Without key contributors Damian Lillard and Andre Roberson, Portland and Oklahoma City weren’t sure what to expect when their teams met Tuesday night. The Blazers took care of business, blowing out a frustrated OKC team, who never had an answer for how to stop the Blazers on the offensive end. The game wasn’t even as close as the 117-106 score indicates.
- Spread the scoring around. Against OKC’s meager defense, the Blazers got everyone involved. Every member of the rotation scored, and OKC made every Blazer look like they had plenty of offensive weapons. Five Blazers scored in double-figures, including four starters.
- Another good night for Zach Collins and Shabazz Napier. The Blazers rookie looked like he belonged on an NBA court again tonight, making a few key plays and scoring 9 points with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. And starting for Lillard again, Napier is making heads turn around the NBA, finishing with 21 points while taking only 10 shots.
- OKC must see Portland in their nightmares. Portland seems to be a terrible matchup for OKC. Regardless of injuries, OKC can’t seem to break through against the Blazers in the past few seasons. Portland has won 5 of their last 6 meetings, and 6 of their last 8.
- The Great OKC Experiment is failing. It’s too early to deem OKC’s bold roster moves a failure, but at the same time, it’s clearly not a well-oiled machine. Without Andre Roberson’s defense, they had few backup plans. In fact, most of the night, the game plan was the same: Put the ball in the hands of one of their stars. They’d probably take a shot, which was an error since OKC assisted on over half their buckets. Whether or not it goes in, summarily jog meekly up court and half-heartedly defend. This was not a promising game for OKC’s plan to rebuild around Russell Westbrook.
And Westbrook was, unsurprisingly, not interested in discussing tonight’s events after the game.
Russell Westbrook left the arena tonight before the locker room opened without speaking with the media.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) January 10, 2018
A trip to Houston to take on the James Harden-less Rockets tomorrow night.