Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thoughts on Portland 107, Indiana 105

Indiana had beaten Portland 9 times in a row until tonight, but Portland got a little love from the officials at the end to squeeze it out which is good because Portland needs every win it can get down the stretch to make the playoffs.

Portland started the first quarter off with its usual porous defense and poor outside shooting. The best way to beat Portland is to spread the floor out and let your guards go to work. Portland's perimeter defense is terrible and none of Portland's guards is a good defender. Przybilla was fighting the flu so he wasn't his usual self and didn't clean up everything around the basket. On defense, you want to pack it in and sort of dare Portland to shoot from the outside. Not many Blazers can create their own shot so you just need to trap the ball.

Portland was down 7 at halftime and down 8 at the end of the third quarter. Somehow they pulled it out in the fourth quarter. I guess shots that weren't going down previously started to fall. I nearly had a heart attack in the final couple minutes of the game and thought Blake's gaffe at the end was going to sink them.

Blazer highlights: Free throw shooting wasn't too much of a problem tonight, especially down the stretch. Outlaw shot 9-15 for 21 points and grabbed 6 boards. Brandon Roy had 28 points and took over the fourth quarter as usual.

Blazer lowlights: Only 13 assists tonight which indicates too many isolation plays. Przybilla got pushed around by Hibbert, but I'm going to chalk that up to Przy's flu. Portland also allowed Ford and Jack to go wild.

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