It was a rough start for the Blazers offensively as it became apparent that the Blazers needed to find that offensive effort to make up for the huge void left by Brandon Roy’s absence. It did not help that the Blazers were going up against one of the stingiest defenses in the league. However, after the rocky first quarter where the Blazers only scored 13 points, they rebounded nicely in the second quarter as Oden (who had his best showing of the year) Outlaw, and Blake stepped up and began carrying the team offensively. Oden was aggressive on both ends of the floor and did an excellent job of getting position down low and even showed his ability to hit a face up jumper. He matched the Celtic’s aggressiveness with his own, and truly set the tone for the entire Blazers team, and although his stat line only read 13 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals, his presence was an even bigger factor in the outcome of this game.
The Blazers entered the half down by one and both teams came out sluggish to start the third, however the big difference was the 17-2 run the Blazers had at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth. The Blazers managed to keep the lead throughout most of the fourth quarter stopping all the Celtics attempts at runs to get back into the game. What came up huge for the Blazers throughout the entire game was the great defensive play on both Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. Originally it would seem like Rajon Rondo would have a hay day against the Blazers PG’s but they did a great job of making Rondo a non factor. Various Blazer defenders helped hold Ray Allen to only 12 points on 2-11 shooting from the field. All of the keys to the game were met effectively most notably the Blazers stepping up and meeting the physical and intimidation of the Celtics. Hopefully we can look back on this as a turning point for this team, where they stopped being scared of the elite teams and started playing like one. Also they out rebounded the Celtics 44-29 (13-5 offensively).
Steve Blake: Blake continues to impress with his stellar shooting and heady playmaking. Blake scored a team high 21 points on 8-12 from the field (5-7 from 3). He again hit the big shots when we needed it.
Greg Oden: In our personal opinions, Oden had the best game of his professional career. He set the tone physically early and often. He did not allow Garnett and company to bully him and push him around. He showed a variety of moves we have yet to see from him. But more importantly Greg played with a confidence and swagger that we have yet to see from the big man. If he can play like that every night he will be a very special player.
LaMarcus Aldridge: LA had a good game, and managed to post 20 points, 10 of which came in the 4th. He absolutely abused Kendrick Perkins, and had a few buckets on Garnett as well. It was good to see LA succeed even when his outside jumper wasn’t falling.
Travis Outlaw: Outlaw played a great game as well. He scored in a variety of ways, not just mid-range jumpshots. He took the ball to the hole aggressively and even had a dunk on Garnett late in the shot clock. He came up big for us offensively with BRoy out.
Rudy Fernandez: It was interesting to see Rudy struggle as much as he did. Stepping into a starting role I expected Rudy to carry more of a load then he did. However he did have a key And 1 to go along with a clutch steal late in the game. I still would have liked to see more from Rudy on a night where Roy was sidelined.
Everyone Else: The whole team stepped up tonight, and the only player to entered the game to not score was Batum. We played together offensively and defensively. It was a great game to watch.
Game Summary In One Sentence: Best win of the season, combined with Oden’s best game as a Blazer, came without Roy.