Whoo-eeee. That game was uglier than a Casey Holdahl prom date. (And much like the redoubtable Mr. Uppercut, the Blazers had a really hard time scoring...)
Spurs 98, Blazers 84
--I didn't think our defensive effort could sink any lower, but it did. Our individual defense was spotty, but that's no surprise. That's just a feature of our current team. But the help defense was non-existent or detention-level tardy, only our guards had any interest in getting back in transition, and half of the sets we were scrambling around like chickens with our heads cut off, leaving multiple Spurs wide-open shots. By the end of the night we were just standing and watching the Spurs shoot. Also I'm starting to get frustrated with seeing two guys mistakenly jump to the same man on screens and give-and-go plays. First of all that was covered in practice and you need to keep practicing it until you get it right. Second if you're not sure what to do all you have to do is yell out which guy you're taking as the play happens. Sean Elliot reamed us good for our ineptitude and we deserved it. A couple of times he diagramed all our mistakes in slow motion. Wait...not ALL the mistakes, the timeouts are only so long. If you took that defensive effort to a junior college campus they'd laugh you right back into intramurals. I officially declare us in the same defensive dead zone we finished last year with and until that changes I predict we do not win one game in six.
--The offensive effort was not horrible tonight, but the Spurs did make us take a bunch of shots outside of our comfort zone. We hit quite a few of them, but not enough to make a lasting difference.
--On a night when all three of the Spurs' stars were either off or passive how do you still lose by 14?
--A couple of young Blazers had good games, and Jarrett Jack's impressed me most. He can score from so many places in so many ways. His confidence was high tonight. There was no hesitation in his moves or his shot.
--Brandon Roy had a really rough shooting night but at least he was aggressive. He also helped with 5 boards and 3 assists to go along with 10 points.
--Lamarcus really got to shine on offense. He shot 6-8 and got 8 free throw attempts along the way to a career high 17 points. He scored off of offensive rebounds and face-up jumpers as well as his patented turn-around. He had really nice rebounding energy too. Good game for him.
--Zach scored 25 but was again a culprit in the defensive rotation woes. I think we should consider Zach a "-10" player for the foreseeable future, meaning that whatever he scores you deduct 10 from it for purposes of determining if he had a good game, in deference to all the pressure he puts on our own defense, halfcourt and transition. In other words if he scores 30 he had a good night, but anything in the mid-20's or lower is mediocre.
--The other centers also had horrible defensive outings, though Magloire again scored some.
--Other than that Juan Dixon was the only guy who brought something to the table. Martell tried but was largely unsuccessful, though he did have a straight up block on a Tim Duncan drive that was erroneously called a foul. He got his own stuff swatted by Duncan later on and also blew a wide-open dunk so it wasn't his night.
--There were several calls going against us again tonight, but what do you expect? The refs really do hate Joel Przybilla though. Maybe they've just seen one too many of his cheap and senseless fouls and are deciding to cut out the middle man and just whistle him for everything.
--Tim Duncan is really looking like he's lost something. I assume it's mostly mental as he shouldn't be breaking down. He just wasn't the Tim Duncan we're used to seeing on either end of the court.