Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Can't be stopped on Christmas

And that's 11. No one knows when this streak is going to stop, but with the way Nate McMillan has his squad playing, I don't think anyone would be surprised to see this team roll well into the new year.

The Highlights


The "white unit":
Yet again, the boys on the bench were in large part responsible for taking down the Sonics. In fact, the "hustle squad" ended up outscoring the starters thanks to strong performances by Jarrett Jack (17 points, four assists) and Channing Frye (12 points, eight rebounds, two assists). No turnovers for the bench squad either. While they may not be flashy, the Blazers second unit might be one of the most effective in the NBA.

Joel Przybilla:
"The Thilla" hit the boards with reckless abandon tonight, finishing with a game high 16 rebounds.

Rebounding:
The Blazers, not always a team known for hitting the offensive glass, did a fantastic job of corralling their own misses. The Blazers ended with 19 offensive rebounds (a season high) to 12 for the Sonics and at the 4:30 mark in the third quarter, the margin was a whopping 16-2. The Blazers also had a season-high 53 total rebounds.

Taking care of the ball:
The Blazers turned the ball over a season-low six times, which for a young team is about as good as it gets.

The Lowlights


Sophomore shooting percentages:
LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy combined to go 8 for 33 from the field, which calculates as 24%. Not something you want to see every night, but it does disprove the notion that the Blazers "big two" have to have great nights in order for the team to win.

Mistaking Travis Outlaw for Bo Outlaw:
Seriously ESPN, you guys are pros. His name is Travis Outlaw. He's got hops that Bo could only dream about. And as Travis told me last week "Bo never had a jump shot." Travis most certainly does.

What the Blazers had to say ...


Nate McMillan:

“We’re continuing to play as a team. We were getting stops when we had to have them. And it seems like every game we’re finding ways of winning. Tonight, when our shots weren’t falling, we just tightened up defensively, especially in the second half. In the first half we didn’t do a great job of covering Szczerbiak and Durrant but we did a better job in the second half."


Channing Frye:

“The coach told us to go out and play ball as if its our last game. We’re figuring out ways to win every night. We want to continue to play hard whether it’s a slow game or a fast game. We know we have to play well here at home. The fans deserve it and we deserve it for working hard.”


What the Sonics had to say ...


P.J. Carlesimo:

“The single biggest thing was definitely the offensive re bounds. We did a poor job. It wasn’t just the big’s. We need our smalls down there tracking down some of them. Sometimes it’s caused by the defense itself. To that extent, they got 17 more shots. Had we done an adequate job on the boards, I think the score would have been something like 75-75. Both teams were actually struggling to score against the other team’s defense. That’s what it should have been."


Kevin Durant:

“They are playing very well. They have a lot of guys coming off the bench. They get a lot of bench points. Brandon Roy controls the game. He doesn’t have to score…he sets guys up for baskets. With a guy like that, you’re going to win. He plays very hard."

1 comment:

FREDERICK said...

From what I remember P.J. Carlessimo once coached the Blazers. He must have been so proud to see the Blazers back in the limelight again. Travis Outlaw has been shooting great, and his streak shooting today was carried ove from his last two games of last year's season where he scored an average of above 20's despite coming off from the bench. It was a sweet victory for the Blazers against the Durant-led Sonics. Wait till they see Greg Oden in the lineup next year. Go Blazers!