Thursday, October 28, 2010

Game 2 - Clippers

Good win on a back to back for the Blazers. Even though it was the Clippers, never underestimate a team on their opening night at home. They played with good energy, but it helped that Kaman and B Diddy shot horribly from the field. Some thoughts.

-Blazers are killers on the boards. And we don’t even have Oden and Pryz. It’s scary to think about how we will be when we get two of the top 5 rebound rate (# of rebounds they collect as a % of the total number available when they are in the game) guys in the league back. We could be devastating.

-Wesley Matthews had a really tough game, but I wouldn’t say a horrible one. That’s the nice thing about guys who do something else besides score, they can affect the game when their shot is off. Also his stats are a little mis leading, as he found himself with the ball in his hands at the end of shot clock multiple times for unexplained reasons. Someone would dump him the ball with 3 seconds left and he was forced to get something up. So take his horrible FG% with a grain of salt.

-Roy started off hot again, racking up 18 in the first half. Then went silent for a lot of the 2nd half. Interesting to note that the 3rd quarter was probably our worst quarter (and Roy’s most laid back). I feel like in years past we’ve let teams back in the game because we relax, and guess where that comes from? Roy. Hopefully this is something he figures out sooner then later. Because as much as I like them, we can’t rely on 15-3 4th quarter runs every game.

-Batum has more then impressed me so far this season. I thought he’d be good, but I think his 3 point shot has gotten even better. He is now a guy that I borderline expect to make an open corner 3. Couldn’t have said that last year.

-Aldridge hasn’t been flashy but I still think he’s getting it done. With 19 and 10, he has been more aggressive on the glass, which is great. He just needs to find that fine line of using his jumper to setup his inside game, not using the inside game to setup the jumper.

-Andre Miller played really good, in the stagnant 3rd quarter he made a concerted effort to get to the rim (not always successfully) but that’s what I like to see out of somebody else then Roy. Someone noticing the slump and knowing how to break it. Great player, awkward fit.

-Armon Johnson was somewhat of a non-factor tonight, which is to be expected from a 2nd round rookie.

- Camby continues to impress. He CRUSHED the offensive glass, and you could argue that’s the reason we won.

Overall not a bad game considering it was a back to back and it was the Clippers season opener at home. Hard to match that energy sometimes, but the Blazers did just enough to get the win, and that’s what matters.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oden Article

Thought this was an extremely interesting read.

Game 1 - Phoenix Suns

Not a bad first game for the Blazers. Phoenix kept it close the entire time, but the late 4th quarter flurry put them away for good. Here are a few things that I really liked about the game.

-Roy looked quick, in rhythm, and more springy then I can remember him at any point last year. His shooting was very good, and it didn’t even require him to take the ball to the hoop (even though I would have liked to see him do that with the Suns being so soft in the middle).

-Wesley Matthews is absolutely going to play 30+ minutes a game for the Blazers. For Blazer loyalists, he is like James Jones times 5. They both do so many little things that you don’t realize until you watch them play. Tipping OReb’s, helping on the pick and roll and recovering. Moving out to the 3 point line at the right time to space the floor. He is an absolute beast, and if he keeps playing like this, is absolutely worth the contract he got.

-Batum was active as usual, but where it really stood out to me, was he was mixing it up down low a lot more. In the past his activeness was mostly on the perimeter and in the passing lanes, but last night he was in there scrapping for rebounds, loose balls, and what seemed like everything in between. It could just be the fact that we were playing Phoenix who doesn’t block out particularly well, and is small, but regardless it is still a good sign to me. If Batum can keep that up, between him and Wesley that is going to gain us an extra 5+ possessions a game. Something a team who slows down the pace so much highly covets.

-Even though it was a dog fight for most of the game, I was impressed with how the Blazers didn’t do their usual, go down my 12, make a run, go ahead by 4, then go down by 8 again. They had a nice pace through the entire game, instead of the big swings. Hopefully that’s not just because it was Phoenix.

-I really hope Roy doesn’t have to play 40 minutes a game for us.

-I liked our “backup” PG role of Rudy, Roy and Wes Matthews out there at the same time a lot more then I thought I would. Rudy did a good job of bringing the ball up and initiating the offense. A reason I like it even more is, that is that is exactly the type of role he has been pining for. Even though after seeing how he has played so far this year, maybe we want Rudy to be sad.

-Can’t say enough about Armon Johnson. I can tell in 1 game that he is better then Bayless will ever be as a PG. He had a few mistakes, but good mistakes if that makes sense. He made mistakes trying to go to the rim. Not stepping on the sideline after he catches the ball type of mistakes. What I really was impressed with was how quickly he moved, while appearing to be in complete control the entire time. Never seemed off balance (like Bayless), never seemed to not know what his out was if it didn’t work. Pretty impressive for a 2nd round rookie huh?

-Take it easy on Aldridge, he got doubled pretty much as soon as he caught the ball all night. He did the right thing and passed out. Took him a while, but eventually he began getting involved without the ball on the boards. Loved that. I feel like I’ve already seen him put his shoulder into guys more in that game then almost all of last year. Hopefully he keeps it up against bigger teams.

-Marcus Camby is really good. He changes the game way more then the casual basketball fan can see/comprehend. Gotta hand it to KP, that was an absolute fleecing last year getting him for Outlaw and Blake. That’s a trade that would have gotten vetoed in about 15 mins in my fantasy league.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised with game 1. After all the media talking about our sluggish pre season, I was beginning to get worried. And without the games on TV, I couldn’t do my own eye check. Well after game 1 most of my anxieties were relived. Though it’s early, I liked the energy, the body language, and demeanor of this team. And we don’t even have Oden and Pryz yet. Plus they covered the spread. Sup $10.

Oh and lastly, how fun was it to watch Blazer basketball again? Forgot how much I loved it.