the market. It goes up and down and you can go crazy with that. The focus for me and the team is on ourselves, making sure we take care of business and try and have a strong finish.”

    On a final note, I feel for Indiana Pacer fans, because that team has no hope, no future. Their only building block, Danny Granger, is about to head into his prime and I'd be shocked if he didn't find a way to get out of that situation as no one wants to rot away their prime years in an awful situation. T.J. Ford is a shell of his former self, Murphy and Dunleavy are overpaid role players who start, and Tyler Hansbrough doesn't strike me as a lottery talent to build around, rather a nice energy player to bring off the bench. All Blazer fans can relate to their situation as we have endured seasons starting the like of Sergei Monia, Charles Smith, and even the man, the myth, the legend, Ha Seung-Jin with no hope on the horizon.
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