This was a good game in the sense that winning is always good. We played a solid one and a half quarters, which was good enough to come away with the four point victory. Otherwise it was a somewhat uninspired night. One of the main lessons this season will be that good teams manage to win on somewhat uninspired nights.
The Blazers won because they excelled in three main areas. First they outrebounded the ‘Wolves 45-38. This was a nice accomplishment. Even though
Otherwise this was a tough game to watch. We came out flat, scoring only 18 in the first period and making
--Brandon Roy pretty much took charge of the ball again but this time he had a more typical
--Lamarcus Aldridge had a fantastic night with 24 points, 8-10 free throws, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks. He was all over the place, at least for one night forsaking his monogamous relationship with the jumper. The rebounds and blocks were far more impressive than the offense, though. When Lamarcus gets to guard interior players he’s not half bad in there. The next step for him will be earning the assignment on the Al Jefferson types.
--Nicolas Batum was a ball of energy again tonight. What I like about him is that he has a controlled energy. He’s not breaking the offense or defense with his movement or decisions (though he occasionally gets lost, but that’s to be expected). He’s another pace-pusher, which is to the good. He had 8 points and 2 blocks but only 1 rebound, the latter because he was defending outside most of the night.
--Joel Przybilla had 9 boards and kept us on track with his rebounding but was overmatched trying to stay in front of Al Jefferson and collected fouls quickly.
--Steve Blake played 32 minutes and shot 3-10 for 6 points plus 2 rebounds and 2 assists. He looks like he’s trying to demonstrate an ability to score off of the dribble and it’s not pretty. “Steve Blake” and “pressing” don’t belong in the same sentence…that’s not where his value is. He did do a good job keeping the ‘Wolves small forwards in front of him and out of transition.
--Channing Frye had 7 rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench. You have to like that effort. His offense is still jumper-heavy but he hits them. Can’t argue with that.
--Travis Outlaw took 5 shots and 6 free throws on the way to 11 points. He also had 4 rebounds. He only played 20 minutes though. Still it’s hard to see Batum be such a spark plug and then see Travis not, even though Travis has superior numbers. I wanted last night’s Travis back. Then again, he was back to small forward exclusively tonight.
--8 of Rudy Fernandez’ 10 attempts tonight were three-pointers. He ended up with 11 points total, 9 from threes, but I’d like to see a bigger variety of attempts from him. No argument that he can hit them, but we lose the movement when he’s weak-side waving or always spotting up from distance. Did anyone catch Sergio’s lob to him that he guided in while falling over? That ought to make Sportscenter. Rudy also had 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
--Sergio had 5 assists in 13 minutes along with 2 points and 2 turnovers. I thought he played fine with no signs of anything untoward from this week’s media frenzy.
--Ike Diogu got 4 minutes and had a turnover and 2 fouls.
1. Mike Miller has the girliest hair in the NBA. Ever.
2. Anybody who said earlier this week that