Bad news guys. Apparently our 4 game win streak earlier this season didn't count because on the TNT postgame show, Ernie Johnson TWICE mentioned that the Blazers had just achieved their first consecutive wins of the season. What's not clear to me is whether those games were forfeited or just did not happen, so we are either 3-12 or 3-16, I'm not sure which.
Actually, most of the broadcast was pretty decent. They didn't overplay the Oden angle as much as I expected- they talked about him of course, but they didn't show him as much as I expected. Doug Collins, who I respect as an analyst, was very complementary of Outlaw, Aldridge and (especially) Roy.
It was a nice win and we played quite well, particularly in the 2nd quarter and in the 5 minute stretch after Wade pulled them within 1, culminating with Outlaw's emphatic jam and 3 pt play. Steve Blake made the biggest shot of the game, the corner 3 to put the Blazers up 4. Roy was excellent in that stretch run (and he made his FTs tonight which was nice to see), and of course Outlaw continued his fine play. My only issue with Outlaw is that he is a complete black hole- if he gets the ball, you know he's going to shoot it. I love the confidence he is showing though and he did a nice job of going to the basket- he settled for fewer deep jumpers. He also did a nice job on the boards.
Martell didn't have it tonight. I'm worried he's looking over his shoulder at Jones- who again gave the Blazers a real lift tonight.
We saw once again the problems this team has with holding big leads. Miami went to the small lineup and we didn't do a good job adjusting. Are our difficulties in holding leads due to getting complacent? Is it simply that we don't usually play back to back strong halves? I know you often hear that young teams struggle in this area, but I can't quite put my finger on exactly why this is. Any thoughts on this?
Overall, a solid (if not spectacular) performance and its certainly nice to get a W on national TV.