New Jersey Game--Eyewitness Report

Yutien sends the following eyewitness report from Wednesday's game...

textI was at tonight's game, it was an amazing game and I just want to share some thoughts with you guys. First, just like what you said, this win is a REAL one. When I thought about last Saturday's big win over Nets, I have to say that they were not playing well, which is part of the reason why that was a easy W for us. But tonight is totally different. They showed agressiveness from the very beginning and kept that pretty much for the whole game. What impressed me (or more exactly, upset me) the most is their ball movement. Their big three are very unselfish and very good at moving without the ball and creating a lot of easy baskets. Not to mention how good Carter was when attacking the rim. All of these are reflected on their stats -  53.9% shooting and 26 assists.

Nets were so good tonight but in the end we just simply outplayed them, outhustled them and got the much deserved victory!

I have to talk about the 4th quarter, especially the final 5~6 minutes. It was such an marvelous period, during which we executed the offense well without turning the ball over. ZBo, our best offensive weapon, stepped up and scored in very high %. He and Outlaw also hustled to get two very valuable offensive rebounds, and we also had some other guys like Outlaw and Jack to share the offensive loads with Zach. And we hit ALL of the crucial FT down the stretch (OK, except for those two from Dixon). In the other end we made 3 key defensive plays to save the game. Especially the Webtser taking charge. When Kidd got the ball and started fast break it really looked like an easy basket for them because our ZBo and Oitlaw apparently can't get back in time. But man, what can I say about Webster? The guy who often got lost in the defensive end, the guy who needs to learn a lot of NBA defense, made this huge play to save the whole game. What a smart and calm play in such situation! I Everydody in Rose Garden including me just went nuts after that play.

We executed offensively and hustled defensively, we made smart plays and got some points off TO. We passed the ball, hit open jumper and made free throws. This is exactly what a great team do when the game is on the line. If you looked at how Blazers played down the stretch tonight, they definitely played like a playoff-caliber team! Of course they made some mistakes like Outlaw trying to put the ball back up instead of passing to Jack to dribble some time off when he got the offensive rebound, like Graham's stupid foul handing Carter an easy 3 point play. But overall it's a very very impressive team effort.

I am not saying Blazers is a playoff caliber team now. They still need to learn how to play basketball in such a beautiful way more consistently. Until that happens there are still more ugly games to come. Bottom line is that 5~6 minutes stretch showed us how GREAT this Blazers team can be when they are more developed and more mature under McMillan's system.

You are right about the fans tonight. The crowd booed so loud even in the 1st half, even for some less crucial calls. In the final minutes of the 4th quarter, people just couldn't sit anymore. They were so into the game and made such big noise that I seriously believe Krstic couldn't hear anything when shot clock was ticking down to 0.

At last, I'd like to mention Sergio. He suddenly looked like that Sergio we saw in his first two games again. He just kept penetrating and passed the ball. Watching his game so closely, I almost had a feeling that there's some magic going on and our guy can hit any jumper as long as Sergio passed him the ball. This kid really got some amazing talent. But not very good yet at some shot selections.

Thanks for the excellent observations!  I don't think we could ever get tired of talking about that game!

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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