Check out some of the Blazers' key plays from tonight's game against the Clippers!
Noah Vonleh's accidental mid-range "jumper":
This play summed up the first half for the Blazers: Off-target. Luckily, Vonleh's pass went in, but many of the Blazers other shots did not. Portland looked sluggish in the early going and trailed by as many as 15 in the first quarter. Their slow start may have been at least partially explained by the unexpected absence of C.J. McCollum. Check out Blazer's Edge coverage from earlier tonight for details.
Crabbe with the nice backdoor cut and dunk off a Lillard and Plumlee pick and roll:
Mason Plumlee's passing ability and Allen Crabbe's shooting ability combined to create a gorgeous backdoor cut and dunk out of a pick and roll. Plumlee is not a good outside shooter, but the Portland coaching staff has found ways make him effective in the mid-range via passing. The Blazers love to look for this third option out of a pick and roll and often punish overly aggressive defenders with it.
Plumlee rebounds, then Lillard finds Vonleh for the dunk on the other end:
There's a lot to love on this play. First, Mason Plumlee shows the positive side of his ballhandling ability by grabbing the rebound, looking for a hole in the defense, recognizing his path has been cut off, and then immediately finding a guard. This is a good example of Plumlee handling the ball in the open court. After that, it's nice to see Vonleh dunk with authority while being fouled on the Lillard's drive and dish. As Timmay! pointed out recently, Vonleh continues to make the right "garbage" plays, while also showing incremental improvement overall.
Lillard blocks a Paul Pierce step back and then drills a triple at the other end:
In the second half, the Blazers managed to partially dig out of the first quarter hole they dug. This sequence from Damian Lillard shows off his flair for the dramatic and was one of the most exciting moments of the half.
Reports that Pierce immediately posted and deleted a Tweet after the play that read "Dear Basketball..." have not been confirmed.
Dueling three-pointers can be the most exciting and frenetic part of an NBA game. Unfortunately, this sequence also exemplified the ultimate failure of Portland's comeback: The Blazers were effective enough on offense to get close to the Clippers, but every time they made a run the Clippers answered. The first quarter deficit was just too much for the Blazers to overcome against a strong opponent.
Moe Harkless' moment in the sun:
Moe Harkless has been inconsistent this season, but has also shown moments of dazzling promise. This sequence shows off the athleticism that had his teammates raving during the preseason.