In a Nutshell
The Dallas Mavericks emerged as the third seed in the Western Conference tonight, meaning Dallas and Portland will face off in the first round of the playoffs. Game 1 is at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday evening.
What? You wanted a nutshell about this game? The Blazers start none of their front line, play Andre Miller but 7 minutes, and get run out of the gym by the Warriors. Patty Mills and Wesley Matthews shine shooting the ball. Not much else goes well.
The Blazers took 25 threes and turned over the ball 19 times. Treys and free throws kept Portland within spitting distance for the first half but the wind of Golden State's fast break in the second half made even the stoutest loogie fly right back in Portland's face. Warriors win 110, 86.
And yes, that was the grossest imagery I've ever used.
Did we mention that the Blazers will face the Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs?
Here is where people will start paying attention. You'll want to know how the Favorite Scrub You've Not Seen All Year (tm) did in his big chance to shine. We're going to completely ignore anybody in the regular rotation. This game wasn't any test of their ability.
Patty Mills led the team in scoring with 23 and is undoubtedly the most game-ready of the lower end roster guys. That only makes sense, as he's actually been getting minutes. He shot 4-7 from distance tonight, 7-16 overall. He had 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. We didn't learn much about Patty that we didn't already know. His offensive ability is not in question. It's whether he can grow beyond the occasional-instant-spark phase and capture an important role in the rotation. This game didn't show much one way or the other on that, but then again you wouldn't expect it to. He did well and, as we said, clearly outshone his other small-minute teammates.
Luke Babbitt shot 4-17 but did hit 2-5 from distance for 11 points. He had 11 rebounds but then again this was Golden State and two of his teammates exceeded his total. In other words 11 rebounds wasn't as striking of an achievement as it would be normally. He works hard and looks like he can shoot a little bit but you can measure his fast twitch muscle movement with a sundial. He's going to need to be a deadeye shooter to make an impact.
Chris Johnson had 13 rebounds in 40 minutes but shot 1-8. He also worked hard but he's skinny-looking in warmups. When you see him hit an actual NBA body and bounce off you realize that all the hops in the world aren't going to matter long-term until he gets some mass. The form on his outside jumper is a thing of ugly. His upper body isn't bad but his legs go akimbo every time he rises to fire. His legs took some kind of random progression that Tom Hanks should solve in order to find the resting place of the Virgin Mary or something.
Armon Johnson grew in confidence as the game progressed, going from looking completely lost to looking adequate. He's only comfortable when angling for his own shot. He did manage 3 assists but he also managed 5 turnovers. He seems less ready now than he did at the beginning of the year.
Earl Barron gave a noble effort with 13 rebounds. On the other hand 2-10 shooting is pretty ignoble.
Stats of the Night
- Blazers lost.
- Dallas is in the 3rd seed.
Odd Notes and Links
Jersey Contest Scoreboard Jomasbush took the April jersey. We'll be setting up the playoffs and letting you know the invitees A.S.A.P.
Full Playoff Schedule
Game 1 – Sat April 16 Portland at Dallas 6:30PM ESPN
Game 2 – Tue April 19 Portland at Dallas 6:30PM TNT
Game 3 – Thu April 21 Dallas at Portland 7:30PM TNT
Game 4 – Sat April 23 Dallas at Portland 2:00PM TNT
Game 5 * Mon April 25 Portland at Dallas TBD
Game 6 * Thu April 28 Dallas at Portland TBD
Game 7 * Sat April 30 Portland at Dallas TBD TNT