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Game 80 Recap

Sonics 102  Blazers 108

Team Observations

It's hard to tell how much you can take from a game like this.  From a team standpoint I think it was indicative that we play with heart no matter what the situation.  You could tell we wanted the game even if we didn't always know how to take it.  That showed up mostly on the defensive end.  In the second half especially saw some magnificent defensive stands by our frontcourt:  LaFrentz, Magloire, Outlaw, even a little bit of Schenscher and Webster.  Much like the American public the last two election cycles we pretty much wanted the "W".   And again like America, for better or worse we got it.

However this wasn't a masterpiece for either team.  Seattle's defense was woeful.  Ours looked a little better on paper but really the Sonics were just missing some shots.  And we allowed them a ton of offensive rebounds.  Only Magloire made a consistent dent in the boards.  We did move the ball around pretty well and it's great to see that as our default mode of playing.  Neither team had a significant number of turnovers but then neither team worked really hard to cause any either.  It wasn't tanking or anything close, it was just the kind of game where both teams knew the season's end was nearing, both teams knew they weren't going anywhere, so both teams just came out and sort of played some ball.

Individual Observations

Again, take these with a mighty grain of salt because this was not exactly your typical NBA game out there.  I don't think anything that happened tonight was very indicative of real production...perhaps potential...perhaps.  Mostly it was, "This is what guys would play like if nobody guarded them really hard."

--Other players had better stats but I want to mention Martell first because he had a really nice outing.  It's so wonderful to watch him when the game is coming free and easy for him.  His shot really is a thing of beauty when it falls.  He shot 7-12 for 17 points and they were mostly smart, confident shots.  He also had 6 rebounds which is starting to come standard with his game.  That's good to see.

--Travis also had a very nice game.  He shot 7-15 and got SIX free throws too!  Yippee!  That makes him much more valuable than when he's just a jump shooter.  He also hit 2-3 from the three point arc.  He had 22 points total and a smattering of other stats including a little bit of his nice help defense.

--Jarrett Jack was the Blazers' leading scorer with 25, bolstered somewhat by some late-game "catch up" free throws gifted by the Sonics.  His 8-13 shooting and 9-10 from the line were impressive.  Once again he drove a fair bit.  His defense though...I want his defense to get a lot better than it is right now.  He really doesn't have the offensive or playmaking ability to get by as a bad defender.

--Jamaal Magloire was a workhorse on the boards with 15 total rebounds.  If we didn't have him right now we'd lose every game by double digits.  He also started a horrible name-pun sub-topic in the Gameday Open Thread post.  But I guess he can't rightly be blamed for that.  It is one of the reasons we're going to miss him if he's not here next year though.

--Raef was OK, Dan was OK, Luke was OK.  Each contributed a little sumthin'-sumthin'.

--Sergio had what I'd term a pretty good night.  He shot 3-6 and had 4 assist in 19 minutes.  Again the Sonics defense was not exactly intimidating, which fits Sergio's game just fine.  I do wish he'd learn better when to pass and when to just lay it up himself.  His jumper looked confident again though.

--Fred Jones played a team-high 45 minutes and did have 4 assists and a couple spectacular shot at the hoop and one from three were particularly memorable.  But he only shot 3-12 and just didn't seem that much in the flow.

Miscellaneous Observations

--The Sonics' announcers were no more into the game than the players.  They spent vast tracts of airtime talking about peripheral, speculative issues--trades, contracts, old-time player-coaches--even when the game was close.

--That was also the quietest Portland crowd I've heard in forever for a win in which we shot almost 50%.  It's like everybody kind of knew the story.

--The Seattle crew interviewed Brandon in the tunnel during the game.  His quotes weren't that memorable but they did reveal that the screen saver on Nate's computer was a picture of B-Roy.  Nice.  If this were an office he'd be Employee of the Month nine months running.

--They also interviewed Martell post-game.  Again his actual quotes weren't that unusual but he did say that it was special playing against the Sonics, that his family wished he had been drafted by Seattle, but (more or less), "Things happen like they happen."  He didn't seem all that thrilled to be a Blazer right now.  Ah's been a tough year.

--Dave (