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Game 82 Recap

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Warriors 120  Blazers 98
Boxscore

And so it ends.  The storylines of this game were simple.  The Blazers came in facing superior athletes at almost every position, players with experience, skill, and drive.  Our patchwork lineup got exposed by their starters early on and we could never recover.  It seems like every mistake we made they converted.  Plus they did a lot of great things on their own.  Most impressively they out-rebounded us, they had THIRTY-SEVEN assists on 48 made shots (which has to be some kind of record and also shows you how impotent our defense was) and they rammed the break down our collective throats, several times after made shots.

From a team perspective the only thing that really stood out was the abysmal play of our guards.  Granted they had a tough assignment going against that huge, athletic Golden State backcourt, but even so they shouldn't have looked this bad.  Combined our 6'4" and under guys shot 12 for 37.  And that doesn't even begin to cover it.  The passing and decision making were atrocious.  (Poor team spacing helped with that somewhat, but still...)  Jarrett Jack had 3 assists and 5 turnovers.  Sergio managed 7 assists but he had 4 turnovers as well.  And these turnovers were of the ugly variety too...not NBA-worthy.  Not a single small guy could get us into the offense tonight.  It was either dribble all day or make a bail-out pass.

Then again, this lineup is hardly conducive to showing us at our best.

I only have three individual notes tonight.

--This was Travis Outlaw's game.  He set a career high in points again with 36.  He tied Jim Barnett's all-time Blazer free throw record by hitting 16-16 from the line.  Many of these late-season developments should be taken with a grain of salt.  (Remember Ha!)  But this free-throw shooting thing is really encouraging.  For one thing it means he's learning the benefit of drawing them.  For another he's hitting with confidence.  Those are the kind of lessons that often stick.  Contrast this to what he was doing last week shooting all those jumpers.  Even though a lot of them were going in he didn't score near this much.  Hopefully this will help him find his niche.  By the way, he also bagged 10 rebounds too.

--Martell also had a high energy night.  He cannot seem to grab more than 5 rebounds no matter how many minutes he plays and that's exactly what he got tonight too.  He was 5-9 for 14 points.  But he had energy and played a more complete game than we often see from him.  I think he may be one player for whom the regular season is ending too soon.

--Jamaal had 13 points and got 10 rebounds while playing solid, big-man ball.  It was a good effort and he's really made this last month of the season easier.  The beginning of the year was a disaster for him, but he reclaimed it.

And that's that.  Despite the score it wasn't an awful game.  It wasn't a good game.  It was just the game you'd expect looking at the lineups going in.  A miracle would have been fun, but congratulations to the playoff-bound Warriors.  It's been a long time coming and I hope they enjoy the buzz.  Well done.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)