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Game 49 Recap: Blazers 82, Pistons 91

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Game 49 Recap

Boxscore

I'm not going with the normal post-game format tonight because this wasn't a normal game.  (And as I said at the end of the post-game stint with Gavin tonight, thank goodness this isn't a normal game nowadays!  It used to be.)

It's fairly easy to describe what happened:

  1.  It looked like everybody in that locker room knew that without Brandon we didn't have much of a chance.  I know the fans and media were saying that (because it was true) but I didn't expect the team to play quite so much like it.  With the exception of moments of offensive brilliance from Lamarcus pretty much everything and everybody looked tentative and stunted.  It looked like we lost this game before we ever took the floor.
  2.  Yes, the Pistons are that good.
  3.  Nobody but the person handling the ball moved ANYWHERE in our offensive sets.  No player movement made it easy for Detroit to thwart our passing game.  Without passing our offense stinks.  We cannot generate good shots one-on-one, especially without Roy.  It's just not our game...not even Lamarcus' that much.  If you see one person dribbling and four people frozen at our end of the court we're going to lose.
  4.  There didn't look to be much communication on defense either.  We botched a few pick coverages.  We let people sneak behind us without so much as a peep or a head turn.  When we did help each other the rotation was often too late.  The result was either made shots or our big guys being out of position for rebounds.
  5.  Don't overlook the absence of James Jones either.  He really opens up the floor for us.  Without that deep-shooting threat we lose a lot of operating space.
  6.  On top of everything the Pistons outhustled us every minute that mattered.  That was the icing on the cake.
Other Notes:

--Lamarcus was just about the only guy hitting offensively.  I'm willing to forgive him some of the defensive troubles considering who he was guarding.  The hard part for me is that he had 5 rebounds in the first few minutes of the first quarter and ended up with 6 total for the game.  Only 2 of those were defensive.  As I said we were exposing him a little and putting him out of position, but still...

--We made ZERO three pointers tonight.  (When was the last time that happened?)

--We had ZERO blocked shots tonight.  And it's not like the Pistons weren't driving.

--We allowed Detroit to shoot 49%, 3 points over their season average.

--We also allowed 26 assists on 36 made buckets.  We're normally the ones doing that to the other team.

--We needed Martell, Jarrett, and Travis to step up.  Martell shot 2-10.  Travis shot 2-8 in 18 minutes.  Jarrett was 4-7 for 10 points but had 6 turnovers.

--On top of that Steve Blake shot 3-10 and Sergio was 0-4.  Between them and Taurean our point guards were a combined 5-18 tonight.  We have a hard time winning when that happens when Brandon is playing, let alone when he's gone.

And that's about it.  There's no real lasting damage done unless the team carries the funk into Indiana tomorrow.  The key for tomorrow will be two "P's":  professional (meaning letting this loss go) and passionate.  We'll see if this young team is up to the task.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)