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Eyewitness Reports

Jksnake99 has his usual quality take on the game in the diary section in the right sidebar.  Braden also e-mailed this in.

I have some thoughts about the Blazers following tonights hard-fought win over the Rockets.  I was sitting four rows from the floor, which is closer than I have ever been at a Blazer game, so I got some pretty good impressions.  Here's what I thought:

-Jamall Magloire just flat out plays hard.  It may be entirely due to the fact that he is improving his trade value but nobody on the floor was playing harder than him.  Despite getting schooled by Yao almost every time down, he put his head down and sprinted back to the other end every time.  His box-outs are vicious and he goes after every ball that comes off the rim.  I got tired just watching him.  Even if it is a foregone conclusion that he will be dealt, it's great to have him on the floor because he is giving it his all.

-Travis Outlaw is the most athletic player on the floor all the time. Whenever he was around the rim on defense, a blocked shot was an expectation more than a possibility.  At times, he would get up so high on a tip-in attempt that he would underestimate how high he really was.  On top of that, his jump shot is vastly improved.  At this point, he has to be deemed untradeable because having an athlete like that on the floor is a HUGE asset.

-I don't like Brandon Roy playing the point.  He does way too much dribbling and the offense seems to stall with the ball in his hands. There is much more of a flow when he is at the two-guard and Jack is at the point.  It may be a product of the time off or it may be that he shouldn't be handling the point guard duties.  In my opinion, playing him at point is just a way to ensure that there isn't a log jam at the two with him and Martell battling for minutes.  If Roy continues to develop into the player that he can be, it will be interesting to see what happens to Martell because he needs the minutes as well.  If we have two players who need minutes at the two, we will have to do some serious juggling.

-Personally, I am not a fan of running the sets that entail Zach setting a high pick.  The result is usually Zach floating to the perimeter, taking a pass from whoever is playing the point, and trying to drive or shoot over a taller defender.  I would much prefer Zach camping out in the low block and either lowering his shoulder to get to the rim or stepping back for the jump shot (as opposed to squaring up against a defender with a hand in his face).  If they want a high pick to be set for the point, it should be either Magloire or Joel because they can roll to the hoop and take a pass near the rim where they won't have to make too many offensive moves and they can just drop the ball in the hoop.

-Going back to my point about Roy, I think he should get some minutes at the three.  There were numerous occasions when they had him post up and he was able to get to the rim.  If they play Roy at the three and continue to have him play in the post, they can keep Martell in at the two where he can camp out on the outside and take jumpers.

-Lastly, the crowd tonight was outstanding.  Probably one of the better crowds of the year in terms of vocal support.  Maybe it was the return of Roy, maybe it's the winning streak, but whatever it is, let's keep putting people in the seats.  This team is playing hard and playing well.  They deserve our support.

That's all I got.  Great win and GO BLAZERS!!

Thanks for all the quality reports, guys!  This is hands-down one of the best features of the site!

--Dave (