In a Nutshell
Portland's forwards obliterate the Wizards as the Blazers score at will inside, outside, off of rebounds, off the break. Washington approaches Portland's zone defense like a monkey trying to solve a Rubik's Cube. Portland converts turnovers and rebounds off of poor shots into points. The game is never in doubt past the first six minutes.
There wasn't much to this game. Washington grabbed a 14-12 lead by the 6:00 mark of the first off of a decent start as the Blazers let them fast break. But the entire time you could hear, "All around the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel" playing in your head the entire time. The "pop" came after a Portland timeout with 6:16 remaining in the period during which Coach Nate McMillan said, "Team, meet LaMarcus Aldridge. LaMarcus, say hello to the people who are going to feed you." And thus they did. Aldridge scored a couple times outright and even more from the line. This opened up late-period threes for the perimeter players. The score was 35-29 Portland after one.
And then the turnovers started.
Once the Wizards started losing the ball courtesy of Gerald Wallace, Nicolas Batum, and Wesley Matthews this game was over. Washington couldn't stop the break. When Portland wasn't running the Wizards never managed to contain anybody over 6'8" tall in this game. Even Chris Johnson was posterizing them. The guards got in the obligatory attempt now and then but mostly it was lobs for alley-oops, zip-passes to cutters, or dribble and dish for an open shot. Boom, shizz, thank you Wiz...game over. 111-76, Blazers dominate their last easy game of the season.
There weren't many, save that Coach McMillan stuck to his minutes hierarchy which right now clearly bypasses Patty Mills in favor of Rudy Fernandez or Brandon Roy. If that's not changing in a game against Washington it's not changing. You're looking at your playoff players right now and the list reads: Aldridge, Wallace, Batum, Matthews, Miller, Camby, Fernandez, Roy and that is all.
LaMarcus Aldridge: 7-12, 8-8 from the line, 22 points...the usual.
Nicolas Batum had another huge offensive game, making defenders (though that term should be in quotes in this case) look silly. He hit long-range, mid-range, and sweetly at the rim. 22 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals, and I'm holding my breath to see how long this can last. He looks amazing.
Speaking of amazing, Gerald Wallace had another OMG night. (You know that stands for "Oh My Gerald", right?) The way this guy spanks people defensively he should suit up in leather. He had 4 steals but that doesn't even begin to describe how he confounded the poor Wizards tonight. Oh, and he only hit 10-14 shots plus 8-10 from the foul line for 28 points. Having him in the lineup makes everybody's job easier on both ends. Andre Miller looks like a kid in a candy store now trying to figure out who to pass to.
Miller had 11 assists by the way.
Wesley Matthews and Rudy Fernandez had unnecessarily poor nights shooting but played good defense. Matthews had 4 steals.
Brandon Roy had a horrible night shooting and at the rim. The uniform said "Roy" but the vertical leap said "Jamaal Magloire". He got snuffed at the rim on a few occasions and then gave up trying to score. He did have 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 20 minutes.
Chris Johnson can jump out 'da gym. Whoa. He had 7 points and 3 blocks in 16 minutes.
Stats of the Night
- Blazers 40-80 shooting, 50%, Wizards 26-71, 37.1%
- Washington 27 turnovers leading to 33 Portland points. Take all of those away and Portland only wins by 2.
- Blazers 45 rebounds, 26 assists, 62 points in the paint, 19 fast break points...I could go on all night.
Odd Notes and Links
Despite Portland's overwhelming victory the only highlight you're going to see nationally is JaVale McGee crushing Wesley Matthews with a block in the first half. Matthews had an apparently clear path to the hoop from the right side. He took the left-handed dribble, transferred the ball to his right, rose to dunk it, and McGee swept in from off the ball and plucked it from Matthews' hands with one huge paw right at the apex of Wes' jump. McGee came down with the ball still curled in his hands and looked at Matthews as if to say, "Lookie what I've got: the ball, your manhood, all the respect you've ever garnered from your teammates, your chances of ever dunking without looking over your shoulder again in your career." Seriously, Matthews had a haunted look the rest of the game. He'll wake up tonight in a cold sweat.
Bullets Forever will not be happy about anything but that block.