Game 55 Recap-- Blazers: Boot, Clippers: Yucky Spider

Boxscore  (Not suitable for young children.)

General Observations

It was almost impossible to find anything seriously wrong with this game.  After doinking around with jumpers and force-feeding Joel Przybilla for a little while in the first quarter the Blazers, led by the freakishly-passing Steve Blake, put the pedal to the metal and left the undermanned Clippers choking on exhaust fumes and bitterness.  Blake set a franchise record and tied the NBA record for assists in a quarter, notching 14.  The Blakers...uhhh...Blazers destroyed the Clips inside, outside, and all over town.  L.A. provided about as much defensive resistance as a blind sugar plum fairy with a nerf bat.  When the horn sounded it was 38-16 Portland.

The rest of the game was just standard NBA-blowout fare.  The Blazers still got plenty of spectacular plays whenever the Clippers or the crowd forgot they were there.  But basically the whole thing shifted into a "let's stay even" friendly stroll in the park.  As we said in the preview the Clips allow tons of points, so 116 for Portland wasn't unexpected.  Their problem was the lack of an interior game.  They didn't even have a faux-interior game with Al Thornton.  All they had were Baron Davis and Eric Gordon trying to score or thread passes that had no chance of connecting.  When Ricky Davis is the best alternative you can pull out to take pressure off of your main guys you're going to have a looooong night.

To their credit, the Blazers never let the Clips offer any threat.  The second unit played hard, as did the third, fourth, and fifth.  The game was a total massacre on the boards, aided by the Clippers missing 50 of their 79 shots.  The Blazers also had 38 assists to 17 for Los Angeles.  The only place where the Clippers got a real edge was their 31-16 free throw advantage, but even then you have to consider that refs won't make many calls for a team that's 30 points ahead.  This was a non-contest from the get-go, as it should have been.  Way to take care of business, Portland.  I'd spend more time feeling sorry for the Clippers but there's a playoff race to run here.  I wouldn't wish it a bit different.

Individual Notes

I don't see quite how you'd do detailed notes in a game like this as the contest was so lopsided as to be non-indicative.  I will say that you probably got a glimpse of what a lot of these players look like in practice, which actually gives you a glimmer of their oft-hidden potential.  You can see why people are excited about these kids.

Some brief notes:

--Lamarcus Aldridge just destroyed everybody the Clippers threw against hiM (which adMittedly wasn't Much, but then we've seen Lamarcus underperforM in such situations before).  He went 13-20 on an array of Moves and was one of the key figures in preventing the Clips from getting any MoMentuM.  He had 10 rebounds too, always a welcoMe bonus.

--Brandon Roy scored 20 easy and could have had 40.  He had 9 assists and 8 rebounds.  When do we get our triple-double?

--Steve Blake was dropping dimes like a Crisco vendor in a bank vault in that first quarter.  (Or like Sergio, whichever.)  He ended up with 17 for the game.

--Joel Przybilla wasn't needed as much as usual due to the small-ball nature of the game.  He still grabbed 9 boards.

--Nic Batum had 10 points and 2 steals.

--Rudy Fernandez only got 16 minutes of playing time, perhaps because Nate wanted to see the other guards in action.  He still managed 11 points in those 16 minutes.

--Travis Outlaw joined the scoring fest with 15 in 24 minutes.  It was his kind of game, really.

--Sergio was the only Blazer to play more than 3 minutes without hitting a shot but I guess he's forgiven as he dished 6 assists.  It was his kind of game too.

--Jerryd Bayless had 7 points and 2 assists in 12 minutes.

--Channing Frye played 24 minutes and got 7 rebounds.  I like those rebounds even more than his jumper.

--Get this:  Shavlik Randolph saw the floor for 8 minutes and hoisted 8 shots.  Ball hog!  That's like a week's worth of Sergio shots.  Just kidding Shav fans...he actually got most of them off of his 5 offensive rebounds.  9 points, 7 total rebounds.  Let the shouting begin for him to take the non-existent minutes available in front of him.

--Michael Ruffin played for 3 minutes tonight.  He had 3 rebounds but his one shot missed the rim by a greater distance than every other shot the Blazers took tonight combined.  (Welcome to the cold light of internet analysis, Michael!  Seriously, I liked the boards.)

Final Thoughts

The Blazers ended up 5-2 during the 7-game gooshy streak in the schedule the last couple of weeks.  Right on target.  Now fun time is over.  Houston, San Antonio, and Minnesota await, all on the road.  1-2 is fine, 2-1 would be fantastic.  But these games are going to take work.  As Coach Rice said during the broadcast today there's often a lag in recovering from the ease of games like this.  If the Blazers come out Tuesday night with a couple turnovers and missed jumpers they're going to have to find a way to recover.

Read all about the Clippers' fun, fun times right now at ClipsNation. 

Check out your Jersey Contest scores and enter Tuesday's game hereI guarantee you didn't do as awesomely as the Blazers but most people still did pretty well.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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