Sunday, December 7, 2008

That's how you finish a road trip

I hope you drug yourself out of bed this morning to watch the Trail Blazers take down the Raptors 98-97 at the Air Canada Centre. This one was truly a gutcheck for Portland. And they responded, big time.

Last contest of a long five-game road trip after getting embarrassed on national television by the Celtics, and they still manage to overcome a miserable, turnover-filled first quarter to get a huge win. Some teams would have folded up, but Nate McMillan got his players to fight through and now they finish the trip 4-1. The last time the Blazers went 4-1 on a road trip? The 2002-03 season, which also happened to be the last time Portland made the postseason.

You can point to the 48-31 rebounding advantage, including an 18-4 offensive rebounding disparity. Or the fact that the Blazers shot 50 percent from three. But for as much of a team effort as this one was, you have to give it up for Steve Blake. 19 points, seven rebounds (!), four assists and an enormous go-ahead, game-winning three with 8 seconds to play. That's crazy clutch.

Blazers get Orlando at home on Tuesday (which is going to be an incredibly difficult game) at Utah on Thursday, then back home for the Clippers on Friday. After that, Portland has but one road game (at Denver) for the rest of December. You're going to want to stay close to the Rose Garden for the next three weeks.

After the disappointment of of the Boston game, how are you feeling bow about today's win and the road trip overall? Me, I'm feeling damn good.


brandon said...

Great win for the blazers, great road trip, and great shot by blake, GO BLAZERS!!!!!!!!!1

cogley said...

to be honest that boston game still gets to me... i'd really love to see them turn it up a couple notches. They've gotta do to everyone else's best players what they did to derrik rose.

Sean said...

I was at the game and it looked horrible at the start but by halftime it was looking like a game. When Oden ends up switched on a guard he got burned many times by Jose specifically. Good win on the road and good road trip. Blake is still hot from outside.
I was one of the few happy at the game in the end. High fives went to the few blazer fans in attendance. Go blazers!

-former Oregonian, Blazer for life

TimHTae said...

McMillian is doing a great job. But it seems like he has a tendency to go away from what's working. This has happened far more than once this year. LaMarcus was unstoppable today. They were +18 when he was in the game. For the last half to the third quarter where he was lighting it up, and throughout the entire fourth quarter I didn't see the defensive pressure pick up on him intensely, yet McMillian, and maybe it's partially the team on this, went away from him. Didn't think this game needed to be such a nail-biter, but still, GO BLAZERS!

David said...

Drag myself out of bed? Not when I have a DVR! Comes in real handy on those East Coast roadies. :-)