In a Nutshell
The Blazers play a flat, and frankly mentally-deranged, game against Golden State...shooting threes galore, ceding offensive rebounds, taking wild shots. By gum, the Blazers play like the Warriors! Meanwhile Golden State plays solid defense, rebounds well, forces turnovers. Wait a minute...did these teams switch uniforms for the night? Maybe so, as the Blazers get blown out of the building without so much as a whimper. David Lee destroys LaMarcus Aldridge in the process.
In the Game Preview for this contest I asked a rhetorical question: What kind of team would be stupid enough to get into a three-point shooting contest with the Warriors? The Blazers evidently missed the "rhetorical" part of the equation as they spent the entire first period saying, "Oooh! Me! ME! Pick ME!!!" Portland shot 0-6 from behind the arc in the opening period, leading to Golden State run-outs. Portland also turned over the ball, leading to Golden State run-outs. Thankfully the Blazers also ran back hard and made a decent attempt at getting around the perimeter on defense, holding the Warriors to 19 points. That's also what the Blazers scored. Tie after one. The biggest story of the period wasn't the score but the exit of Marcus Camby, spraining his neck while diving on defense. He would not return to the game.
The Blazers fell into a rare batch of lucidity during the second period, abandoning the three-point shooting in favor of the mid-range game of Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge. Portland still shot jumpers but at least they weren't stupid jumpers. Portland also got busy on the offensive boards, scoring multiple second-chance points. Portland managed 28 in the quarter. The second period also saw a liberal dose of Portland's bench players which also meant a liberal dose of slower, weaker defense against Golden State's guards. Behind Stephon Curry and Monta Ellis (with a late hand from David Lee) the Warriors also post 28. Game still tied at the half.
Portland would attack the rim early in the third period, drawing fouls from refs who looked likely to whistle any perceived contact. That was a good start to the offense. Sadly the Blazers couldn't manage even a stitch of defense in the period. Golden State finally came alive from the arc which, in turn, opened up the inside for drives and offensive rebounds which, in turn, led to them getting the same whistles which aided the Blazers early on. Behind 12-15 shooting in the period the Warriors scored 37 and launched themselves ahead on the scoreboard. As the lead increased the Blazers tried to solve their problems with--you guessed it--more three-pointers. When those shots didn't fall that scoreboard got downright ugly. The Warriors led by 16 after three.
The fourth quarter featured more offensive rebounds for Golden State and more missed threes for the Blazers. The Warriors announcers wondered aloud when the Portland run was coming. By about the four minute mark they concluded "never". That was correct. Warriors administer a whuppin', 108-87.
Besides Camby the only other development is Portland backing into the playoffs by virtue of a loss by the Rockets. The celebration will be subdued, no doubt. It's awfully easy to cross the line from "believing in yourself" to "taking it easy". The Warriors just smacked the Blazers right back across that line tonight.
Yeah, no. Nobody gets credit on a night like this. OK, Aldridge had 12 rebounds, Camby 8 boards in 10 minutes, and both Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews topped 50% shooting from the field but collectively this team was God-awful. Roy 2-11, Fernandez 1-9, Miller 2 assists, Wallace 3 rebounds, Batum and Matthews 2-11 from distance...the ugly parade marches on.
Stats of the Night
- Blazers 21 threes attempted. That's Golden State's average. Portland made 3 of them. That's the average at St. Ignatius School for the Blind.
- Golden State 14 offensive rebounds. No. Just no.
- David Lee: 29 points, 20 rebounds.
- Warriors 50% shooting.
Odd Notes and Links
Golden State Of Mind will be happy.