We did a great job containing Devin Harris in this game, and made him work for every point he scored. Even though he had 23 points, he only attempted 4 free throws (he averages 9.6 a game). The Blazers also did a great job of shutting down Vince Carter. Carter only had 13 points. We did a great job of slowing these guys down by being aggressive on offense and drawing early fouls that forced them to sit. During one streatch, Carter hit back to back shots, then picked up his 3rd foul and had to head to the bench. Things like that have a huge impact on the game.
The Blazers also did a great job of getting out to an early start (7-0). Even though it didn’t last the entire game, it set the tone early and it was a good sign to see our guys taking this game very seriously. In the absence of Blake,
Jerryd Bayless – Who else could the game ball go to? Bayless filled that void left by Blake, as the 3rd heat in
Brandon Roy – Although all the headlines read Jerryd Bayless,
LaMarcus Aldridge – Aldridge had a quiet 20 points and 6 boards (why is
Sergio Rodriguez – Here is the other side of the coin. Where Bayless shined, Sergio struggled. He had 4 points, 4 assists, and 2 turnovers. He was beat on defense, and didn’t really get us set up in our offense (which is his supposed strength over Bayless). The next week or so should be interesting for Sergio, it could very well make or break his future in
Greg Oden – Oden had a hard time dealing with Brooke Lopez, and found himself in early foul trouble. He had only 2 points and 1 rebound in 13 minutes of playing time. The rookie roller coaster continues with Oden.
Travis Outlaw – Outlaw shook off the cobwebs of the first half to come back and hit some huge shots for us late in the game, including a three and a timely fadeaway from the free throw line. His fadeaway pretty much sealed the game for us. He also had 7 rebounds, and continues to be one of the more frustrating Blazers on a night to night basis. Why can’t he bring that effort every night?
Rudy Fernandez – Rudy gave us 23 quality minutes on a bum wheel. He didn’t help a ton, but he didn’t hurt us, which sometimes is just as good.
Joel Przybilla – Joel did a good job coming in for Oden tonight and rebounding. He had 11 boards (6 offensive) in just 22 minutes. Good work from the Vanilla Gorilla.
Game Summary in One Sentence: Great, much needed win on the road, and possibly a game that changes the playing rotation for the remainder of the season.
After spending the first half of the season bottled up with anxiety over not playing, frustration at not performing well in his limited chances, all the while unwavering in his confidence, the 20-year-old said Thursday's explosion allowed him his first NBA chance to sit back and exhale.
And perhaps straight into a pivotal role with the Blazers, if anybody listens to All-Star Brandon Roy.
"I think the young fella is ready to go,"
said. "Throw him out there, throw him into the fire. That's what I say." Roy
So do you have to start Bayless now while Blake is out? Is it time to give up on Sergio, or does the 3 year vet get another chance?