In a Nutshell
The Blazers mow over the Suns in a rout in everything but final score. Brandon Roy proves that he's still able to be Brandon Roy when you don't guard him.
This may be the easiest Game Flow section of the years. The Blazers starters destroyed Phoenix as the Suns seemed unwilling to do anything about it. The Suns aren't known for their defense but they went out of their way to prove the point tonight. If you want to know how horrible it was, go select a large, juicy cantaloupe from your neighborhood market, take it home, stick it in your bread cupboard, come back in a year, and then stuff it straight up your nose. Portland shooting 49% for the game doesn't describe it. That number was tanked by a couple bench players combining for 0-11 shooting. Portland's starters topped 67%. Brandon Roy scored early and often, forsaking everything but the step-back jumper and the wide-open three. When Phoenix single-covered him he rang their bell like it was the state fair. When they sent an extra man it was one pass to glory. When Roy wasn't handling the ball the Blazers just dumped it to a spin-cutting LaMarcus Aldridge for dunk-dunkety-dunk-dunk action. On the other end Phoenix shot outside, Portland covered well, and the Blazers--led by Marcus Camby--sucked up almost every rebound. The score was 28-22 after one.
The only hiccup in the game came when the second unit played as a unit. They might as well have been carrying a sign saying, "Please Don't Play Us!" Having not learned a thing from the starters about Phoenix's mindset Portland's reserves started taking loopy shots off the dribble with no passes or set-up. They also failed to rebound, letting Hakim Warrick score some of the only easy Suns points of the night off of offensive boards and unopposed jams. By the 7:00 mark of the second the reserves had been pulled and the starters resumed where they left off.
And that was pretty much the ballgame. Phoenix put up as much resistance as Mary Jo Grabowski and her sister at my senior prom. It was like they were waiting for their shots to hit the nets and spread magic pixie dust all over the court, inverting the scoreboard. Some of their shots did fall late in the game as the Blazers stalled while trying to run clock, but it hardly mattered. Portland wins 101-94. The score says 7 points. The game summary says LOL.
Brandon Roy made this game really easy for the Blazers by hitting his shots. His performance hearkened to days of yore minus the driving. He was uncanny. The defense and rebounding Portland showed were inspired as well.
I've seen the Suns in a lot of eras but this was the worst game I've seen them play.
Roy 26 points on 10-19 shooting, 2-4 from distance, and just as importantly 6 assists.
Roy's performance didn't hurt Wes Money much, as he went 5-10 for 16 points and 4 assists himself.
Marcus Camby 18 rebounds (well more than any 2 Suns combined), 2 blocks, and (finally!) 6-7 shooting for 16 points. It didn't hurt that those shots weren't jumpers. Phoenix did everything short of offering him a foot massage to make him comfortable when he came in the lane. Y'all come back now, ya hear?
If Phoenix made Camby feel welcome, they rolled out a red carpet for LaMarcus Aldridge. He went 9-16 for 23 points on an array of dunks and layups seasoned with a few open jumpers. His post moves looked LaMarvelous, which wasn't surprising.
Andre Miller scored 10 points on 1 made field goal (out of only 4 attempted). He made his bones with 8-8 foul shooting and 9 assists. He fit in seamlessly again tonight. He and the team seem to have found a rhythm. The only obvious snafu was his involvement in yet another late-game defensive inbounds nightmare but that didn't cost the Blazers anything.
The bench was uniformly ineffective tonight. Patty Mills masked the lack of offense when he was on the floor by hitting 2-2 shots but those were about the only good shots the team got with him at point. Dante Cunningham also went 2-2. Rudy Fernandez had a steal and an assist but missed all 4 shots he took. Nicolas Batum one-upped Rudy by missing all 7 of his, registering 1 rebound and 3 personal fouls in the process.
Stats of the Night
- Blazers 49% shooting
- Blazers 32 free throw attempts (26 made) versus Phoenix's 17. Before you start pointing fingers at the refs, this was 95% bad defense being reflected in the whistles. There's no way the Suns can make any claim to this game for any reason. Had the Blazers slipped Ex-Lax in their Gatorade they still should have played better than that.
- Blazers match the Suns with 14 fast break points
- Blazers hit more threes and shoot a better percentage from distance than the Suns.
- In short, Phoenix lost to Portland at Portland's game and lost again to Portland at their own game.
Odd Notes and Links
Enter at your own risk, as there was no bright side tonight: Bright Side of the Sun