This was a disappointing loss, but before we all go and jump off of various bridges into the Willamette let's remember a couple things:
- No Brandon Roy.
- The story of the season is not games like this, but the semi-miracle that there haven't been more games like this. Keep in mind that the Bobcats have as many bona fide scorers, a goodly amount of young talent, plus a bigger-named starting lineup than we do and yet they're the ones still south of 30 wins in the Eastern Conference. That could easily be us, and it isn't. Oh, and...
- No Brandon Roy.
--Without Roy in the lineup we often go to a heck of a lot of work to get a fairly poor shot.
--Nowhere did this manifest itself more clearly than in the fourth quarter, when time after time we seemed to shoot too early, too late, too long, or some combination thereof. Long story short, when it got to be nip-and-tuck and we needed to win the game we ended up hoisting a lot of jumpers and they constantly fell short.
--I heard Mike Rice talk about the offensive rebounds in glowing terms tonight and I'm not suggesting that the Blazers refuse them. It was a good effort. But I'll tell you exactly what 23 offensive rebounds means...and you can quote me on this: it means you missed a heck of a lot of shots.
--We also outrebounded the Bobcats defensively by 8, for a mind-blowing 57-32 advantage overall. You have to tip your hat to our rebounding tonight.
--In addition to allowing Charlotte to shoot 50% we also allowed them 26 assists on 38 made buckets. That's not indicative of great defense, especially when some of their non-passing guys were racking them up.
--Travis Outlaw, seeing immediately that no Bobcat that they would put on him could jump half as high as he could, had one of his good offensive nights. The shots he hits--when he hits them--are astounding. That's what makes him a semi-unique talent despite the flaws in his game that remain. He ended up with 26 points including hitting 4 of 6 three pointers.
--Lamarcus shot 50% himself, ending up with 21 points. He also had 13 rebounds thanks to his 8 offensive boards. He let himself get pushed around late again, either settling for jumpers or trying fading turn-arounds instead of planting in the lane and scoring as he does in the early game. This was a good game, but probably better statistically than effectively.
--Joel Przybilla was a monster on the boards again, with 18 total, 8 offensive. He added 8 points and was a perfect 4-4 from the line as well. Remember when the only nights you would say Joel was perfect from the line was when he went 0-0? He's having quite a late-season run.
--7 assists has become the standard for Steve Blake and he reached it again tonight. That's a high level of consistency, worthy of a starting point guard. Unfortunately he shot 5-16, 1-5 from three-point land. That doesn't win the award for most disappointing shooting performance of the night but it's not good.
--Jarrett Jack had one of those nights where you could pretty much flip a coin between stunning drive or stunning turnover. The latter are painful to watch as they are pretty basic--like jump-passing into nowhere. But he was also the only guy taking it to the rim with any energy, which we desperately needed. 11 points, 4 boards, 3 assists, 4 turnovers was the final tally.
--Martell Webster had 6 rebounds. That's good. Martell Webster also shot 1-9 overall and 1-7 from home-run distance tonight. That's bad. Shooters gotta shoot, and it would be worse for him to be out there without attempting any shots at all. But shooters also gotta hit sometimes. By the way, this still wasn't the most disappointing shooting performance of the night. Wait for it...
--Raef LaFrentz played 5 minutes and managed 3 rebounds, 3 fouls, and a block. He brought some energy at least.
--Channing Frye had a pretty interesting 2:40 of playing time. He had a rebound, but 2 fouls, also 2 turnovers, but two blocked shots as well. Oh...he had 2 points. What I want to know (besides how the heck you manage 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, and 2 fouls in that amount of playing time) is what happened to that second rebound?
--Sergio got 2 minutes and hit a free throw.
--That leaves James Jones. His 1-7 (0-6 from the three-point arc) is technically a slightly better percentage than Martell's. But Martell is still struggling in his third year out of high school. Jones is 27, in his 5th season, and was brought here for one reason: to shoot. That's not to bag on Jones. (That would be ungrateful after some of the shots he's made.) But it does explain why this was the most disappointing shooting performance of the night. You don't see an 0-6 from the arc from JJ very often. We needed those points too. On the plus side, like Martell, James grabbed 6 boards.
One-Sentence Game Summary:
No Brandon Roy.