Thursday, December 18, 2008
Redemption against the Suns!
MVP MVP MVP! Yes the MVP chants were definitely being shouted in the Rose Garden tonight as the Blazers beat the Suns 124-119 with the help of Brandon Roy’s 52 points. This was probably one of, if not the most, exciting game of the year for the Blazers. The game started out with both teams hitting what seemed to be every shot they took. Shaq immediately attempted to establish his presence down low and was successful early on as he had numerous three point plays including a dunk on Oden with Aldridge also coming in for a missed block attempt. Blake matched the suns early hot offense as he drove the lane and dished to Oden on back to back almost identical possessions resulting in two strong Oden flushes. (Dont'cha wish your point guard was like Steve Blake!)
At the end of the first quarter the game was close but it was obvious early that the tempo was going to be that of the suns (and yes I am talking about the old Sun’s not the new “we kinda play defense and try and post a lil” suns) as the score at the end of the first was 28-31 Portland. The second quarter belonged to Phoenix as the Suns bench came out firing as Barbosa and Barnes went on a 16-3 run including three 3’s by Barnes. The half ended with the Blazers down seven.
The second half was all B-Roy. Roy looked like a seasoned vet as he strapped the team on his back and at one point hit 15 points in a row for the Blazers. Portland won the third by ten points and played the Suns evenly in the fourth as clutch buckets by Roy and Outlaw accompanied by big offensive rebounds from Oden led the Blazers to their second straight victory.
Keys to the game:
Throughout the beginning of the game the first key of the game (stopping Shaq) was not going our way as O’Neal finished with 17 first half points. However, O’Neal was stifled in the second half, managing only 2 points. Advantage Portland.
Secondly, dictate pace of the game and do not trade baskets. Okay, this was obviously Phoenix’s tempo, but we got lucky that Roy played out of his mind to keep up with the Sun’s putting up 119. Advantage Portland. Lastly, win the rebound battle. The Blazers lost the rebounding battle by five, however, the bigger story was the Blazers leading the offensive rebounding battle by SEVEN. Seven extra possessions were a huge asset, especially late in the game as the Blazers attempted to match the suns shot for shot and got three big offensive boards in the fourth to help us keep pace with Phoenix.
BRANDON ROY: Is a MVP for Brandon Roy really that ludicrous? When you look at his last five games he is averaging over 36 PPG, 5 assists and 5 boards with about a steal and a block per game. Granted he is on a ridiculous hot streak, nonetheless, if he can keep up this play (or at least somewhat similar play) and the Blazers stay hot, he at least has to be thrown in the consideration. Back to the game 52 points, 6 assists, 5 boards, nuff said.
Steve Blake: Blake played a great game putting up 22 and 10 dimes with four 3’s. He did a good job of giving the Blazer another option for scoring as well as handing a couple of dunks to Oden on a silver platter.
LaMarcus Aldridge: Lamarcus played a solid game putting up 16 and 5 (with an impressive 3 offensive). He also had a great shot selection going 8-12 from the field.
Greg Oden / Pryz: Oden was in foul trouble a lot of the night so grabbed 30 minutes while Oden only had 17, and combined they only missed two shots. Both played well although neither had out standing games.
Fruit Bat: Outlaw had a good after what seemed like a stretch of poor games. He had 14 and 6 and came up huge in the second half to take some of the scoring burden off of Roy.
Batum / Sergio / Diogu / Frernandez: This foursome combined for 7 points and all were relatively quiet, the biggest surprise being Rudy, who did not play horrible, but only saw 17 minutes and therefore saw his numbers diminished slightly.
*Diogu came off the bench to play the four instead of Frye as discussed earlier by Nate.
Game in One Sentence:
Brandon Roy had the best game of his career as he carried the Blazers past a high powered offensively minded Sun's team.
Possible topics to comment about:
1. What to do with Raefs contract (as mentioned in the previous artcile)
2. How you feel about Diogu getting Frye's minutes?
3. Is B-Roy a realistic MVP candidate?
4. Anything about the Blazers Defense...(kinda looked shaky lately)
5. Of course anything about last nights game!