Game 73 Recap: Blazers 95, Warriors 111

Boxscore

Ah well...we weren't going to win this game and we sure didn't.  We did make a nice go of it at the start, with Lamarcus tearing them up in the post, Przybilla rebounding everything that came within six feet of him, Jack pinballing down the lane for layups, and Steve Blake impressing chicks with the long ball.  We also got back well in transition at the start of the game.  The W's caught on quickly though.  After a shell-shocked first quarter they started hounding Lamarcus low, rightly figuring that he was the key to our offense.  Not surprisingly he was.  Blake kept our heads above water for one quarter but the Warriors called for the blitz package coming out of the halftime break.  We started missing shots.  They started pressing the tempo after our misses.  40 points later the third-quarter buzzer sounded and the game was essentially over.  I didn't get to see garbage time because I was cradling and singing to a baby with a cold but I don't think I'll be rewinding it to see what transpired.  That would be masochism.

You don't have to look very far to see where this game fell apart.  Getting outrebounded by the Warriors is a bad sign.  Falling behind by 9 free throw attempts also.  But we got a bloody nose in fast break points (-14, 23-9 for the Warriors) and thus points in the paint (-16, 28-22).  Giving up 9 steals didn't kill us, but it didn't help.

When our defense started crumbling it pretty much collapsed.  We didn't have a lot of interior help, either because we weren't alert or because, being short-handed, we were trying to avoid picking up fouls.  We saw slow (or no) rotations to the outside shooters.  We got beat down the court.  From the start of the game our wings were in way over their heads trying to defend Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, and Monta Ellis.  By the end of the contest the trickle had become a downpour.  But then anyone who didn't see that coming wasn't looking very hard.

And that's basically the point of the game.  We got overwhelmed just like we were certain to. No need to be particularly grumpy.  There's just a world of difference between that Golden State backcourt and our short-handed crew.

Individual Observations

--Lamarcus had a dominating first quarter, ending up with 11 points in the period off of some solid post play.  He scored well and passed appropriately.  You will know Lamarcus has arrived when 11 points in the first turns into 40+ for the game.  It could have tonight, as he was our primary option.  He only had 6 for the rest of the game though.  He got pushed further outside and bothered by multiple defenders.  Great talent...still a ways to go.  General thumbs up though.  17 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds.

--Steve Blake almost destroyed the Jersey Contest by becoming the game's leading scorer.  (Fess up...how many of you REALLY put "Someone Else" for that question?)  He was BURNING the nets, knocking down threes like they were body shots at a Playboy party.  He became our life preserver in that second-quarter storm.  He ended up with 22 points and 6 assists.  Every once in a while he'll pull these games out of his hat and he's really fun to root for when that happens.

--Jarrett Jack showed some of his fearlessness by driving into the teeth of the Warrior defense and converting the layups and fouls that have become his bread and butter this season.  His scoring game in Roy's absence was good...19 points on 7-13 shooting, 2-3 from distance, 3-3 from the stripe.  As long as he was playing off-guard and was on offense he had a great night.  When he switched to point, however, the Warriors had his number.  They pretty much ate up every scoring pass he tried to complete.  Maybe the best way to say it is that Jack can play some point as long as the other team doesn't see it coming.  But when they're focused on him he has trouble.  Like the rest of the guards he had trouble defending his Golden State counterparts, which doesn't really bother me.  However he did look to be giving up on a couple defensive, rebounding, and transition plays.  That did bother me a little.  19 points was not too shabby.  1 assist and 4 turnovers was yucky.

--Martell Webster had one of his partly great outings.  He had a dunk in the first period that was FEROCIOUS!  He also hit some long ones early.  He cooled considerably, however, and couldn't connect even on open shots.  You want him to drive more when he starts missing, but then his driving is a distant second to his shooting, so maybe not.  This is the issue with Martell.  He did get 14 points, 6 rebounds, and a nice 3 assists.

--Joel Przybilla started out as a monster on the boards but appeared to fade as the game progressed.  He dropped a couple passes on offense and couldn't quite pull the complete game together.  He also had to make repeated choices between drawing fouls or allowing layups as the perimeter defense was non-existent.  He mostly chose to allow the layups.  Between Golden State's made shots and his futile attempts at blocks he never got to really uncork on the rebounds, finishing with 9 in 25 minutes.

--James Jones had a mini-comeback tonight, scoring 10 on 4-9 shooting off the bench.  He also added 5 rebounds.

--I want to completely applaud Travis Outlaw's overall effort tonight.  He had 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.  I shuddered at his shooting, however.  As usual there was little way to determine what was a good shot or a bad one for him, but on nights when they aren't falling...ugh.  He never really looked comfortable on offense and we really, really needed his offense.  He ended up shooting 3-10 for 9 points.

--Channing Frye had 4 points and 4 rebounds in 13 minutes.  It's so hard to leave him out there because of the people he has to play with.  If he's teamed with Przybilla we have zero post presence.  But teamed with Outlaw or Aldridge we're too weak on interior defense and usually rebounding.  I can see Channing is trying hard and getting way more production than he did early in the season.  But it's just not a great fit in this particular lineup.  It's probably good for him that we're about to undergo some changes.

--I didn't get to see Wafer and Rodriguez play so I can't comment on them.  It's hard to make much out of mop-up minutes anyway.

One-Sentence Game Summary:

Any chance we could just play 12 minute games?

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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