Game 12 Recap: Blazers 116, Bulls 74

Boxscore

 

Yeah, well, we’re not going to go into any great depth about this one.  It wouldn’t be polite.  We’ve seen plenty of 42-point halves for the Blazers in the last few years, but 42-point wins?  Odds bodkins!  When your fans are getting chalupas and the other team hasn’t hit 60 yet, you know things are going right.

 

I know everybody will want to focus on the dunk-fest, but concentrate on the defense first in this one.  We came out harrying the Chicago guards, using Lamarcus Aldridge’s length to disturb their rhythm with the press.  This also forced quick shots.  They couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn at that point and never recovered.  We held the Bulls under 35% for the game, 13% from the three-point line.

 

On offense we just destroyed their interior players.  I’m pretty sure they made Greg Oden scrape Joakim Noah off of his shoe before they’d let him into the locker room at halftime.  When Joel Przybilla is posterizing you, you have problems.  Brandon Roy got into the post a little.  Lamarcus Aldridge got into the post.  Roy and Rodriguez started driving too. You saw a preview of the Blazers in years to come with the offense tonight.  I am not suggesting that everything is going to be so free and easy, nor that we’re going to win by 40 often.  But you basically saw the Bulls have to pick their poison when one of our players broke them down.  Whoever they decided to double-team with, the guy that player was originally guarding either backed up to the three-point line or cut to the rim.  With our overall awareness and passing it was either a clear three or a slam-you-two.  The Blazers are going to cause just that kind of overload when everybody gets comfortable with their own offensive game and their teammates.  Unless you can stop Portland one-on-one five times over (try that with Oden or Roy) you’re going to be hurting.  Don’t think that time will be coming soon, but it will get here.  Even now, though, it’s good to know that this is what happens when you don’t defend the Blazers.  In years past you wouldn’t have seen Portland being able to take advantage.

 

Obviously with the dominance in the paint the Bulls couldn’t hang on the boards either.  How often do the Blazers win when they outrebound their opponent?

 

I’m not even going to do individual player reviews tonight.  Most everybody played excellent.  Lamarcus was struggling on offense again but he didn’t force it or disrupt the game.  Oh wait… I can’t BELIEVE Sergio had 6 turnovers!!!  What is up with that guy?  Bench him!  Bench him hard!  (Just kidding.)

 

Here are some random notes accumulated during the game…

 

--Vinny Del Negro does not look right in a coach’s suit.  Of course his image wasn’t helped by the proceedings.  Even before the game he looked like a commercial for Tums.  He graduated from that to the Bayless-having-PMS face.  Finally there was the glazed, “Anyone get the license plate of that steamroller?” look.

 

--If you’re wondering why Oden is having problems finishing directly under the basket, remember his vertical isn’t all the way back yet.  Trust me, that will come.  Then he won’t get blocked on those dunks either.

 

--Jon Barry made a comment in the first half that the Blazers ranked 29th in the league in rebounding and needed improvement. That ranking is only accurate if you measure by total number of rebounds.  (And even then they’ve moved up to 24th.)  That’s not the best measure because raw numbers of rebounds are affected by pace.  Golden State is always going to have more rebounds overall than the Blazers because they and their opponents each take over 10 more shots per game than the Blazers and their average opponent.  More shots equals more rebounds.  Rebounding percentage is a much better measuring tool.  The Blazers are 12th in offensive rebounding percentage and 2nd overall in defensive rebounding percentage.  Defensive rebounding can be supplemented by offensive rebounds allowed, where the Blazers rank 1st overall.  National commentators can’t be expected to know all the intricacies of teams they see only a few times a year but I don’t think it’s too much to expect them to check the relevant statistics before making such sweeping claims.

 

--The crowd sounded like they enjoyed the game completely.  It’s a sure bet the Blazers will have to ice their wrists tomorrow from all of the dunking they did.  Quite the balm after last night’s stinging loss, eh?

 

--Somebody in Chicago needs to tell Drew Gooden that the “Hanging Calamari” went out about two centuries ago…and for good reason.

 

I wouldn’t advise it necessarily, but if you’re brave you can see what the Bulls fans are saying over at BlogaBull.  (Be nice if you let them know you're from here.)  Also you can enter Friday's Jersey Contest form here.  Don't forget there's also a Saturday game that will come up as soon as Friday's is done.

 

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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