Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets: Game 2

After a sloppy, yet dominant performance in the season opener versus the depleted Rockets, it will be interesting to see if the 20+ turnovers can be attributed to first game jitters or a month long problem due to unfamiliarity with one another. Like Houston, Denver is down key personnel with JR Smith serving the 2nd game of his 7 game suspension due to reckless driving. The one problem I foresee is Carmelo Anthony potentially going nuts on our swingmen and putting Denver on his back to a nail biter victory. Although Marty and Trav had great all-around games last night, there is no replacement for Batum's length and tenacity on defense.
Fortunately for Portland, we get to sit back and relax on Wednesday night while Denver has to play a knock down, drag out fight against a Jerry Sloan coached Jazz squad then has to fly out to Portland early in the morning for a back to back. The biggest key will be to jump out on Denver early by setting the tone on the defensive end of the floor, get the Garden crowd rocking, and use our depth to wear the Nuggets down in the 2nd half.
Look for Brandon to be more assertive early on as he has the notable advantage over Aaron Afflalo and he wants to shake off the rough 5-18 shooting performance from the previous game. Once Roy gets it going, hopefully, they will look inside and feed the beasts. Aldridge was hampered with early foul trouble against Houston and Greg was only able to attempt 3 shots. There is no way Nene, K-Mart, or Birdman can defend those 2 on the blocks; Go inside and either draw fouls or double teams, either will get the job done the way Rudy, Marty, & Trav have been shooting.
Game 2 Prediction: Portland 103 Denver 92
Post Game Thoughts
Witness Protection has called and they are looking for LaMarcus Aldridge and Steve Blake. For the 2nd straight game, both players have been invisible, perhaps doing their best Casper impression to get into the Halloween spirit? The only positive from last night was the fact Brandon looked like his former self, but aside from that, it was a very dull game, dominated by the tweet of the officials. I don't like to harp on officiating, but 90 combined free throw attempts is asinine for a game that featured little attacking of the hoop. With that said, Denver was obviously the beneficiary of the officiating tonight and the star calls Melo received were sickening. Poor Martell couldn't breathe on him without being whistled for a foul.
After the game, I was at a loss for words looking for a reason why we can't run a fluid offense. Is Coach Nate to blame for not calling plays to get the ball in the post? Is it LaMarcus' fault for shying away from the post and settling for jumper after jumper? Or could it be the wing's fault for taking literally 5 robotic seconds to throw an entry pass? Most likely it is a combination of all 3. We all know LaMarcus turns it on after the 1st half of the season is over, but he needs to be more aggressive and assertive. If he misses, so be it, but take some damn shots in the post. We are unstoppable when we get the L-Train going down low and he is one of the biggest keys to a successful season.
Finally, in homage to the Schonz, "You have to make your free throws!" We shot a pathetic 34.6% from the field and still had a chance to win the game if not for 8 2nd half free throw misses after shooting bull's eyes the entire 1st half. We will see the true test of this Blazer team. Houston is a very formidable team who just went into the Bay Area and got a W and you know they will be juiced for their opening night, then there is our Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide persona when it comes to playing at Oklahoma City. Here's to a quick 2 game road sweep!
Box Score

No comments:

Post a Comment